Airlines Prejudiced Towards Kashmiris?


I had booked a ticket in SpiceJet from Jammu to Srinagar, for the 18th of February and wanted to reschedule the same. The tense atmosphere prevailing in the state had me fear for my safety. 

I was talking to a SpiceJet customer executive regarding my need to make changes in my booking and tried to explain to the agent, named Divya, that the situation wasn’t safe for me to leave for the airport because during my previous attempts, I was targeted by mobs and was saved by a whisker. My plea to make changes to my reservation were ignored and my call was transferred to the senior authorities. I conveyed my concern to them and I told the man on the other side that moving around during a curfew was very risky, especially for a Kashmiri like me, since we were the apparent targets of the rioting mobs. 

To my dismay my call was placed on hold about fifteen times and after all that waiting, I was told that the group booking couldn’t be changed. I asked him if he can split my PNR and provide a separate booking, but my request was rejected. Even a refund, full or partial was denied. They wasted two hours of my time by constantly transferring my call and keeping me on hold just to tell me that nothing could be done, for the cancellation period was over. 

I have recorded the entire conversation for proof and I’m in the hope that uploading it on social media will help bring me justice. A person called Rakesh, was flying through the same sector and was under my group’s booking. He had supposedly expressed the same concerns and his flight was rescheduled in no time. This sort of favourable treatment is unethical. The only thing different between him and me were our identities. I was a Kashmiri Muslim and he was a Hindu. From what I heard, he wasn’t even charged a modification fee. I was informed that they couldn’t meddle with group bookings due to their policies but it’s surprising how they were able to make such an exception. 

Usually the fare from Jammu and Srinagar, isn’t more than INR 3000 but I spent INR 11,000 to book a flight and SpiceJet’s insensitive response to my requests, seems to be a product of some sort of inconspicuous prejudice.

Physical aggression on the road and passive aggression here, there seemed to be no difference between the ravaging mobs and SpiceJet’s customer service. 

I am proud to be Kashmiri but ashamed to have been associated with organizations that hold such negative notions against Kashmiri Muslims. 

I hope that peace comes soon to the oppressed Kashmiris.

Hakim Wajahat


Flight SG 964 

[email protected]

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