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What should you do if you have a Vistara flight scheduled?

The last 48 hours have been chaotic for Vistara. The airline had a dismal 51% flights on time on April 01, 2024 and over 60 flights were cancelled. Social media was abuzz with complaint after complaint of delays which were few hours long and last minute cancellations.

Vistara in a statement said that it is facing operational issues with crew availability being one of it and hence has decided to curtail its schedule (HT Photo)

The airline, finally came out with a statement that it is facing operational issues with crew availability being one of it and hence has decided to curtail its schedule with planned cancellations along with deploying higher capacity aircraft like the A321 and the wide body 787-9 Dreamliner on some routes to clear the backlog and avoid cancellations.

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The ministry of civil aviation stepped in and asked the airline to submit a report along with stating that the airline will have to follow all the laid out guidelines for disruptions and delays to ensure passengers are not left hanging.

The upgrade in capacity means that you as a passenger may be accommodated but the flight may not be at the hour when you had booked since such cases involve a cancellation and combination of flights to carry a similar number of passengers with lesser flights.

ALSO READ: Angry Vistara customers confront airline amid chaos: ‘Grandfather on deathbed’

Here is what you should do if you are booked on one of the Vistara flights over the next few days.

Update your details in the ticket

If you have booked a ticket from an offline or online travel agent, check if the details on the ticket are those of you or the travel agent. An IRROPS (Irregular Operations) message will be initiated by the airline and will go to the contact details in the ticket.

While it may reach the intermediary, it will take time to reach you. If the airline has your contact details, you will be the first to know about the change in timing or cancellation, giving you more time to make adjustments to the schedule.

Ask for alternate flights

With the additional capacity being deployed, and in an event where your flight is cancelled, you could be accommodated in one of the alternate flights of the airline. More often than not, asking for it will resolve the issue. This helps you reach the destination, even if its not at your preferred time as booked. Better late than never!

What if you are already at the airport?

If you are already at the airport and there is a delay or a cancellation, the ministry has asked Vistara to adhere to all the relevant rules of the regulator. The rules can be found here. (Flight Delayed: Know your rights as a passenger). While there remains a clause where airlines can call things beyond their control like weather, the operational issues are very much within the control of the airline.

Request for travel by other airlines

Air India and Vistara have implemented “Interline Considerations on Irregular Operations” or the disruption transfer functionality. This enables the two airlines to seamlessly transfer passengers to one another’s first available alternative flights in case of operational disruptions, the airlines had stated in May last year. Both the airlines also have an interline agreement in place leading up to the merger of Vistara with Air India.

Keep checking in advance

If you are booked to fly a particular flight with Vistara, you can use one of the online tools like Google flights to establish an alert for the flight or periodically check if the flight is available for sale. Disappearance from the booking engines would mean either it is full or has been cancelled. A flight status page helps further check if it is scheduled to operate or not.

Tail Note

An airline is run like a tight ship due to the huge costs and the lack of profits for many years in case of Vistara. The circumstances which led to this will have to be investigated and for Vistara and others to learn on what “not” to do to reach this stage of disruption. We are in the early days of summer with the peak summer ahead of us, which is likely to see new highs in traffic.

The airline has not said how long this impact would last and if they have a medium term plan of cutting more flights or if they are taking it one day at a time.

This would definitely have an impact on its future bookings. Immediate fares have not skyrocketed just yet, which is possibly because of limited capacity on offer by Vistara. The airline operated an average of 272 daily domestic departures in February, while it has approval for 332 daily departures in summer schedule which started on March 31, 2024 pretty much on the day the challenges started for Vistara.

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