Travellers planning to board flights may end up facing an array of problems with their travel. The article below discusses some common issues with reference to flights to India that travellers may face and how to handle the situation to mitigate the loss.
Every year hordes of British nationals plan long-haul travel from London to India and book cheap flights for the same. However, not many travellers are aware of, and often overlook the fact that a scheduled airline ticket only guarantees them a journey to their final destination but does not assure the time, date, service on board, mode of transport, type of seat, carrier or route, including stopovers.
Air travel may entail several hiccups that may show up even before embarking upon one’s journey or during the journey that travellers can hardly foresee. With flights to India as our reference point, take a look at some common scenarios as well as general tips on what travellers can do for a gratifying flying experience.
Misplaced or Lost Flight Tickets
Arriving at the airport and realising that the most important travel documents like passport, tickets, etc have been misplaced or lost, or forgotten at home is not unheard of! Though travellers cannot board their flight to India without a passport, they can surely get an alternative if they misplace their flight ticket. Almost all airlines issue e-tickets now-a-days. Travellers who have misplaced their e-ticket printout may simply take the print from any business centre or internet kiosk available at the airport by accessing their emails. They can also simply quote their eticket number, if they are carrying the same, to get the boarding pass as most airlines do not need passengers to carry the print out. Saving the eticket number in one’s mobile or PDA device is a wise thing to do!
A case of denied boarding can result from many factors – usually discrepancies in the travel documents such as visa or the e-ticket, incorrect name on the ticket being one of the most common one. Passengers must know that a minor typographical error in the name on the ticket which does not result in a distinctly different pronunciation of the name may be easily sorted out by the airline at the airport; however the procedures to handle such an issue vary across airlines. Airlines may even levy a charge to correct the name in case of minor errors. In case of major errors the ticket may need to be cancelled and reissued which may incur extra cost due to last minute booking.
Surprise layovers often cause inconvenience to travellers and one’s efforts to painstakingly book non-stop cheap flights to India for a holiday tour may be ruined. Many, but not all, airlines may be able to put the complaining and furious passengers on the later flight. However, this is subject to airline’s condition of carriage and the availability of seats. In worse cases, it may also result in long and unnecessary wait at the airport. Passengers reserve the right to claim a full refund and complain to the higher authorities and seek compensation for any loss or inconvenience if the matter could not be resolved as per their expectations.
Cancellation of tickets without information is a common complain that air travellers make. Such a cancellation can ruin a well planned holiday tour of leisure travellers. In such cases the airline must figure out the reason for the problem and if found to be at fault, the airline is liable to accommodate the passenger on same flight or another earliest flight. However, such an accommodation is subject to availability. In any case, the passengers must insist for seat on the same flight to save the efforts that they made to net cheap flights to India from getting ruined.
Bumped from the Flight
Airlines often sell more flight tickets than the number of seats available to avoid flying with vacant planes. Due to overbooking, a small number of travellers might get bumped off their flights even if they have confirmed bookings. Under such circumstances, airlines seek volunteers to renounce their seats for the bumped travellers to be accommodated. The travellers who voluntarily give their seats for next flight are greeted with some great deals from the airlines that may even at times include an upgrade, meal voucher, etc!
Minimum connecting time (MCT) is the single most important factor to consider while booking connecting flights. Airlines do not usually err with MCT but delayed operation of flights is a common issue. Both factors may cause a missed connection and tremendous inconvenience. In any case, the airline must get passengers accommodated on the next earliest flight apart from looking after passenger’s basic needs during the prolonged wait at the airport. Passengers can claim full refund, or compensation from the defaulting airline. However, airlines may decline to accept liability if the two flights were booked with separate carriers. For example, passengers missing their British Airways connecting flight due to late arrival of Jet Airways flight on first leg can only expect some assistance from BA but not a full refund or compensation, which should be claimed from Jet Airways.