Airlines want cash to carry stranded Kingfisher passengers

As the Kingfisher Airlines crisis ended the third day on Tuesday – with 15 flights from Mumbai and 40 across India being cancelled – other airlines have started refusing to fly the stranded Kingfisher passengers without upfront payment.

This is contrary to the standard practice among airlines, which have a reciprocal arrangement to carry each others' passengers in emergencies, with the dues being settled later. Instead, on Tuesday morning, Kingfisher staffers in Mumbai were seen paying cash to book tickets on other airlines for the passengers whose flights were cancelled.

According to The Economic Times, senior officials of both Air India and Jet Airways confirmed the development unofficially.

Passengers find themselves in a fix. If their Kingfisher flight is cancelled, they would have to pay another airline for a fresh ticket before they get a refund from Kingfisher.

President of the Air Passengers Association of India D Sudhakara Reddy said that in the past three or four days, there have been many instances of passengers making online bookings but not getting acknowledgement or confirmation from Kingfisher.

"Here's a case where the world knows that the accounts of Kingfisher Airlines have been frozen by the IT department. Why would anyone take the risk? And ultimately it is passengers who suffer. They will have to shell out much more for a spot air ticket," ET reports Reddy as saying.