Indian Airlines – Faulty (and Fradulant?) Online Booking

Update – 8th Oct 2007 – They finally decided to add a notification to the PNR asking the name to be read correctly. Took close to a month but i must say i am happy it worked out. If they can reduce their “turnaround” time in issues such as these it would go a long way as far as customer service is concerned.

Indian Airlines seems to be leaving out important information on its “fare rules” for some reason. My personal opinion, further fortified by talking to airline officials at their office at Safdarjung in Delhi would suggest that they might just be doing it to make money. This is how it all came into light.

My wife booked two tickets on Indian Airlines for Hyderabad for December. Immediately afterwards she took the printouts and realized an error – The surnames were supposed to be Shukla and Banerjee , the printout read Shukla on both…and there was a strong possibility that this was not an error on her part but a software glitch on the website.

We called the customer care guys who informed us that the tickets were non-refundable which had not been mentioned on the site. We visited the office as well , and were again told that they are non refundable tickets i..e only taxes are returned which roughly translates into a loss of 50% . We asked them to show us where this rule was mentioned on the site – supposedly in the fare rules – but there is infact no mention at all.

Take a look at the following screenshots – In the first one you will notice that the “class” allotted is H , the second screenshot is of the Apex fare rules where no “H” class is mentioned – Just something called D-14.

indian2.jpg indianrules1.jpg

Here’s the killer – According to IA – D14 means H – how is a normal customer supposed to figure this out…even if the fares rules are read, which mostly are not – where is the information to connect the two and i am wondering how many people might have got mislead by this. I just put the phone down after speaking to someone in their office to re-confirm and the even the initial Customer executive did not know D-14 was H class…so much for that!

Since then a fax has been sent to the GM’s office, day to day status inquiries have been made but no luck – currently IA’s got us running around despite having multiple options

1. Notification on PNR indicating that Shukla should be read as Banerjee

2. New ticket to be issued with correct name.

3. Refund.

Fingers crossed, with a GM who seems to be on leave everyday and managers who fall off to sleep in the middle of a conversation i am not going to be optimistic.

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