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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Fliers fume as SpiceJet flight from Ayodhya to Mumbai faces 9 hour delay

Fliers fume as SpiceJet flight from Ayodhya to Mumbai faces 9-hour delay

Updated on: 28 February,2024 07:08 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prasun Choudhari |

Aviation experts say passengers getting short end of stick these days, allege DGCA is controlled by airlines

Fliers fume as SpiceJet flight from Ayodhya to Mumbai faces 9-hour delay

Passengers have called for better coordination and transparency from airlines in such situations. Representation Pic/Satej Shinde

Key Highlights

  1. Passengers of SpiceJet flight SG 386 from Ayodhya to Mumbai were left stranded
  2. The flight was rescheduled to depart at 7.30 pm
  3. The flight eventually departed at 8.15 pm

Passengers of SpiceJet flight SG 386 from Ayodhya to Mumbai were left stranded at the Ayodhya Airport for over eight hours over a delay, sparking frustration. The flight, which was scheduled to depart at 11.15 am on Tuesday, was rescheduled to depart at 7.30 pm. The flight eventually departed at 8.15 pm. Many passengers have expressed frustration at the lack of information and while some complained that adequate arrangements for meals had not been made, leaving them hungry during the wait. They have called for better coordination and transparency from airlines in such situations.

“I have been waiting here for hours with no clear information on when the flight will depart. It's very frustrating. I had an important business meeting in Mumbai which had to be cancelled due to this. Is the airline going to cover my losses caused by the delay?” asked a passenger.

Girish Kumar Laksh, another passenger, said, “We reached the Ayodhya airport at around 8.30 am. After checking in our luggage, we were told to wait at our designated gate. The flight was already delayed. Around 11.30 am, we received a notification from SpiceJet stating that our flight schedule had been revised and the flight would now take off at 7.30 pm. Why did the airline not reschedule the flight earlier and how was a notification sent after the original departure time?”

He added, “The DGCA [Directorate General of Civil Aviation] needs to take stringent action. The airline officials said that the flight had some technical difficulty but we had booked the flight as we have some important things to do in Mumbai. If they had informed us beforehand, we would have arranged another flight.”

Also Read: Mumbai: 2-hour delay in night flight leaves fliers in distress

He added, “The airline did not even arrange for another flight. Though the CISF was helpful, the airline officials came very late to talk to us and explain the entire situation.” Another passenger said, “I am travelling to Mumbai for a job interview. Luckily, it is scheduled for February 28. The airline does not realise how valuable our time is. It did not even respond to our customer care service emails. The authorities should take stringent action.”

A SpiceJet official said, “Flight SG 386 from Ayodhya to Mumbai is rescheduled to depart at 7.30 pm instead of 11.15 AM on February 27 due to some technical difficulties with the aircraft. We are trying to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

Experts comment

Captain Mohan Ranganathan, an aviation expert, said, “Once a boarding pass is issued to a passenger, the airline is responsible in cases of delays and cancellations. The latter must take care of expenses like arranging for an alternate flight in cases of cancellations and deboarding along with providing refreshments. In such conditions, the regulator is playing into the hands of the airlines and that is why the airlines take undue advantage of the situation. The CAR [Civil Aviation Requirements] has never been enforced in any such cases. Airlines are the ones controlling the DGCA which is why no stringent action is been taken.”

Advocate Yashwant Shenoy, an aviation rights activist, said, “Passengers are losers in India. The DGCA is controlled by airlines and will never come to passengers’ rescue. No passenger would fight a decade-old battle in courts to claim a few thousand rupees. During COVID-19, the DGCA regulated airfares saying that the price wars would take out small companies, but the DGCA never interfered when airfares soared.

He also highlighted flaws in the current system, stating, “The complaints made to DGCA or the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) will not be worth the paper on which it is written. Both know that passengers will not approach the judicial system because it is so slow. The claims that these passengers can make are much less than the amount they will have to spend on their lawyers to pursue the matter to the highest court.”

Expressing the need to formulate new rules, Capt. Mohan Ranganathan said, “It is time the regulators start acting like regulators and enforce the laws. Also, new laws should be implemented which will be more in favour of passengers.”

11.15 am
Time flight was scheduled to depart

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