Pune: Balewadi resident Dilip Vaidya would have been by now in Toronto, Canada, but is still stuck here.
Vaidya said he was booked on a Vistara flight from Pune to Delhi and then on Air Canada to Toronto on April 19-20. “I have a job in Toronto and my wife and our child (3) were travelling with me. I had spent almost Rs5.75 lakh (around 9,500 Canadian dollars) on tickets and the stay at a hotel in Toronto for a month. Our flight from Pune was at 1:10pm on April 19 and we were to reach Delhi by 3:35pm. In Delhi, there was an eight-hour layover before the flight for Toronto at 12:05am.”
Vaidya said though his wife and he had had valid RT-PCR reports for the trip to Delhi, the documents would have lapsed by a few hours for the travel from Delhi to Canada.
“Tr1ouble started when Vistara representatives said the report would lapse for our trip to Canada. I told them that we would get tested at the Delhi airport. But I was told that such a facility was not available in Delhi,” Vaidya said.
“The representatives suggested that we get tested in the departure area of the Pune airport. They, however, said it would take 24 hours for the report. We were not allowed to board the flight from Pune. I had to cancel my tickets for Canada. After returning home, I called the Delhi airport and was told that they have a testing unit and would provide an RT-PCR report within six-seven hours” he said.
When contacted, a Vistara spokesperson said Vaidya himself refused to board the flight for Delhi. “Given the difficult times we are all facing, Vistara is committed to helping all our customers with factual and verified information while strictly adhering to all the guidelines and SOPs laid down by the authorities. In this case too, our teams had extended all the assistance and relevant information to the customers to ensure they are aware of the regulations that helped them take a well-informed decision,” the airline spokesperson told TOI.