India’s news channel CNN-IBN has revealed how low cost airline Air Deccan “takes the passengers for a ride”. (3/21/2007)
According to the CNN-IBN team, it was found that “off-loading passengers seems a part of Air Deccan’s daily routine.”
The channel spoke to airline’s chief operating officer Warwick Brady in Bangalore and asked him if the airline was duping passengers and was resorting to a petty strategy of bending rules to make a fast buck that leaves passengers stranded, Brady termed the report as “sensational journalism.”
The channel (according to its website) questioned: Is it fair to be charging passengers them for coming one or two minuets late as the investigation reveals?
“Air Deccan is a public company and prior to February 27, we had no overbooking policy. Our system, which was in place, serves Air India Express and we are completely open to press,” Brady reportedly said, adding, “After February 27 we migrated to a very robust system where during the migration we had some overbooking. And we dealt with those passengers by offering them compensation and putting them on the flight. But prior to that which I think this report was made, is undeniably sensational journalism to say we overbook out flights.”
“Since I have been there over the last 18 months, the only way to get an airline on time in the last four weeks, we have been 90 percent within 15 minutes” he reportedly said.
However, the channel reported: “However, the report shows that an airport manager as well as the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official as saying that Air Deccan staff deliberately slows down the queues. There is a single counter open therefore actually making passengers report in late to the check in counter.”
When asked if Air Deccan had investigated that at all, Brady said, “We have no shows everyday. There are about 20 or 30 per Metro airport. We tell the passengers that they have to be on the counter 30 minutes before check in before the flight departs.”
He assured that they have investigated the charge of staff deliberately delaying.
“But there is no reason why any staff prior to February 27 or even now would deliberately delay the check in. When I met the government officials and airport authority chairman on Monday, we discussed how there were no enough extra machines, no CISF staff. We have applied for more counters in every airport,” Brady added.