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  5. 'Horrible': Passenger recounts travelling experience with pet on Akasa Air flight, airline replies

'Horrible': Passenger recounts travelling experience with pet on Akasa Air flight, airline replies

A LinkedIn user highlighted the restrictions on pets' movement and the insufficient breathing space provided during the flight.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: January 30, 2024 13:25 IST
Akasa Air
Image Source : FILE PHOTO Representative image

New Delhi: Despite paying Rs 5,000 for a pet ticket, both he and his wife, accompanied by their beloved Shih Tzu, were left disheartened by the lack of comfort and convenience they had anticipated. The experience fell short of their expectations. Lakshay Pathak recounted his January 26 journey from Ahmedabad to Bangalore. He termed it a 'horrible' experience, saying that what he got did not match what the Rs 5,000 pet ticket had promised.

According to the post shared by Lakshya Pathak, the flight was intended to leave at 10:20 pm but was delayed by over three hours and left at 1:40 pm. As a consequence, Pathak and his family endured over six hours of waiting at the airport. Compounding their troubles, the ground staff and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel seemed ill-prepared to address pet-related concerns and provided little assistance.

“The flight that was intended to leave at 10:20 pm left at 1:40 AM. It being our first time with pet travel we reached the airport 3 hrs in advance. So a delay of more than 3 hrs and we have already spent over 6 hrs in the airport. The attitude of the Ground staff and CISF could not have been less helpful. Your staff had no clue about how to handle pet-related queries,” he wrote.

Take a look at the post:

India Tv - Check post

Image Source : SCREENGRABCheck post

'No “special seat” to accommodate for pet travel'

Pathak's ordeal persisted once aboard the aircraft. Despite the airline's promises, there were no provisions made for pets. Additionally, the boarding process itself lasted 40 minutes, during which the cabin became uncomfortably warm due to the lack of activated air conditioning.

"In the flight, the instructions were very different from what’s advertised, be aware.  There is no “special seat” to accommodate for pet travel, not one even the last seat. Boarding took 40mins during which my pet got heated up, we were also sweating because the ACs were not yet switched on. For the first 45 minutes of the flight, my dog kept crying so to console him I placed his container in my lap, so that he is able to breathe I just let his head out for a while. Apparently this is also “not allowed”. The pet at all time is suppose to be near your leg space below the seat and we all know how much space there is. So if the pet is not even allowed to stand on the airport floor or breathe properly in the flight then what is the Pet Ticket for? The torture that was provided?" he said.

"The crew seemed totally devoid of any logic. We were speaking to one stewart who said if I, a passenger on the window seat, kept the pet container on my lap, it would somehow “restrict” the movement of other passengers," he further wrote.

"The steward failed to understand that if a pet is not able to breathe in the container then the only solution is at least let his face out and let him breathe. During the whole flight, I had to forcefully shove my crying pet’s head inside the container multiple times," he added.

Pathak's post gained traction on social media after he tagged Animal Welfare Society India and PETA. Several users urged Akasa Air to enhance its pet travel services and prioritize the welfare of both passengers and animals.

Akasa Air replies​ 

In response to the backlash, Akasa Air expressed regret and promised to follow up with Pathak. “Hi Lakshya, we’ve taken this up with our team, and they will connect with you soon. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to you," Akasa Air replied in the comments.

India Tv - Akasa Air

Image Source : LINKEDINAkasa Air response

Netizens reaction

Many individuals shared their own experiences and opinions regarding the pet travel services offered by airlines.

"This is so painful to read! Being a pet parent myself who dreams of travelling by air someday, this is horrendous! I don't know when India will learn to acknowledge that for a lot of people, our pets are our kids! And it is painful to see them writhe in pain like that!! It's high time, our government takes this cause seriously!! Why can't each airline have a specific flight completely for pet and their parents?? Is it so inoperative? Given so many millennials and GenZ couples have pets, I am sure, we can try this! Pathetic behaviour from Akasa Airline!! They should be ashamed for torturing that little dog so badly!" a LinkedIn user wrote.

India Tv - Netizens reaction

Image Source : SCREENGRABNetizens reaction

Another said, "Very sad to hear about the experience but change the name to any airline it'll all be the same. Let's be honest, not a single airline in our country is equipped to handle passengers properly let alone a pet. I hope there are better guidelines and some common sense to help pet parents."

India Tv - Netizens reaction

Image Source : SCREENGRABNetizens reaction

"That's a long trip... I am sure a chauffeur driven vehicle would hsve been cheaper and less stressful.." said a third user.

“Sad to hear such an instance. My heart goes out to your pet who went through immense torture.:(" said another user. 

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