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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

SpiceJet passengers stranded again, chaos continues at airport

Since Tuesday, 10 SpiceJet flights had been cancelled, followed by chaos and confusion over refund.

Written by Atikh Rashid | Pune | December 18, 2014 3:12:49 pm
A statement released by SpiceJet later in the day said all Wednesday flights operated after “unforeseen circumstances” were resolved. A statement released by SpiceJet later in the day said all Wednesday flights operated after “unforeseen circumstances” were resolved.

A statement released by SpiceJet later in the day said all Wednesday flights operated after “unforeseen circumstances” were resolved.

The morning flights of “budget” carrier SpiceJet were cancelled for the second time as many days and passengers complained that the airline did not inform them of cancellations in time and that “airline staffers were evasive about refund”. Some passengers approached the police to get the airline office to give it in writing that they would be refunded within a week.

Since Tuesday, 10 SpiceJet flights from Lohegaon had been  cancelled, said officials at the airport who did not wish to be named. Airline officials said they had conveyed to passengers about cancellation of the flight. Passengers, however, showed the messages were received minutes prior to reporting time.

“Since morning, three flights — to Delhi, Kochi and Bangalore — have been cancelled. About 200 passengers must have booked these flights. We promised to refund the fare,” a staffer told Newsline on the condition of anonymity. Tushar Lagu, a Pune resident who was supposed to board the Pune-Kochi flight scheduled to depart at 11.15 am, said, “The airline did not send any cancellation message. Half-an-hour prior to departure, we got a message saying the flight had been delayed. I kept waiting at the airport. From some friends I got to know SpiceJet flights were cancelled yesterday too. I approached the airline employees but they refused to confirm anything. At 1 pm, I was told they would refund fare as the flight had been cancelled.”
Lagu, who was travelling with a friend, said the latter booked return tickets at Rs 5,000 per person as fares had shot up in the holiday season. “I checked with other airlines and fares had gone up… I had no option than cancel the trip. I had to cancel hotel bookings and lost money there as well,” he said.

Bangalore residents G P Chetan and Reghvendra, supposed to take a Bangalore flight scheduled to depart at 10.30 am, went to the police after they alleged the airlines staffers refused to give them a written promise about the refund of fare. “We booked the flight on Monday paying Rs 10,000 for two tickets. When we were told that the flights had been cancelled, we asked them to refund the fare. They wrote on our ticket printouts ‘Ticket cancelled, Please refund’. We asked for a statement on the company letterhead. They refused. The staffers were evasive. We approached the Airport police station. A policeman spoke to the station manager over phone. I booked GoAir tickets to Bangalore paying Rs 13,000. Once I reach Bangalore, I plan to approach the consumer court and ask for a refund of the amount and a compensation,” said Chetan.

Airline officials refused to speak to the media. Airport Director Manoj Gangal said there was no trouble from SpiceJet passengers at the airport on Tuesday. “The airline sent messages to all passengers informing them of cancellations, so nobody turned up,” said Gangal, though passengers could be seen queued up to claim refunds and arguing with airline staffers.
Later, he clarified that what he meant was about absence of chaos in other flights. “No (other) aircraft was delayed… Chaos by passengers can happen. It’s between the airline and them,” he said.

A statement released by SpiceJet later in the day said all Wednesday flights operated after “unforeseen circumstances” were resolved.

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