In March, all means of travel were stopped when the lockdown was announced in the country to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
But a few days back Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, informed that domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May.
Now, when this news came up everybody stuck within the country began booking their tickets to reach their destinations.
But, there have been many reports where the customers have faced a lot of troubles while booking/canceling their tickets while air traveling. Either their flight gets cancelled or rescheduled without informing them. Many people who booked tickets of GoAir complained that their flight got cancelled but they didn’t get any message regarding the same from the company side. While re-booking the ticket they were asked to pay more charges in the name of rescheduling and change charges. Also, people are forced to visit the official Facebook or Instagram pages of the airlines seeking answers to their queries as the customer care of GoAir is not responding to their calls.
Our TSA correspondent tried to get in touch with one of the victims of this air travel scam.
Here is what Deepesh Jaipuriar who stays in Mumbai, Maharashtra shared out of his experience:
On 25th May 2020, I booked a ticket from Mumbai to Rachi on GoAir airlines that was scheduled to fly on 3rd June 2020 at 16:10 hrs and land at 18:45 hrs. PNR – OC7UHN.
When I booked the ticket, I didn’t get any confirmation mail, no text message from the airlines about my ticket booking, So, I downloaded the Itenary from their website only.
On 28th May I casually checked if my ticket is confirmed or not.
So when I went at GoAir’s website and clicked on “Manage Booking”, I came to know that the flight timing has been changed from 14:35 hrs to 16:10 hrs. But like before I didn’t get any mail or message regarding the time update. I thought its good that I checked or else I would have missed my flight.
Later on 1st June 2020, I went to recheck if there is any further change in the timing. But, this time I came to know that my flight has been canceled, but again it was not informed by their end. I came to know the flight’s cancellation because I checked.
Then GoAir’s website showed, “Your flight has been canceled, Kindly click on change booking to reschedule your flight”. I clicked on the ‘Change Booking’ option. I saw a connecting flight on 5th June via Delhi with a fare difference of 688 Rupees, so I began booking it.
When I continued to pay my fare difference of 688 rupees, the website added extra 3000 rupees, stating that it is ‘Change Fees’.
After seeing that futile fee hike, I changed my mind to book that flight and decided to share this experience with everyone.
I also tried to reach GoAir customer care, but nobody is answered,
I went to their FB page and came to know that I am not the only one who is feeling cheated. There are many more with whom GoAir has done the same thing.
I noticed that they are making daily posts but have no time to reply to their customers or assisting them with their travel queries.
I am a struggling artist in Mumbai, haven’t earned a single penny since March due to the lockdown, which I understand is not wrong because its a pandemic, but airlines looting people like us is not ethical.
According to “The Quint” report, some airlines claimed a full refund of ticket bookings against cancellation during this pandemic. Airlines companies like GoAir, Indigo, SpiceJet, etc promised to initiate a full refund in form of either a credit shell or full transfer.
So the question is why is GoAir charging its customers with Change fees? Also, Why is GOAir not informing its customers about their flights and related details?
GoAir is an Indian low-cost airline based in Mumbai, Maharashtra owned by the Wadia group.
This is an experience of a single individual who is trying to reach his home on his expenses, there are many more who are having a tough time boarding a means to reach their destinations. And amid all this chaos the airlines are trying to nullify their previous loss by charging extra to travelers.