For 72-year-old Kathmandu-based hotelier Ugen Tsering Lama, the joy of visiting his son in Bangalore turned into a nightmare soon after he reached the departure section of T3 terminal of IGI airport on Monday afternoon.
He was told that his 5.25pm Kingfisher flight to Bangalore was cancelled because engineers of the airlines are on strike. “I don’t know what to do. My son had got my tickets done and now they are telling me that the flight has been cancelled,” said an exasperated Lama.
The scene was the same all day long at the airport on Monday with passengers, most of who had flown in from other countries, failing to understand why their flights were cancelled.
Srinagar residents Bilal Ahmed and Pravesh Ahmed were passionately discussing as to what to do as their 2.10pm flight to Srinagar was not an option anymore. Bilal, a doctor based in Maldives, and Pravesh, a computer engineer who works in Saudi Arabia, also said the staff manning the Kingfisher counter were rude.
“The way they spoke to us was unacceptable and just said that our flights had been cancelled and we will get our refund soon,” he said.
A staff at the Kingfisher counter said they do not know when the agitating employees will come back to work. When asked about passengers complaining about lack of proper explanation, he said, “We have no instructions on how to handle customer queries.”
In a statement issued today, a Kingfisher spokesperson said, “A section of employees of Kingfisher Airlines has not been reporting to work over the last fortnight and, over the past two days, they have been threatening and even manhandling the other employees who are reporting to work as usual.”
The statement added that the airline was anticipating disruptions and delays of flights across its network on October 1.
“With a view to mitigating the impact of these anticipated disruptions, we are proactively cancelling several flights across our network for October 1, 2012,” it said.