Air fares soar, travel plans hit as Jet Airways grounds flights
LUCKNOW: As Jet Airways grounded for good its already skeletal fleet at Amausi airport, ticket fares skyrocketed on Thursday to inconvenience hundreds of passengers who had booked their travel in advance.
Businessman A K Mishra, scheduled to fly to Mumbai, said airfares increased five to six times. “I tried booking my trip with another airline, but the ticket prices were a shocker. What normally cost around Rs 3,000 was today priced at Rs 17,000 and above,” he said, adding that he finally decided to cancel his trip.
Like Mishra, several other fliers from Lucknow found themselves in a fix. They either had to abandon their travel plans or pay a premium. Phone lines at various airline and tour agency offices kept buzzing all day as harried people dialled in for help. A section of passengers complained that they received no information about refund of cancelled.
Arunima Kiran Seth, a resident of Indiranagar, had booked three tickets for Pune 25 days ago. She came to know about the grounding of flights when the beleaguered airline sent her a cancellation message as late as Thursday morning. “I had to cancel my plans,” she said, adding that Jet had not refunded her money so far.
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Till February, Jet Airways operated 14 daily flights from the city and ferried around 2,500 passengers. The airline grounded 11 flights in March and remaining three on Thursday. According to an Airports Authority of India estimate, more than 200 passengers were affected on Thursday. The figure is above 8,000 if bookings for the whole of April-May are taken into account.
Sonu Singh of Vikasnagar had booked 15 air tickets to Mumbai for his extended family members who are supposed to attend a wedding next week. “We are left in a tight spot. Train tickets are not available for next week. Travel by road is not much of an option either. We may have to fork out a lot of money to book last-minute seats with another airline,” he said.
Hasan Akhtar, a resident of Chowk, had made two reservations for May 3 and May 23. “The first booking has been cancelled while the other’s status is not showing on the Jet website,” said the frequent flier.
“All my Jet accounts have been locked and the company is not refunding my tickets,” he added.