Where is my flight? Refund? not taking Air Asia again!!

I was traveling to home, Phephana (8-10 Hours Bus Journey from Jaipur) from Bangalore and back in February 2015. I asked a friend, who is travel agent to Book air tickets for me, we booked the following Air Asia flights:

Onwards:

Air Asia(India)
I5-1722
Departure: Bangalore
13 Feb 2015 16:30 Hrs
Arrival: Jaipur
13 Feb 2015 19:05 Hrs

Return (Which was cancelled, as of today (4th March) I am waiting for refunds):

Air Asia
I5-1723
Departure: Jaipur
Thu, 19Feb, 20:45 Hrs
Arrival: Bangalore
Thu, 19Feb, 23:05 Hrs

I was supposed to be in Bangalore by 19th February, so that I could attend my PhD review meeting on 20th morning, but I got SMS saying Air Asia I5-1723 (19th Feb) was cancelled when I boarding bus to Jaipur from Delhi. The SMS had Air Asia (India) customer care number 18605008000, which more like music station, me and my friend (who booked ticket) got bored hearing their music and but could not talk to any of their customer care representative in about 30-40 attempts to book an alternate flight or initiate refund process.

Luckily, I was in Delhi and could book another flight from New Delhi and reached Bangalore next day morning, but missed my meeting :(. Air Asia horror started as I went to Air Asia counter at Bangalore Airport to know refund process. The person at counter, as ignorant as one could get, did not even listen and showed a placard with all the instructions on it.

According to their site and information on placard, I filled their e-form (http://www.airasia.com/in/en/e-form.page) which says they will get back within 5 working days. During the process I took the help from their live chat, who was also rude in replies and signed off in midway.

The auto-generated reply of e-form was an empty mail with subject “Case Acknowledgement – CAS-10625002-HFL3VH CRM:0001432“. It was on 21st February and I am yet to receive any communication from Air Asia, except some standard replies on Twitter embedded below (Full thread here).

Onward journey experience was not as worse as the return, flight took off but after making me think that I should head back to hostel and miss my cousin’s wedding:

Air Asia Baggage Counter at Bangalore Airport was crowded as staff did not know if flight is delayed or cancelled.
Air Asia Baggage Counter at Bangalore Airport was crowded as staff did not know if flight is delayed or cancelled.

I reached Bangalore Airport ~1530 Hrs and see/hear the following:
Air Asia I5-1722 is cancelled/delayed, Air Asia staff were clueless. I heard one of the passenger arguing with the staff, who had booked alternate flight for 42k, few others had opted refunds, even though flight was not cancelled.
Then there was an announcement, Air Asia I5-1722 is delayed by ~2Hours.. OK fine with me, I could still catch a bus from Jaipur which would reach my home in wee hours next morning.
Security check done, boarding gate # announced, departure time/gates changed multiple times, before Air Asia I5-1722 took off at about 2010Hrs i.e. about 3 hours of delay. This much delay was enough to force me spend night in Jaipur and take bus at 0600Hrs next morning, when I should have been at home.

Finally I reached my village, Phephana, 1500Hrs next day, making total journey time of approximately 24 Hours, which is about 42 Hours in train with very less fare.

With above experience, I will think multiple times before booking an Air Asia flight, may be I will not choose, even if I save some money.

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