Sunday, 5 October 2014

Air India's boarding passes on 'first-come, first-served' basis

NEW DELHI: Sunil Kaushik, a Faridabad-based businessman, was taken aback on Saturday when he was told at an Air India check-in counter at the Delhi airport that his flight had been 'overbooked' and that he should instead take the flight next morning. He protested he had an e-ticket to Bhubaneswar for that night and had urgent work there.

But even after heated arguments with the airline's staff he was not allowed to board the plane. Instead he was provided a hotel room near the airport to spend the night.

Several other passengers have faced similar ordeal at the hands of the airline.

A project associate at Ambedkar University Delhi, 27-year-old Shipra Sharma too had a similar experience flying to Delhi from Imphal on an Air India flight recently.

"They told me that the flight was overbooked and offered to pay for my hotel room. I had to argue with them for hours before they finally budged. To make things scarier, we saw a number of passenger seats lying outside the plane we were supposed to board. Then we saw the crew carry the seats into the airplane. We wondered if they could be adding seats onto the plane to accomodate more passengers," says Sharma.

Kaushik has recorded a video of his argument with the staff at the check-in counter on his phone.

"The counter supervisor, a man called Ajay Pereira, used abusive language and told me boarding passes were being provided on a 'first-come, first-serve' basis. He misbehaved constantly and dared me to complain against him," he says.

Air India officials were contacted over the phone, but they refused to comment. Airport,boarding passes,Air India

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