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Refunds for cancelled KFA flights awaited, say Israeli tourists

Some Israeli tourists, who had made reservations on Kingfisher Airlines, have said that they have not received refunds for flights cancelled by the Indian carrier.

Jerusalem: Some Israeli tourists, who had made reservations on Kingfisher Airlines, have said that they have not received refunds for flights cancelled by the Indian carrier.

These reservations were made for their travel within India during the forthcoming Passover vacation, one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.

"I was informed about four weeks ago by my travel agent that all the Kingfisher flights I had booked have been cancelled. When I asked them to return the money, they said they are unable to claim the same from Kingfisher," Yair, an India enthusiast from Be'ersheva, said.

"I personally called the Kingfisher office in India. They confirmed cancellation of those flights. However, they said that the money will be returned only to the travel agent when he applies for refund through the 'BSP'. The agent has tried to do so several times in front of me, but Kingfisher's system does not accept the request," he added.

When contacted, the airline spokesperson said, "Today is a holiday. Since all offices are shut today we can only respond tomorrow."

Another Israeli tourist, Ruth, said "The travel agent calls them (airlines) everytime in front of me... When the agent says that the Kingfisher system is not accepting BSP requests, the representatives say they cannot do anything about it."

Nurit Pelli, a travel agent here, said, "Every time we put in a request for refund the response on the BSP system says 'Please note that you are not allowed to issue refund applications for this airline'."

When contacted, ISSTA -- Israel's largest travel agency -- said they have several such cases and have no idea as to how to deal with them.

"We had warned the passengers, but many still went ahead with the bookings. I guess they had enjoyed the Kingfisher experience in the past and were not aware of the recent problems it faces," Aliza, the head of ISSTA office at Ben-Gurion University, said.

ISSTA representatives also showed a lot of emails exchanged with Kingfisher, but no concrete action has been taken by the Indian carrier to return passenger fares yet.

Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines, part of Vijay Mallya-led UB Group, has accumulated a huge debt and its operations have also been affected badly in recent months.

PTI