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Vietjet harassment of veterans, call for debarring the airlines

By Priti Prakash | PUBLISHED: 05, Jan 2023, 16:31 pm IST | UPDATED: 19, Jan 2023, 21:52 pm IST

Vietjet harassment of veterans, call for debarring the airlines New Delhi: A case of harassment, inefficiency & unethical practices against Vietnam’s private carrier Vietjet was registered by a Indian Armed Forces veteran who recently travelled from New Delhi to Bali, Indonesia via Ho Chi Minh for a year end holiday sojourn. A complaint has been lodged with Vietjet, DGCA and the Travel company. Holding Decent Travels equally responsible for the mismanagement and misguiding on a more than 10 hrs journey the passenger is in a state of feeling cheated and fleeced.

As a group of veterans (around 8 couples) flew from New Delhi to Bali via Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam on a pre booked Vietjet flight, with pre booked meals, the passenger soon found himself in a hussle when the check in counter at IGI refused to give the couple (Colonel Anil Suri & his wife) the Boarding pass if they did not pay up for the meals. On paying the said amount of Rs 7297, they were not provided meals on the flight to & fro. Col Anil Suri has also complained about their missing luggage of the entire group travelling together on the same flight to Bali. They could only get their luggage after a wait of 5 hours at the Bali Denpesar Airport. Asking for a refund & calling it ‘the payment surreptitiously forced upon me - something akin to extortion/blackmail stating that 'boarding pass shall not be issued until I pay',  in his complaint to DGCA & Vietjet Col Suri writes,

‘I travelled on a holiday to Bali (from Delhi) as part of a group of Armed Forces Veterans through Vietjet Airlines. Bookings were done through an Agent Decent Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd, Delhi with one of us representing our group. Choice of Vietjet as airlines was that of the Agent and we had no say in the same.

Through this email I am making a formal complaint against Vietjet Airlines in my personal capacity. The same may kindly be pursued promptly to avoid harassment to other customers from India.

‘Pre-Journey, we were asked by the Agent to book our seats based on the flight tickets. Inspite of my best efforts I could not book the same as some other colleagues of our group. I made a final try on 21 Dec but the Payment Gateway at Vietjet website declined the transaction. Neither did I receive any communication from Vietjet nor any prompt on their website about confirmation/otherwise of my seat bookings.

Vietjet also did not have a provision of any web check in for our flights. Hence, when we reached Delhi Airport were to check-in afresh.

At Delhi Airport on 23 Dec, 2022 with a long queue at the Vietjet counter, when our turn came to check-in we were told by the counter staff that there was pending payment against our name (incidentally all the payments had been made in advance to the Agent). At the payment counter there were more clients like us. On our turn the staff was helpless to provide any break-up of the payment. We were charged INR 7297/ and were verbally told that this was towards seats and meals for both of us and included Return Journey. On my insistence some seat numbers were noted on that Receipt but the Receipt was vague towards other expense.

When we went back to the check-in counter, the Staff mentioned that the seats were already allotted. Some other seats were allotted to us. The time wasted and harrassment suffered due to such opaque, unfriendly and uncoordinated procedure left us exhausted and tense to catch the flight.

Flight 896. (New Delhi to Ho Chin Minh) No meals served, water on payment.
Flight 893. (Ho Chi Minh to Bali) Meals served to us and other members of our group, water on payment.

At Bali Airport on 24 December, the luggage of all our group members never reached Bali in our flight. There was neither any Vietjet staff to provide information, leave aside any support. We reported luggage loss at the counter. The luggage finally arrived after a wait of harrowing 5 hours in the evening.

On Return journey at Bali Airport 30 Dec, on reaching the Vietjet Counter all the other members of our group, except my wife and myself, were asked to pay for meals (inspite of the Agent telling us that he had made payment for all the meals). I presumed that the payment that we had made at Delhi was authentic and catered for our return journey. We were to receive shock later.

Flight 848. (Bali to Ho Chi Minh) No meals provided to any member of our group including us (lots of commotion in the flight). Water on payment.
Flight 895. (Ho Chi Minh to New Delhi)  No meal provided to my wife and myself while other colleagues of ours received meals. I made an inflight complaint to which I have not received any response from Vietjet.’

Col (Retd) Anil Suri has charged Vietjet of failing to meet international standards, displaying human rights violations, devoid of sensitivity and promoting arrogant culture, promoting unethical practices & Vietjet’s policies, processes and operations unfriendly, cumbersome and non-inclusive.

Asking for a compensation of Rs 10 lacs for the agony, mental stress, unnecessary harassment and public embarrassment caused to his wife and himself, Col Suri hasn’t yet received any answer from DGCA. Meanwhile in reply to his mails Vietjet’s Customer Care has called the case as that of misunderstanding insisting that 7 meals were booked by him on Vietjet flights for which no payment was made.
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