Airline Apologizes to Passenger over Flight Cancellation

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.

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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.

4 Comments

  1. Good initiative but it would not bear any fruits. Me too being very principled person, have taken up such issues in the past with the private airlines. Even at a time I have taken up in consumer court and news papers, but yet the airline is shameless and they take out their hidden rules. They are always right and we passengers have no rights to voice out. This happens only in india other than aboard. The reason for such attitude by the airline is due to the rules we have in our country, which gives more upper hand to the airline, while the passenger at the end suffers.

  2. Regulatory authority with rules that give automatic fines to airline for every cancellation will be effective. In other countries it is the norm. Airlines would then try to arrange for an alternative plan.

    Most of the woes we face in India are because of inadequate regulations. The authorities are always few steps behind the peoples needs. Airlines(Industry) finds it more easy to pay the authorities( corruption, bribes) to keep the regulations in its favor.

  3. There. is an insurance available for cancellation and curtailment charges at a very small premium. However it still does not make up for the inconvenience.

  4. I agree with this young man. While we all understand the technical challenges the airlines may run into, they also have an obligation to inform passengers in advance and minimize the pain. This reminds me of a similar experience with Kingfisher airlines several years ago. After re-booking all passengers to a later flight at 7 pm from mangalooru airport, they decided to cancel it due to technical reasons. By then, most of us had already spent 4-5 hours waiting in airport. The airlines officials had no answer and finally transferred me to a Jet Airways flight – I ended up missing my connecting flight to Germany and spent a day in Bengaluru watching people while eating masaala dosa and idli/sambaar!!!

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