The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Forced to pay twice for flight seat
- Systems glitch cited for cancellation, senior flier made to buy fresh ticket

Pay twice for flying once! Krishna Sachdeva, 65, was forced to pay twice for a ticket on an Air Deccan flight from Delhi to Calcutta moments before take-off on October 27. Krishna’s son Naval, a resident of Park Street, has lodged a complaint with the airline.

Air Deccan said Krishna’s ticket, booked in April, got cancelled in July because of some technical error. “A complimentary ticket will be issued to her and the balance refunded,” said an airline spokesperson.

Krishna was travelling with her elder son Naval and his family. “We had purchased our Delhi-Calcutta tickets for October 27 in April,” said Naval. The flight, scheduled to take off at 9.50am, was delayed by 30 minutes.

The Air Deccan authorities sent a text message to the cellphone of Naval’s brother Sanjay (the phone number was given to the airline while Krishna’s ticket was booked), informing him about the delay.

The Sachdevas reached the airport around 8.30pm. They collected their boarding passes and after the security check, boarded the bus on way to the aircraft. “The airline staff did not tell us anything while checking our boarding passes,” recalled Naval.

When the group was boarding the aircraft, an Air Deccan employee came running and told Naval that his mother could not fly as her ticket had been cancelled in July. When Naval claimed that he had not cancelled any ticket, the airline employee blamed the mistake on “a systems error”.

Assuming that the ticket was cancelled, why did the airline send the message about the flight delay to the number mentioned in Krishna’s ticket-booking form' Why did the airline not refund the money after the cancellation' Why was the boarding pass issued to her' The employee had no answers. “I was, instead, asked to pay a fare of Rs 8,445 if I wanted my mother to fly with us,” Naval recalled. Left with no choice, he ran back to the counter, paid the amount and bought a fresh ticket.

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