Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Listing of suspended int’l flights baffles passengers

Pune: Wagholi resident Sushant Uniyal, who wanted to go abroad on a holiday with his wife, visited a travel portal early last month and found a direct SpiceJet flight to Dubai. Without wasting time, he spent Rs15,000 for two tickets on October 2. What awaited the couple at the airport on the departure date was a rude shock. “On arrival at the airport, I was told that the flight did not exist. Airline officials tried to get us a connecting flight from Delhi, but in vain. Our flight was rescheduled to October 31,” Uniyal said.

“An airline official said a full refund had been initiated. We had booked hotels for our stay in Dubai for over Rs1 lakh. I had to spend Rs75,000 to book an Air India flight from Mumbai to Lucknow and then to Dubai the following day. I ended up spending a lot more than I had thought,” he said.

SpiceJet had a direct flight from Pune to Dubai before the pandemic. Though the scheduled international flights are suspended till October 31 by the aviation authorities, the listing of such flights has been confusing many flyers.

In Uniyal’s case, a SpiceJet spokesperson said, “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announces the extension of restrictions on the international scheduled flights on a month-on-month basis. The airline announces the cancellations once we get the revised notice from the government. SpiceJet is providing a full refund to passengers in such cases.”

Flyers were, however, not convinced. “A full refund is not enough. Many times, flyers, who are not aware, book flights and also hotels. Why would airlines show that these scheduled flights are available for bookings in the first place when the DGCA has been suspending the scheduled operations since months now? They should wait for the DGCA’s order stating that scheduled international flights have been reopened,” a frequent flyer told TOI.

05/10/21 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

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