India's national carrier, Air India has been accused of charging more for air tickets from the Indian passengers stranded abroad. The Indian government is repatriating stranded Indians from abroad under Vande Bharat Mission. Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express kicked off the operation from May 7 onwards and have repatriated around 58,867 Indians. But there have been multiple accusations on The Maharaja of charging high ticket fees.
Air India charging a high fuel surcharge
A Twitter user shared a snapshot of the ticket booked by a passenger through Air India's website. The passenger booked a ticket from Delhi to San Francisco and the journey date is June 19. Out of Rs 1,06,379 as total trip cost, the passenger was charged Rs. 26,341 as "Fuel Surcharge."
Twitteratis were quick to highlight exorbitant fees of fuel surcharge at a time when the global oil prices are at an all-time low due to tepid demand amidst COVID-19 lockdown. The break-up also showed that the passenger was already charged for Airline Fuel charge under the Fare section.
On Friday, Air India started phase-3 of the Vande Bharat Mission that resulted in more than crore people visiting the website of the national carrier in the first two hours. In the third phase, Air India will operate around 300 flights to various countries including the USA and the UK. Many passengers have complained of high ticket prices by Air India.
But on Friday, Civil aviation minister, Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, "While rates being charged are not normal commercial rates, they are reasonable when compared to evacuation flights of other countries on the same sectors."
Some people have raised concern about rates being charged by @airindiain for special Vande Bharat flights.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) June 4, 2020
While rates being charged are not normal commercial rates, they are reasonable when compared to evacuation flights of other countries on same sectors.
Here are the facts. pic.twitter.com/KGuciAKjiD
He further added, "Economy fare paid by travelers for evacuation flights organized by the concerned (US) Embassy from India was Rs 3.00 lakhs for Houston. Indians pay Rs 1.03 lakh on India-US sector (flights) under the Vande Bharat mission which is nearly one third.''