Air India — inconvenience & harassment during transit
I traveled from Riyadh to Chennai by Air India on 24th June 2009. I had booked my ticket through Yatra online. My flight itinerary was mentioned as Departure from Riyadh at 17:40 and Mumbai arrival at 23:55 and again the flight from Mumbai at 01: 15 and arrival at Chennai at 03:00. When I arrived at Riyadh airport at 14:45 to check-in I was surprised to know that there was no flight scheduled at 17:40 and the actual time of the same flight was only at 18:20. Then again I was shocked to learn I will not be able to board the connecting flight at Mumbai as per my ticket. Moreover while I was still waiting in the long queue to check-in, to everyone's annoyance, the flight's departure time was changed to 20:15 (delayed by 2 hours). Even the airport manager could not tell me when will be my connecting flight to Chennai. How are we supposed to make arrangements to receive us when no one knows when will I be able to board the next flight at Mumbai! After waiting for 5and half long hours at Riyadh airport atlast I boarded the flight. Unfortunately, I did not suspect more trouble awaiting me at Mumbai! I had 3 baggages checked-in totaling to 40kgs. When I reached Mumbai I was asked to collect all my baggages and informed that I will have to check-in again at the domestic airport and also that I will have to wait for 4 and half hours again to catch the next flight to Chennai! With all the baggages again I went from the international airport to the domestic terminal. The worst part was when I had to check-in my baggages the airlines person objected to allow my bags and said they in excess by 10kgs and asked me to pay Rs. 750/- as fine. This was really disgusting because I had baggage only within my permissible limits for international passengers and that man refused to consider me as an international passenger. He said that it was a domestic flight and I was suposed to carry only 30kg. I showed him my international ticket which clearly stated that I am entitled to travel from Riyadh to Chennai. He was so adamant and put me into too much of stress. It was getting delayed for the flight which added to my tension. Then I had to unpack all my baggages, forcibly throw away many items and worst come worst unknowingly lost one of the valuable item while unpacking and repacking! And I was unable to do everything alone in such a great hurry so I had to engage a helper (porter - an additional expenditure!) and could not even monitor what was happening around me! In a great hurry as I was in I could not rearrange my things in a proper fashion so atlast they reached home broken, damaged, squeezed and ultimately became a complete jumble of waste!!! Whom am I supposed to blame despite abiding by the airlines rules I was put under undue suffering and harassment which made my flight journey a great disaster! How will anyone like Air India and how will run on profit when it cannot win the hearts of passengers? Definitely, I will never go through this horrible experience again by traveling by Air India and will never recommend or even suggest it anyone known to me!
Now My complaints are:
1) Why dont the airlines display the correct time on the e-ticket issued?
2) Why dont they adhere to the scheduled time? (I heard that the flight from Riyadh very often departs only after 2-3hrs of delay!)
2) Why dont they atleast inform the passengers the reason for the delay in flight timings? (Atleast try to justify the undue delay!)
3) Why dont they update informations online so that passengers can plan and check-in at an appropriate time and not sit at the airport for unduly long hours?
4) There is no convenient reclining couches at Mumbai where passengers can wait for long hours especially at night. This makes flight journey worse than travel on road!
5) When air ticket is purchased from one point to another and when there is a transit involved it is highly irrational to make the passengers collect their baggages in between! This creates immense inconvenience to passengers and accounts only to the irresponsible attitude of the airlines.
6) Why on earth persons at the counter to check-in know the rules and regulations of their own airlines properly? There is a difference in maximum allowed baggage between national and international passengers.
7) For no fault of mine my journey time + waiting time which should have been 9 hours became 15:30 hours!
8)Who is supposed to bear the cost of damages and loss of my valuable articles all of which was caused by the irresponsible attitude of your officers who do not know your own airline's rules properly?
I repent over my mistake of traveling on Air India when I had the best option of direct flight from Riyadh to Chennai in Saudi airlines which would have been just 5:30 hours! I understand it never pays any good in India to be a PATRIOT!
And moreover for your kind information, I have all the necessary documents to sue Air India in the consumer court and claim for all the damages and inconvenience caused!
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