MUMBAI: An Air India passenger, stranded in India, trying to fly back to Toronto, has spent nearly Rs 6 lakh to buy two economy class seats on a Delhi to Toronto repatriation flight.
On May 14, after booking for Toronto flights began, Nidhi Kasliwal called up Air India (AI) customer care. “The staff said I cannot use the Rs 1.5 lakh lying in credit with AI from an earlier booking for April 2 Delhi-Toronto flight,” said Kasliwal.
AI doesn’t refund flyers for Covid cancellations; it credits the amount for later use. “But the staff refused to use the credit and hung up. As tickets were going fast, I booked afresh but the payment link failed,” said Kasliwal. She paid Rs 2.15 lakh, but got no tickets. “I kept trying AI’s call centre and then made a third booking with Rs 1.96 lakh. In all I spent Rs 5.6 lakh,” she said.
An Air India spokesperson said the passenger called on May 14 “before booking systems were updated and Toronto was included in the schedule…”. Told about a call centre staffer saying credit amount cannot be used to book repatriation flights. Air India did not comment on that.