Strike takes passengers for ride
As the standoff between Air India management and a section of pilots entered the third day, passengers were once again at the receiving end. HT reports.delhi Updated: Apr 29, 2011 23:47 IST
As the standoff between Air India management and a section of pilots entered the third day, passengers were once again at the receiving end.
On Friday, there were almost no passengers from Delhi at Air India counters in Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
Passengers with connecting flights and those flying to other cities were the most harried lot.
Vednayakan, 78, a Chennai resident, had to take a flight at 8pm. "I visited the airport earlier to enquire about the flight and was told it will depart," he said. "But now, officials are saying no such flight exists."
Though Air India passengers on the Delhi-Mumbai sector got some relief on Friday, with the airline deploying Boeing-747 to clear the rush, passengers on other routes, like south India, had a tough time.
Jeeni Kuruvilla flight to Kochi got cancelled. "This is terrible. The airline should have made alternative arrangements," she said.
Air India, which normally operates 53 flights from Delhi daily, operated only 15 flights on Friday.
"We have decided to refuse fresh bookings for five days, keeping the strike in mind," an airline spokesman said. "We are trying to clear the backlog," the spokesperson added.
"Alliance Air, Air India Express and Air India wide body continued to maintain normal services," he said. "In fact, AI Express operated two additional flights to Dubai and Sharjah to clear the rush."
Though Air India tried to arrange seats for passengers on other - mainly budget - airlines, there were many who were left to fend for themselves.
"The ticket to Chennai I had bought from Air India had cost me R6,000 but now other airlines are charging R23,000 for a ticket," said S Ravi, who works for an MNC. "How am I supposed to spend so much extra money?"