Kingfisher airlines delays refunds

MUKEET AKMALI

Srinagar, Dec 5: The beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines is again in news and not for good reason. This time around it is the passengers who have accused the company of delaying refund to them on account of cancellations.
 Sources said thousands of customers were awaiting refund for months together yet the company is not giving any date for the refund.
 Many travel agents told Greater Kashmir that the company had allowed accumulate the liability worth crores of rupees on account of refunds due to the passengers. “It is not just that the airline has withheld the amount of refund to the passengers who have cancelled their tickets. It is not even releasing the refund in those cases where the airline itself cancelled the flights.”
 “I had booked a ticket for a consumer from Srinagar to Jaipur via Delhi some two months ago. Later the airline informed that it has cancelled the flight from Delhi-Jaipur. Our customer had to purchase the ticket from Delhi to Jaipur at much higher price at the eleventh hour,” said Gulzar Ahmad, Manager Operations, Travel Master.
 He said that the airline has yet to refund the amount it charged for Delhi to Jaipur flight. “It is not that we cancelled the ticket by our choice. Rather the airline cancelled its flight from Delhi to Jaipur leaving us with no option but to seek full refund. Yet the company is not releasing the refund for last more than two months,” he said, adding that other airlines credit the refund amount in just 12 hours.
 The travel agents demanded that government should take strict action against the airline for “withholding” the money of the passengers.
 A group of claimants told Greater Kashmir that they have been waiting for the refunds for months together. “We don’t understand how come such a big company is openly cheating the passengers. First it cancels the flights of its own will and then it delays and refuses to give refund,” they said.
 “The flight from which I was supposed to travel to Delhi from Srinagar got cancelled due to strike of pilots of Kingfisher who were seeking payment of their dues. At that time I was told by the management of the company that the amount will be credited to my account within five working days,” Javid Ahmad, a local said.
 “But since then more than three months have passed but I haven’t received a penny from them. After a number of calls that I made to Kingfisher customer care, I was informed by them to wait for one billing cycle to get reflected in credit card,” he said, adding that: “I will file legal suit against the company for failing to perform its services for which they had charged money.”
 “The company has withheld crores of rupees of the people. They earlier assured us that they will refund the money which we have already given back to our clients after the flights were cancelled,” said Muhammad Yousuf, a valley-based travel agent.
 He added that: “I have the email communication saved in my mailbox, which I can produce anytime that will substantiate my claim that the company had assured not only me but all other travel operators of refund.”
 “The company should refund the money along with interest to save us any further inconvenience and mental torture,” travel agents said.
 Sources said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) too has asked the airline to refund passengers for cancellation of flights, yet the airline is not taking any steps to do it.
 Meanwhile, an official of Kingfisher Airlines here told Greater Kashmir: “We are receiving number of enquiries from clients about the refund but the company is not providing us any details when it will make refunds.”

Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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