The court has directed the airline to reissue the tickets of the plaintiffs as per their schedule
Srinagar: Patiala High Court, New Delhi today gave an order in favour of hundreds of passengers from across India, majority from Kashmir, who were taken aback when they received an email from Oman Air, national airline of Oman based at Muscat International Airport had asked them to pay around Rs 39,000 instead of Rs 3,900 days after they had booked their tickets during its ‘promotional fair’ on India’s Republic Day.
Around 16 Kashmiri passengers have sought the court’s help after they had booked tickets from Oman Air to visit Tehran, Iran.
According to them, on January 26, 27, 28, the airline’s website and various other portals including Yatra.com had caught their attention due to the offer on Delhi-Tehran-Delhi flight.
Most among them intended on going to Iran for an annual pilgrimage. They availed the offer for around Rs 6,700 to Rs 7,500.
Days later, on February 4, even after receiving the PNR number, they received an email from the Airline asking them to either get a refund or pay around Rs 39,000 more to board the flight. Reason being: “a technical glitch.”
Before the court could order anything, the airline cancelled the tickets. However, it is in trouble for doing it without informing the passengers.
“Usually, Oman Air doesn’t directly go to Tehran. It goes via Muscat. And it takes around Rs 26,000 to travel to and fro. They had done it to get people to book the tickets. Otherwise, no one would have preferred to go via an indirect flight at the same cost, in fact, more,” says Syed Nadeem Shah, a resident of Sumbal who had booked a ticket for him with many of his relatives.
After a civil suit has been filed against the airline for a mandatory injunction, the court had discussed the matter on an urgent basis as the flights ought to take off from February 8.
“There were basically 250 people who approached us. But, we got signatures from only 16 and there are many more. The airline is clearly cheating them. The Court immediately issued a notice to Oman Airlines and called them for an urgent hearing on February 8, at 10 am given that fact that some passengers were supposed to travel on Feb 8 in the second half of the day,” informs Advocate Uzma Ashraf, who along with Advocate Amandeep Singh, is a plaintiff in the case.
She says that on behalf of the passengers they had requested an injunction on the tickets so the airlines do not consider them invalid on the day of the flight.
The summon was issued by the court to the airlines and portals like Yatra.com, she says.
“The passengers have made a group and majority among them hail from Kashmir. The issue of 16 people who approached me has been resolved. But some could not send their signatures and some don’t know that the notice has been issued. They also might get refunded,” she says.
From the airlines, no one had come to the court. However, Adv. Uzma says that she personally went to serve the airline the summon. “Six members were to fly on Feb 8 at around 2 o’clock. Otherwise, normally the court gives time to the defendant as the notice take three days to reach him/her.”
“In view of these facts and circumstances, defendant No. 1 (Airline) is directed to reissue the ticket of the plaintiffs as per their schedule,” reads the order issued by Civil Judge Nupur Gupta. It further reads that the flights for plaintiffs who were supposed to travel today were asked to be rescheduled. In case, the airline is able to prove that there was an error, the plaintiffs shall be liable to pay the balance amount to the airline.