Below is the text of an Air Deccan statement with regard to a news-channel report
Air Deccan denies allegations made by CNN IBN report
Recent reports on CNN IBN have been "manufactured" to create "sensational journalism". The self proclaimed expose' by CNN IBN is based on limited knowledge, information and lacks any balanced approach. Air Deccan calls for CNN IBN to withdraw all slanderous allegations that Air Deccan overbook. Air Deccan will be conducting an independent investigation to publicly dispute that Air Deccan or its employees have misled customers or is involved in any scam of overbooking.
CNN IBN, in their programme, alleged that:
- Air Deccan deliberately overbooks flights (citing 4 instances)
- Air Deccan staff deliberately slow-down check-in
- This is part of a deliberate strategy to increase revenues.
- On 29th January on DN 763 we carried 170 passengers on board and not 180 as claimed by CNN IBN. On 11th February on DN 763 we carried 150 passengers as against their claim of a full flight. On11th February 2007 152 passengers were carried, on 14th February 2007 - 143 passengers and on 27th February 2007 - 169.
- On 29th of Jan, Air Deccan's check-in counter for DN-763 checked in over 70 passengers between 04:55 am and 05:25 am and over 80 passengers on 14th February 2007.
- Air Deccan reservation system cannot overbook. The system is designed to allocate specific seat inventory to fit the aircraft.
- We had sent CNN-IBN documentary evidence of the above which they chose to ignore. What they have shown as their only evidence is based on some person who they claim stood and manually counted the number of passengers on a flight at a crowded airport like Mumbai.
- We have requested the DGCA to conduct an independent audit into the matter.
- Till 27th of February 2007 we have never had a single instance of overbooking. During our migration to a new robust system we have encountered problems resulting in some issues cropping up after the 27th of February 2007. This has now been substantially addressed.
- My clarification to CNN IBN was only on the issues post 27th of February 2007, which was edited and taken out of context.
- Air Deccan does not overbook its flights. As a low cost airline with the highest load factors in the industry and we certainly do not need to overbook and do not even have a system that allows for overbooking.
- CNN-IBN has rightly pointed out that we do not allow passengers to check in beyond 30 minutes to the departure of flight and they do become no-shows with no fare refund, however the taxes are refunded. This is because of Air Deccan's commitment to deliver the best on time performance and not due to any overbooking as wrongly alleged by CNN-IBN.
- We pay our PSF to the Airport authority and do not jeopardize the safety of our passengers. All passengers traveling on the airline are insured.
- CNN IBN's team is welcome to come and check our documents, which they haven't bothered to do as of date.
- Air Deccan recently has been informed that we have won the coveted "Best Low Fare Airline in India" award constituted by the "Air Passenger Association of India".
- A recent independent survey conducted by Outlook Traveler has rated airline as the best low cost airline in India.
Safety of our passengers
Air Deccan operates to the highest safety standards in India. The fact is that Air Deccan is India's 2nd Largest Airline offering unrivalled customer service at the lowest possible fares. Air Deccan has the highest on-time performance in the country and transports over 700,000 passengers per month safely, on-time, with their bags at the lowest possible fare. Of course to maintain our excellent record of on-time performance our customer must turn up at the gate 30 minutes before departures and Air Deccan urges all passengers to be at the airport 2 hours before departure given the infrastructural constraints at the airports.
Infrastructure at airports
Air Deccan calls upon the government to take immediate action to improve the congestion caused by lack of security staff and x-ray machines causing hundreds of passengers to miss there flights in India each day. By training more staff and allocating more x-ray machine would make an enormous difference to all airlines and can be done within weeks.
We would like our esteemed passengers to share with us their views on such shoddy inaccurate reporting. To share your views please write into firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you for your support.