Our return trip from Mumbai to Chennai was booked on Jet Airways (2020HRS flight). Unfortunately they had cancelled the flight, we got an sms a day before we were supposed to start from Mumbai. Since our hotel was adjacent to the Airport in Mumbai, we went to the Jet Airways Reservation Counter to clarify.
We were informed about the flight cancellation and that we will be shifted to the next flight (2135HRS). We asked if we have any fights earlier and they gave an option to travel by Air India’s (Indian Airlines) flight at 2030HRS, we agreed and our tickets were endorsed.
We realised that the flight was cancelled because of less no. of passengers and Jet didn’t want to waste money in flying an near empty aircraft.
The next day, we arrived at the airport at 1815HRS itself and checked in for the Air India (AI) flight. The Counter Staff were specially courteous. When we boarded the flight at 2010HRS we found that the total no. of passengers was 16 against a capacity of around 170 (20Executive + 150Economy).
We travelled with just 16 passengers on board. I was surprised why AI had not cancelled the flight.
I find it surprising that the Airline officials didnot think it prudent to send the passengers in another flight or club with another sector like Bangalore.
Airline would have save a lot in fuel (precious resource) and cost if it had done so. All it had to do was ensure passengers were comfortable during the delay period and also since the delay will cause problems for some in reaching places from Chennai Airport – it would have arranged for transport from Chennai Airport (Taxi to most places in Chennai cost 200-300Rs – for 16 passengers it would have cost a max. of 5000rs). The cost to the airline would have been less and also the reputation of the airline would also have been maintained (yes, cancellation causes heartburns in passengers – but most will be considerate if they find the airline is making efforts to ensure passengers have minimum discomfort.
Surprisingly when a private airline could combine flights why is the Govt. Airline not doing it in extremely uneconomic conditions. Basically the officials do NOT have the initiative to do such things because unlike in Private Sector their salary is NOT linked to whether their Company makes money or losses. Yes, they will loss their allowances if they don’t fly.
Will this change? Hopefully for the benefit of the country. Precious fuel is wasted, Precious public money is wasted people do not seem to care about it.