Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Denied boarding, five lodge police plaint against airline


PUNE: Five passengers have filed a complaint with the police after they were denied boarding on a GoAir flight G8-283 from Pune to Nagpur.

In the complaint lodged at the airport police station, a copy of which is with TOI, it was alleged that an official from the airline misbehaved with the passengers, and refused to entertain any queries on whether the flight was overbooked, or even offer any specific reason.

Girish Lakhotiya was one of them. He had to attend important meetings in Nagpur. "The flight departs around 7.30am, and I was in the check-in line by 6.45am. An airline official suddenly announced that no further checking-in will be done. The official gave us no reason. I asked him whether the flight was overbooked, but he didn't reply. A girl whose father was critically ill in Nagpur broke down, but the official was unmoved. No alternatives were offered either," Lakhotiya told pune-news.com.

Another passenger, who was with his pregnant wife, alleged that there was no official during the luggage screening too. "We had to wait at the luggage screening area, when one staffer told us directly to go to the check-in counter. The man at the counter was working slowly. Suddenly, an official said the counter was closed. We asked him to arrange a different flight for us and that we were ready to wait, to no avail," the passenger said, requesting anonymity.

GoAir, in a statement, said seven passengers had reported late, and that there was no overbooking. "As per schedule, for flight G8-283 from Pune to Nagour, gates were closed at 6.55am, and seven passengers reported between 6.59 and 7am. As per the regulation, we offered them alternatives which they refused. As alleged, the flight was not overbooked and departed on time," a GoAirspokesperson said.

"The airline product is perishable and to ensure capacity sale, airlines around the globe have a policy of limited overbooking of flights up to 15%. Overbooking is done by all airlines across the globe to ensure no seat goes vacant," aviation expert and analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar said.


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