Airline Apologizes to Passenger over Flight Cancellation
Bantwal: Ashiq Kukkaje, a public-spirited young man from Ira in the taluk, appears to have made it a habit to pursue serious matters of public concern so as to lead them to a logical conclusion.
Unlike many other passengers, who, in a docile manner, remain resigned to their fate when flights are cancelled, Ashiq has shown others that a different response which could bring about positive results is possible.
On Mar 24 last, he had booked an air ticket of a private airline to travel from Bengaluru to Mangaluru on Mar 27. When he reported at the airport to board the plane on the scheduled date, disappointment was in store for him.
The airline staff told him that the flight had been cancelled. Besides him, a large number of passengers, who included senior citizens and expectant mothers, had been inconvenienced.
Even after persistent requests for an alternative aircraft to be made available, the airline did not oblige. All the passengers had to turn back from the airport.
Ashiq wrote a strong letter of protest to the airline. In response to it, the managing director of the airline has written to him that the flight had to be cancelled owing to unavoidable technical reasons.
The airline reportedly tried to brush off the whole episode with a mere apology. The situation was beyond the control of the airline and an email had been sent to the travel agents in this regard, the reply said.
Ashiq was not convinced. He felt that while the airlines impose strict rules on the passengers, they take the passenger comforts and rights for granted.
Whenever a flight is cancelled, all passengers should be informed in advance, before arriving at the airport, he argues.
The passengers are made to report and check in two hours in advance. Any lapse is being made into a big issue. On the other hand, in the event of cancellation of flights, the burden is on the passengers for no fault of theirs. This is not the problem faced by a single individual but thousands of others, he says.
He further says that in the modern times, when technology has advanced so much, it would not be a big deal to send personal messages regarding delay or cancellation well ahead.
He says that now he intends to take the matter to a competent authority like the consumer court so that the airlines would care to handle the passengers’ plight more humanely and in a sensitive manner.