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Air India moves Shubha Mudgal to economy class in Mumbai-Goa flight, offers refund after her tweet

She tweeted at 10am, “@airindiain What’s going on? You sell business class tickets. Turn the flight into an Economy flight. Don’t inform passengers. No refund. Refer AI 663.”

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2017 00:05 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
mumbai,goa,shubha mudgal
She earnt that the airline was using an all-economy aircraft while doing a web check-in from home at 2 am.(HT file photo)

Indian classical singer Shubha Mudgal on Saturday took to Twitter after her Air India business class ticket from Mumbai to Goa was changed to economy class without any prior notice. Mudgal, who had booked AI 663 Mumbai-Goa flight to attend the Serendipity Art Festival in Goa, learnt that the airline was using an all-economy aircraft while doing a web check-in from home at 2 am.

She tweeted at 10am, “@airindiain What’s going on? You sell business class tickets. Turn the flight into an Economy flight. Don’t inform passengers. No refund. Refer AI 663.”

Replying to her tweet, Air India said, “Ms. Mudgal we are extremely sorry for inconvenience caused to you. Due to operational reasons the aircraft had to be changed. Kindly DM us your PNR so that we can take the action for refund. Once again kindly accept our sincere apologies.”

She said the airline should have either sent a text message or an email stating that the business class seat was no longer available.

Before the Air India tweet, she said, “I see no point in not issuing a clear statement in this regard. I would have had no problem flying economy class if I had bought an economy ticket, but I have a problem with not being informed about the change in clear terms and the complete silence on the refund.”

Mudgal was flying with her husband, Aneesh Pradhan. One of their tickets had been booked via an online portal and the other was booked through an agent. A spokesperson for the airline said, “We do send prior messages on the available mobile numbers regarding the change. We had tried contacting the passenger, but she we did not receive a response.”

Responding to this, Mudgal said, “It could be true that the airline called me, but I had a concert on Friday and may have missed the call. This is all the more reason that an email or an SMS alert should have been sent. When we were selecting the row during check-in, we discovered the aircraft was changed to an economy flight.”

Her flight was scheduled for 1.30pm, but the passengers were informed of a 20-minute delay. However, the flight took off from Mumbai at 2.10pm and landed in Goa at 3.10pm.

“Delays seem to be a constant part of air travel these days. On the one hand, airlines want us to report at least two hours in advance but delays, if at all, are announced only an hour or so before the flight. It’s always a delay in incoming flights that is cited as the cause, but with flight trackers surely they would know when to expect a flight to land It’s a nuisance,” she rued.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 23:57 IST