“Till when will the DGCA turn a blind eye to the Kingfisher (Airlines) circus and ignore the passengers’ suffering?” – tweets Dushyant.

Reacting to the complete halt in flight operations of the beleaguered airlines, passengers vented out their feelings at various social networking platforms. Many turned up at the airports in Mumbai and Delhi demanding a refund for their flight cancellation.

They also allege that the airline did not alert them either by SMS or call about the cancellations.

Archana Sahane, a passenger booked for the Mumbai-Delhi flight, had no idea about the flight cancellation till she saw media reports on Monday night.

“I was told that the flight was delayed by two hours a week back. But ever since the airline crisis escalated, none of the call centre numbers were working. I had to come all the way to the airport to find out the exact situation,” she said.

Also, there is little clarity on who should refund the money on a cancelled ticket. As a result, most travel agents are insisting on booking the passengers on other flights rather than giving a refund.

Earlier this year, Kingfisher Airlines was suspended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) from the billing settlement plan (BSP), a payment mechanism used by agents.

P. Manoj whose Mumbai-Goa flight was cancelled on September 29 is yet to get any response from the company.

“Instead of a refund, we are given options of making our bookings on other airlines. But for that, we have to pay heavily,” said Anand, another passenger.

According to a Mumbai-based travel agent, it should be the travel agent’s responsibility to refund a passenger’s travel cost and recover it from the airline.

“But this is unlikely to happen,” the travel agent said and added that the agents had been forced to book the passengers on other airlines till they recover the money from the airline.

Meanwhile, the airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal claimed that passengers had been informed through SMS and calls about the cancellations and were also being refunded the ticket cost.

He also told the DGCA that there were no passenger complaints at Delhi airport.

nivedita.ganguly@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 2, 2012)
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