Apart from the commonly demanded Ship Packages to visit the exotic Lakshadweep Islands, an alternate mode of travel is by flight from Cochin International Airport to Agatti Airport and from there to Kadmat or Kavaratti Islands. King Fisher and Air India flights are serving between Cochin and Agatti Island.
Recently, the tourists who had booked for the Kadmat / Kavaratti packages were put in a great fix as they knew about the cancellation of their flights only on arrival at the Cochin Air Port. They contacted the office of SPORTS, who operates both the island resorts and informed about the non-availability of flight from Cochin to Agatti and about their resultant inability to reach the resort to occupy the room they had reserved. The tourists, therefore, requested the officials at SPORTS to refund the reservation fee they had made. But the SPORTS officials declined their request and no refund was made to them.
The tourists could not reach the destination only because the flights from Cochin to Agatti were cancelled without prior notice, which was an incident beyond their control. Therefore the action on the part of SPORTS which is a governmental body functioning for the welfare of the public, the tourists in particular, was not at all legal or justified. The unlucky tourists had to return home suffering huge financial loss and mental dismay.
It will be judicious to discuss the issue at appropriate forum and a modest solution be arrived at to settle the cases of recently affected groups. Guidelines may also be issued to handle similar issues in future.
By Travel Agent, Kochi.