Will Spicejet Fly for Everyone in India?

When Anuj Kumar Boruah, a resident of New Delhi, decided to buy Spicejet air tickets for his four relatives going from Delhi to Guwahati on Oct. 11, he was under the impression that it will be a pleasant journey for all of them.

By Rakesh Raman

Alas, it was not. In fact, Spicejet, which screams “flying for everyone” with its corporate motto, did not even allow these passengers to fly. Reason: They reached just a few minutes late at the airport while there was still more than 30 minutes of time for their plane to depart.         

Their repeated requests to the Spicejet staff at the airport fell on deaf ears and they were not allowed to travel. Then what about the money that Anuj had spent on buying the air tickets? In the pit.

Spicejet refused to refund his money – Rs.13,920 (Rupees thirteen thousand nine hundred twenty only) – when Anuj approached them with an e-mail on Oct. 12.

Obviously, Anuj was perturbed. It was a double blow for him. On one side, his relatives were thrown into a state of utter harassment by not allowing them to travel; and on the other, his money was being gobbled up by Spicejet.

On October 13, 2011, Anuj approached us to take help from our RMN Community Court service. After producing records of his interaction with Spicejet, he said that he is feeling disappointed with the company’s callous response to him.

As the case seemed genuine, our service decided to take it up with Spicejet. On Oct. 13, we wrote an e-mail to the company while explaining about our community court service and requesting for its response on Anuj’s case.

I sent the following questions to Spicejet:

  1. In your Terms and Conditions, you state that “SpiceJet recommends that Guests report for Check-in at least 2 hours prior to the departure of the scheduled flight.” Is your condition justified? In a way, you are asking passengers to report 2 hours before time even for an air travel that could be just for half an hour.
  2. You have also stated that “Check-in closes 45 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of the flight.” But why is it not possible to accommodate passengers if they are just a few minutes late? In this case, passengers had reached 35 minutes before the departure time. Is this time not sufficient to take passengers from the boarding pass counter to the plane?
  3. These are only exceptional cases when passengers reach late because of unavoidable reasons. If the aircraft has not taken off, is it not the responsibility of the airline – as a humane service provider – to accommodate passengers in such rare cases?
  4. As planes get invariably late, there is no penalty on the airline while passengers (consumers) get stranded at airports. But when passengers are a few minutes late, why should airlines put such a harsh penalty on them that they are not even allowed to fly? Don’t you think such indifferent behaviour of a service provider can even result in other irreparable losses to the passengers besides financial loss?
  5. You can add any other point from your side to shed more light on this case and to clarify your standpoint.
  6. Can you please refund the amount Rs.13,920 (Rupees thirteen thousand nine hundred twenty only), as Anuj is demanding – to keep your relations in a healthy state with your customers?

I had also stated that before carrying this case under our RMN Community Court service described above, I would like to have your point of view. You may please send me your response by Monday, October 17, 2011.

But there was no response from Spicejet’s Nodal Officer and the Appellate Authority to whom the e-mail was sent. On Oct. 17, I even sent them a reminder requesting them for response. But they did not reply. Sad but true.

So, we have carried this case in our RMN Community Court service section for consumers to know about the behaviour of some service providers with which they treat their customers.

In today’s harsh economic conditions, airlines world over are leaving no stone unturned to please their passengers. Look at these customer-friendly examples:

United Airlines is ready to put its 787 Dreamliners into service with a view to give customers greater comfort with a slew of passenger-friendly features. (Read: United Airlines’ Dreamliner Getting Ready to Fly)

Delta Air Lines has introduced new in-flight entertainment options for customers as part of its $2 billion investment in the flying experience. (Read: Delta Offers In-Flight Wi-Fi, Entertainment Options)

Spicejet can also learn from these examples to give a better quality of service to its customers. But first it will have to allow them to fly – at least – even when they are a little late.

Will Spicejet respond even now to satisfy its customer, Anuj?

————————————————————————————————————————————————- 

Case Development (Oct. 19, 2011)

When we carried the above case in our RMN Community Court service, Spicejet decided to offer its clarification with the following reply (in bold text) dated Oct. 19, 2011:

Reference- CR/129373/2011
Dear Sir,
PNR:- TB5LDR
Thank you for writing to us.
We regret for the delay in responding to your email.
This is with reference to the above PNR booked for travel on SG 893- Delhi-Guwahati dated 11th October’11
Please note that check-in closes 45 minutes /60 minutes (international) prior to the scheduled departure of the flight. As per our records, the guest never reported at the counter as per scheduled reporting time as a result of which the ticket was declared as No Show. As per SpiceJet’s policy the amount on a No Show ticket is forfeited.
As a goodwill gesture we have refunded the amount of 916 INR to the card xxxx xxxx xxxx 7188 towards the Passenger Service Fee paid on the ticket. The refund reflects within 05 working days on the guest’s account. We would not be in a position to refund the rest of the fare.
Assuring you of our best attention at all times.

Although Spicejet’s response came late, it’s better late than never. But Spicejet preferred to evade our questions mentioned above. Now, is Anuj satisfied with this response? Only he can tell.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Case Development (Oct. 20, 2011)

In an e-mail dated Oct. 20, Spicejet responds to our questions mentioned above. The questions and Spicejet’s response are given below:

With reference to your mail in connection to CR/129373/2011, please help find the inline response as below:

1. In your Terms and Conditions, you state that “SpiceJet recommends that Guests report for Check-in at least 2 hours prior to the departure of the scheduled flight.” Is your condition justified? In a way, you are asking passengers to report 2 hours before time even for an air travel that could be just for half an hour.

Spicejet: Please note that irrespective of the duration of the flight, the check-in starts 2 hours prior to the flight departure time. For each flight, there are hundreds of Guests’ checking in simultaneously. The time limit is set so that all formalities – starting from check-in, security, boarding and flight departure are completed comfortably and on time.

2. You have also stated that “Check-in closes 45 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of the flight.” But why is it not possible to accommodate passengers if they are just a few minutes late? In this case, passengers had reached 35 minutes before the departure time. Is this time not sufficient to take passengers from the boarding pass counter to the plane?

Spicejet: As per Government guidelines, check-in counters at all airports close 45 minutes before departure and hence Guests are requested to plan their Airport arrival accordingly. Once the check-in is over, the other ground formalities need to be completed and then the details need to be compiled and handed over to the authorities for the flight to depart on time. Accepting passengers after this would not be possible.

3. These are only exceptional cases when passengers reach late because of unavoidable reasons. If the aircraft has not taken off, is it not the responsibility of the airline – as a humane service provider – to accommodate passengers in such rare cases?

Spicejet: This was the last flight for the day. We do provide alternate flights on Spicejet only, if available, provided the Guest is ready to pay the additional charges. This is done as an exception only.

4. As planes get invariably late, there is no penalty on the airline while passengers (consumers) get stranded at airports. But when passengers are a few minutes late, why should airlines put such a harsh penalty on them that they are not even allowed to fly? Don’t you think such indifferent behaviour of a service provider can even result in other irreparable losses to the passengers besides financial loss?

Spicejet: Please refer to DGCA link http://dgca.nic.in/cars/D3M-M4.pdf

5. You can add any other point from your side to shed more light on this case and to clarify your standpoint.

Spicejet: Points raised by you have been responded.

6. Can you please refund the amount Rs.13,920 (Rupees thirteen thousand nine hundred twenty only), as Anuj is demanding – to keep your relations in a healthy state with your customers?

Spicejet: As already informed and as per policy the amount paid towards the Passenger Service Fee (PSF) has been refunded. The rest of the amount has been forfeited and we would not be in a position to issue a refund against the same.

Now, RMN Community Court service says that if Anuj wants, he can present his point of view after reading the Spicejet response.

By Rakesh Raman, the managing editor of Raman Media Network.

Other Cases at RMN Community Court

September 2011, Place: Pretoria, South Africa
Cindy Stafford vs. PSI ( Cindy Stafford Demands Her Money Back from PSI )
Click here to know the case details

September 2011, Place: Shanghai, China
Yuan Yipeng vs. IBM ( Why is IBM Angry with Yuan Yipeng of China? )
Click here to know the case details

Case Progress…

September 2011, Place: Shanghai, China
Yuan Yipeng vs. IBMIBM Advised to Treat its People with Humanism in China )
Click here to know the case details

For using the RMN Community Court service, you can send me your case details using my official e-mail or personal e-mail. As this is a global service, the cases can come from anywhere in the world.

Related posts:


Ads will Push Parents to Read with Children
New Energy-Efficient Street Lights to Save Costs
Yahoo! Socializes with Facebook for More Sites
Hasbro’s Mr. Potato Head Celebrates 60th Birthday
Chrysler Jeep to Roll Out Three New Models
Discovery Familia Program to Fight against Obesity
FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands
Nutrisystem Offers to Help You Lose Your Weight
United Airlines Adds Flat-Bed Seating
2015 Honda Fit Unveiled in the Subcompact Class

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


*

HTML tags are not allowed.