Passengers had a tough time at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport as strike by Jet Airways pilots entered day two.
Over 80 flights were canceled at the airport on Thursday, including both departures and arrivals. Two international Jet flights were cancelled too.
Though Jet Airways refunded passengers and also transferred some to flights operated by other airlines, passengers had to shell out a lot more for booking tickets with other airlines.
A. Kruger, who had come to Delhi on a business visit from South Africa found his flight to Mumbai has been cancelled.
“I have been coming here regularly but this is the first time something like this has happened,” he said.
Though Kruger got a refund on his ticket, he had to pay Rs. 12,500 for a SpiceJet ticket to Mumbai. Usually Delhi-Mumbai air fare is easily available within Rs. 3,500 on budget carriers.
He also said the Jet Airways staff at the airport were not too helpful. “They have only two people manning so many counters. This is ridiculous.”
Sultana, a Saharanpur resident had come to Delhi by road to attend her father’s funeral in Mumbai but had to cancel her plans after she found the air fares out of her reach.
“I have to reach Mumbai urgently and a flight is the best option for me,” said Sultana.
“When I checked the fare over phone they said the fare for three persons (she was accompanied by her husband and son) would be Rs 7,800. I somehow arranged the money but now at the airport no airline ticket is available below Rs. 10,000 per head.”
“I don’t have Rs. 30,000 to buy an air ticket, I will have to go by road as train tickets wouldn’t be available now,” said a forlorn Sultana.
Alauddin Ansari, who works in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia had reached Delhi early on Thursday morning and had to take a Jet Airways flight to Bhopal.
“I have been waiting at the airport for six hours and only now the airline staff told me the flight has been cancelled,” he said. “They have now told me that I would be transferred to an Air India flight but they are not even arranging the transfer. They have asked me to approach Air India officials and manage on my own.”
Many passengers missed important meetings due to the strike. One of them was Proloy Majumdar, a guest lecturer with IIM, Kolkata.
“I had to give a lecture in Mumbai this evening but with my flight cancelled, I’m not going to make it in time,” he said.