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Pune firm has a great plan for Jet's 'fauji' customers

April 23, 2019 22:38 IST

The firm, udChalo, is a portal founded by the wards of Army men and it provides for personal travel needs of armed forces, paramilitary forces and their family members.

A Pune-based travel firm catering to personal travel needs of armed forces, paramilitary forces and their family members, on Tuesday said it will refund its customers the amount due from Jet Airways flight cancellations, without waiting for the airline to do the same.

The company did not disclose the quantum of the amount but sources said it would be around Rs 6 crore.

 

The firm, udChalo, is a portal founded by the wards of Army men and it provides for personal travel needs of armed forces, paramilitary forces and their family members.

Its employees comprise military veterans, wards of serving and retired military personnel, and paraplegic and quadriplegic veterans.

"With the global lobbying body, International Air Transport Association (IATA), suspending all ticketing activities and transactions of Jet Airways via its clearing house, the uncertainty over refund of lakhs of customers has only increased," the firm's vice president Col (retd) D B Tingre told PTI.

"Jet Airways has requested travel agencies for refunds through Billing and Settlement Plan account.

But for travel agencies, and all their customers, it will only be a partial solution with further delay in refund to end customers.

"Under such circumstances, passenger woes for refund will keep increasing everyday.

“While most reputed agents are waiting for refund from Jet Airways or clarity on the situation, our small portal from Pune stands out in its commitment towards its customers," Tingre said.

Varun Jain, CEO of udChalo.com and son of a retired Colonel, said, "When you service esteemed customers like the armed forces, everything else becomes secondary when compared with the interest of our soldiers."

Disruption of travel plans due to the cancellation itself is distressing for personnel proceeding home after long stints.

Delays in getting the refund amount while retention of need to make alternative arrangements have added to this distress for the soldiers, he said.

"The company, sensitive to these pain points, has decided to refund its customers for the purpose of alternative flight arrangements without waiting for Jet Airways to refund the amount due from cancellations," Jain said.

The decision comes after a petition was moved before the Delhi high court on Monday, seeking direction to the Centre and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure refund or alternative mode of travel to passengers who had booked tickets with Jet Airways.

Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

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