New Delhi: Shweta, a housewife from New Delhi is terribly disappointed. Her five year old dream of spending the year end with husband and children in Goa has hit a huge roadblock. She had booked the tickets three months ago on SpiceJet. Now the airline is in deep trouble and there is no guarantee that it will fly to Goa during the year end.
Speaking to IBNLive she said, "We had booked four return tickets to Goa for Rs 50, 000 in October. We have also booked a sea side hotel through a travel website. Don't know if the SpiceJet flies to Goa. Even if it takes off, what is the guarantee that it will fly us back? We don't want to take the risk. Our hotel booking can't be cancelled. It has been booked under non-refundable scheme. We have lost more than Rs 80, 000. We are very upset."
Shewta is not the only person who is cursing herself for booking a ticket on SpiceJet. Thousands of people across India are worried about their year end plans after SpiceJet hit the ground. They don't know if SpiceJet will take off during the year end and even if it does, they are not sure if it will fly them back.
Madhu, an executive from Bengaluru says that she had booked a SpiceJet flight to Srinagar on December 20. She has now decided not to take the risk. She said, "even if the flight takes off for Srinagar, I won't go. I don't want to get stuck there. I may lose Rs 30,000."
SpiceJet had lured tens of thousands of travelers by offering cheap tickets to various holiday destinations. The passengers are now chasing the cash-strapped airlines to get their money back.
According to official sources the struggling airlines has cancelled nearly 400 flights since Tuesday. It has sent spot fares soaring and upset vacation plans for hundreds of travellers who had flocked to the troubled airline on its promise of cheap fares.
Goa gets maximum tourists during the year end. The air ticket price from Delhi to Goa has gone up to Rs 30,000-Rs 80,000 during the last week of December. Even Mumbai-Goa and Bengaluru-Goa fare has gone up to Rs 15,000-Rs 40,000 during the same week.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked SpiceJet to refund the airfares of cancelled flights to its passengers. But, the airline is not in a position to do so.
When the full service carrier Kingfisher went bankrupt, tens of thousands of people lost their money. None of them have got their money back.
According to a travel agent in New Delhi, many hotels in Goa, Srinagar, Bengaluru and some other top year end holiday destinations are refusing to refund the hotel booking money to their guests saying that it was booked under non-refundable category.
Most travel agents and travel sites have stopped taking booking for SpiceJet. A travel website executive said, "We have suspended the bookings for SpiceJet. We don't know if the airline manages to survive."
In 2011, Kingfisher ruined the holiday plans of tens of thousands of people. Three years later, it is the turn of SpiceJet to do the same. The year end is going to be bitter for many air travelers.