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Apr 11, 2013 at 10:54am IST

GoAir refused boarding, refund to Leh-bound passengers in 2012: CJ

Delhi: GoAir officials misbehaved and refused boarding to passengers booked for a Delhi to Leh flight, despite valid tickets and bookings. The on-ground staff did not even offer an explanation as to why they were being denied boarding. The passengers were later promised a refund but they are still to receive any money for their cancelled tickets. They were even eluded basic facilities like lodging and travel, which are generally offered after these situations.

Skalzang Dorjay turned Citizen Journalist for CNN-IBN to highlight his plight. On October 26, 2012, Skalzang and his friends got their tickets booked, for a flight from Delhi to Leh, through an agent in Leh, called Ladakh Outdoor Ticketing. They were a group of 18 people traveling together.

When they reached the airport, the GoAir officials asked them to wait since there was a lot of crowd at boarding. The plane was to depart at 8.40 am. An hour before departure, an official came to the group and informed them that they couldn't board the flight. Skalzang's group argued with the GoAir officials asking for reasons for disallowing them from boarding. A few minutes later, 5 out of 18 people in the group were allowed to board the flight. Eventually 8, and finally 15 out of 18 passengers were allowed to take the flight, leaving 3 people behind, including Skalzang.

GoAir said the remaining three could not board and they were left stranded at the airport. The airline took no responsibility of their stay or travel. They were told that their ticket fares would be refunded to them through their agent in Leh, but Skalzang confirmed that he is still waiting for the money. Him, and the remaining 2, had to re-book their tickets at three times the cost of their original tickets.

Skalzang decided to take up a protest, demanding to know why confirmed tickets, booked 5 months in advance, got cancelled and why they were meted out harassment and inconvenience by GoAir officials for no reason. No one on the on-ground staff even cared to give these 3 stranded passengers any reasons as to why they were not allowed to board.

Skalzang wrote to the CEO of GoAir demanding an explanation. He also got in touch with CNN-IBN to take up his cause. When GoAir responded, they said that the DGCA guidelines had been complied with and a refund was sanctioned. But no reason was given for the refusal to board, and Skalzang is still waiting for the money to be returned to him.

CNN-IBN raised the issue to Civil Aviation minister Ajit Singh as well, but he refused to comment.

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