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Jet’s steep cancellation fee stings flyers

March 24, 2019 06:55 AM

COURTESY TOI MARCH 24

Jet’s steep cancellation fee stings flyers
Manju.V@timesgroup.com

Mumbai:

Thousands of passengers who have booked their summer holiday air tickets on Jet Airways are now stressed not only at the prospect of ruined plans but also the money they will lose. For, Jet, which has been cancelling a large number of flights on a daily basis, is levying a stiff fee on flyers who opt to cancel their tickets.


The government has allowed Jet to cancel any number of flights with impunity. But if a flyer decides to cancel, not surprising given the unpredictability of Jet’s operations, the fee can go up to Rs 4,600 for an economy-class ticket. Interestingly, Jet hiked its cancellation fee last month. Most Jet passengers aren’t told whether their flight will be operated or cancelled till the last 72 hours or so. Once Jet cancels the ticket, it is legally bound to refund the fare. However, that is no solace to passengers who bought tickets cheap months in advance, and now have to rebook and pay steep last-minute fares on another airline. The other alternative is to cancel early and pay up the heavy cancellation fee, losing almost the entire amount spent on the ticket. Sudhakara Reddy, president, Air Passengers Association of India, said Jet should voluntarily do away with its cancellation fee given that it now has no flight schedule discipline. But neither DGCA nor civil aviation ministry has stepped in to rescue flyers.

At present, Jet operates about 120 daily flights, which is about one-sixth the number of flights it operated at its peak,

Airline suspends 13 more flights on int’l routes
Cash-strapped Jet Airways on Saturday suspended services on 13 more international routes till April-end after grounding seven more planes due to non-payment of dues to lessors. The services have been temporarily withdrawn on Bengaluru-Singapore, Delhi-Abu Dhabi, Delhi-Dhaka, Delhi-Hong Kong, Delhi-Riyadh, Mumbai-Abu Dhabi, Mumbai-Bahrain and Mumbai-Hong Kong routes.

‘Jet must publish 2 months’ schedule’

Anoop Kanuga of Travel Agents Association of India said: “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) should ask Jet to publish two months’ flight schedule, a list of flights Jet will surely operate, till say, May 31. Then those passengers who find that their flights have been cancelled, should be given a complete refund so that they are free to buy advance purchase tickets on other airlines.

With a forward schedule, the DGCA can also release the unused Jet slots to other airlines, who will operate flights and so the supply won’t fall too much during peak summer travel period and the passengers won’t be hit.”

Sonal Sharma of Clap Talent, an entertainment company, had booked a Delhi-Indore-Mumbai ticket on Jet for travel on March 15.

“Jet changed the timings of both the flights. Our entire itinerary collapsed. We wanted to cancel the flights. It was almost impossible to get through to Jet customer care, but when we eventually did, Jet told us they would charge a cancellation fee.”

Miku Patel (46) paid Rs 34,000 and bought six Mumbai-Goa Jet return tickets for travel on April 13 to celebrate her father’s 75th birthday. “We don’t know if this flight will be operated. If we cancel the ticket, we will get hardly any refund due to cancellation fee. Who will compensate for the botched plan?”

Ashwini Naik, a Ghatkopar resident, had booked four tickets for family on a Jet Mumbai-Goa flight on March 20, only to learn during web check-in, a day before departure, that the flight has been cancelled.

“We paid Rs 30,000 and bought Air India tickets as my 81-year old mother, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, had to travel to her village in Goa,” Naik said. The four Jet tickets, bought a month in advance, had cost them Rs 8,396

 
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