Stranded Expatriates in UAE left disappointed as India tickets go on sale


Stranded Expatriate Indians in UAE, who were trying to purchase their tickets on the nine new repatriation flights, booking for which opened on Friday, were left disappointed as they either missed the chance or faced a glitch.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai had announced the addition of nine flights from Sharjah to various south Indian destinations under the Vande Bharat Mission on Friday morning and the sale of the tickets was open from 4pm.

Some Indians later in the evening posted on the Twitter page of the mission that all tickets were sold out soon, while some others stated that they faced some technical issues in purchasing the ticket online.

One post said: “Within few minutes tickets are sold. There are thousands of people stranded and few flights are not enough. Please add more flights or give permission to additional UAE airlines. We are struck here without job, money and 1 or 2 flights not enough. Please help us.”

Another tweet claimed that within three minutes all the tickets was sold out.

Tagging the consulate and Air India, a third tweet said: “I tried to book the ticket to Coimbatore. Amount deducted and ticket is not confirmed. Please refund the deducted amount ASAP.”

The tweet added: “@airindiain it is showing declined at payment gateway. tried multiple times. same issue.”

One resident said he tried to book a ticket from 4pm, but could not complete it for two hours.

“Not accepting payment and informing that, “there are some issues with processing, please try again a while”. Please check and advice,” he tweeted, tagging the consulate and the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Sources said the airline was looking into the complaints.

“All Indian nationals are advised to take note of direct sale of Air India Express flights from Sharjah. Following flights will be opened for sale effective 4pm UAE Time on July 3. Make sure to book your tickets once the sale is live,” the Indian Consulate had stated on Twitter earlier in the morning.

The flights scheduled to operate from July 9 to 14 are flying to Madurai, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruchirappalli, Kochi and Hyderabad.

“Indian nationals registered with the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi or the Consulate-General of India in Dubai, fulfilling the required entry conditions can book through Air India Express booking offices or online on or through authorised travel agents in the UAE,” the statement with the flight details posted on Twitter said.

“Mentioning of correct passport number and contact number is important. Otherwise tickets can be cancelled or boarding pass may be denied,” the Indian Consulate said.

While 75 per cent of tickets are open for sale, 25 per cent are reserved for those with emergency cases handled by the missions.