Imagine holding a valid flight ticket, getting ready on the day of departure, and reaching the airport hours in advance only to be told that the flight in question does not exist. That’s exactly what happened with a bunch of passengers booked on the Indian budget carrier Go First for a flight between Hyderabad and Delhi on October 31st.

Flight didn’t exist

Many passengers booked on a Go First flight between Hyderabad (HYD) and Delhi (DEL) were shocked to find out upon reaching the airport that no such flight existed. The incident happened on Monday when the security personnel at the entrance of Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport refused to let the passengers in as their flight was no longer part of the airport’s schedule.

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Go First Airbus A320 at Mumbai Airport

What made the situation even trickier was that the tickets issued to the passengers were valid with active PNRs despite no such flight showing up on the departure board that day.

Naturally, the people booked on the flight were furious, with some paying an enormous amount for last-minute fares and demanding India’s aviation watchdog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), take action against the airline.


How could this have happened, though? The passengers weren’t wrong in reaching the airport, as their PNRs were live on Go First’s official website.

According to a report by The Times of India (TOI), Go First did operate this flight up until a month ago and had not deployed its aircraft on this route since then. So, how did those passengers end up getting booked on a non-existent flight?

Go First Airbus A320

Photo: Getty Images

TOI states that the tickets were booked from a Guwahati-based online portal called Happy Fares, which received them from GoFlySmart, a sub-agent of Go First. The owner of GoFlySmart admitted the mistake, saying he did, in fact, purchase the tickets from Go First and sold them to Happy Fares.

He also said that Go First did send out an email on October 26th (a day before the tickets were sold to the passengers in question) informing that the HYD-DEL flight had been “changed due to operational reasons.”

While there was a clear oversight from GoFlySmart, Go First also played a role in the confusion. Even though the tickets were sold to the passengers, the last-minute chaos at the airport could have been avoided had Go First not continued to show their PNRs live on its website. There was no way for the passengers to know that their flight was no longer operating.

The affected passengers also complained that they received no information about compensation, with one of them telling TOI,

“Even after more than 24 hours and multiple complaints there is still no word from them on refund or compensation. They should pay heavy penalty for putting us through such physical and mental agony.”

While such incidents are rare, hopefully, the airline and the booking agents will ensure that such gaps in communications do not happen again.

What are your views on this? Please leave a comment below.

Source: The Times of India


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