Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Pune airport director takes initiative to address passengers’ problems

Pune: The city’s airport authorities would tell the station managers of all airlines to coordinate with higher officials and address the problems of flyers related to ticket bookings and last-minute cancellations after the flight operations were restricted to 12 hours at the facility from October 26 because of the runway recarpeting work.

Pune airport director Kuldeep Singh told TOI, “I shall advise the airport managers of all the airlines to coordinate with their respective regional managers or their headquarters to resolve the issues at the earliest. The booking of tickets on websites are done at the headquarters of the airlines. The airport managers of the airlines do not have any control over the computer software.”

G Chandramouli, the regional director (western region) of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), said, “I shall check with the Pune airport director on the issue as no complaints have reached me yet. It is tough to adjust anything in a defence airfield because slots are tough. Airlines are also going through a bad patch. The state authorities can only help us in the present circumstances. The airport director is also collaborating with airlines in this regard.”

This is the first time the airport authorities have reacted to the flyers’ hassles. Several emails sent to the airlines on different occasions remained unanswered despite flyers’ plight still continuing.

Software engineer Nikhil Dudhbaware got a rude shock on Tuesday morning in connection with his Pune-Nagpur flight. “I had to fly to Nagpur with my family on November 4 and had booked tickets of a Go-Air flight 10 days ago. I had bought return tickets for December 12 on the same day. On Tuesday, I received a message from GoAir that the outbound flight had been cancelled. I checked an IndiGo flight but the fare for Wednesday stood at Rs10,000 per passenger. The total cost of tickets for the GoAir flight I had booked came to around Rs11,500,” Nikhil said.

He said, “I had booked the tickets through a travel portal. GoAir claimed that the money for the cancelled tickets had been refunded. But the portal says it has not received it. So, I am yet to get the refund.”

Nikhil said the flights to Nagpur of other airlines from the city were extremely costly now. The family-of-three would now go to Nagpur via Mumbai. “The total cost of tickets now rests at around Rs14,000. I shall have to spend Rs3,000 extra for travelling to Mumbai from Pune in a cab.”

04/11/20 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

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