Khar resident Tushar Ganvir paid Rs 5,700 for an economy class air ticket to Delhi on a full service carrier. Last week, the same trip had cost the 33-year-old tax consultant Rs 1,000 less.
Similarly, thousands of passengers stranded due to the four-day Air India pilots’ stir, had to shell out extra money for last minute bookings on alternate airlines.
The deadlock between the airline management and its executive pilots, ended on Wednesday afternoon but several flights stood grounded forcing passengers to switch carriers. “Do we have other options? I cannot ignore my business any further,” Ganvir said.
As the airline had informed passengers of flight cancellations a day in advance, passenger inconvenience was slightly less on Wednesday.
In Mumbai, 29 domestic flights scheduled on busy metro routes did not take off.
The national carrier also cancelled four international arrivals and three departures. “I moved 15 passengers to other airlines at a 25 per cent higher ticket cost,” said Ajay Prakash, general secretary, Travel Agent Federation of India. “It will take a week for the situation to get back to normal,” he added.
“I wanted to put a client in an Air India flight for Thursday but bookings weren’t open till Wednesday evening, ” said Rajesh Rateria, managing director, Cirrus Travels.
Sudhakar Reddy, national president of Air Passengers Association of India, said, “We have received many complaints and are working out a plan of action.”