Polish nationals left in limbo after Kingfisher scraps flights

Oct 12, 2012, 07:24 IST | Bipin Kumar Singh

The two students who are on their maiden Indian trip have been desperately trying to get refunds for a Mumbai-Delhi flight that was cancelled owing to the lockout

The partial lockout in Kingfisher has left a bitter taste in the mouths of two foreign tourists, who are in the city on their maiden Indian tour. The two friends had come to India from Poland on September 23 and were planning an Indian escape. However, the problems at Kingfisher ruined their holiday plans and they have been struggling for the refund of their tickets.

Qkacper Szkudlarek and Katarzyna Stachyra
Grounded: Qkacper Szkudlarek and Katarzyna Stachyra have been running from pillar to post in a bid to get refunds for what they spent on their Kingfisher tickets. They have been promised only Rs 8,000 when they paid Rs 15,000 for their tickets

Polish nationals Qkacper Szkudlarek (25) and Katarzyna Stachyra (23) had landed in Mumbai on September 29. They had made bookings through Kingfisher Airlines to fly to Delhi on October 3. When they reached the airport to continue on their travels, they were left grounded and that’s when their nightmare began.

Recounting the horror, Szkudlarek, a computer science student, said, “We had booked Mumbai-Delhi return tickets two months in advance. On October 3, when we reached the airport to board our flight, we were asked to wait for six hours owing to some technical issues and eventually, our flight was cancelled.

Left with no option, we then booked tickets through another airline for double the price.” Szkudlarek added that the airline has refused to reimburse their entire airfare. “The airline cancelled the flight owing to their own issues. Now, it is not ready to reimburse our money. We were charged Rs 15,000, but we have been told that we would be refunded only Rs 8,000. We are flying back to Poland on Friday. When will we get our money?”, asked Szkudlarek, who has been running from pillar to post to get their refunds.

A guest relation manager from the airline who arrived later, gave written assurance that the amount would be credited to passenger’s accounts within a week.

Kingfisher staff urged to join duty
The CEO of Kingfisher Airlines urged striking employees to return to work as the carrier scrambled to find solutions to its cash flow problems. Shares in the carrier fell 5 per cent, their daily limit, for the eighth straight session on Wednesday as investors lose hope that the airline controlled by Vijay Mallya will get a lifeline from a foreign airline or another saviour. “Without all of you, without exception, coming back to work, we will have no way forward,” CEO Sanjay Aggarwal said in a letter to employees on Tuesday. “We have been working relentlessly to try and rectify this situation, and that too against all odds,” Aggarwal said.

Lockout to continue
The partial lockout of the Kingfisher Airlines is likely to be extended again today. According to sources, the employees of Kingfisher Airlines have made it clear that they will not join back work till they get their salaries.

The employees are also planning to launch further protests as part of their nation-wide agitation against the management for not paying their salaries. 

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