Akasa Air Faces Backlash Over Poor Pet Travel Experience | Image:Akasa Air website
A LinkedIn user has shared a distressing encounter during his journey with a pet on an Akasa Air flight, describing it as a departure from the promised service included in the Rs 5,000 pet ticket.
Lakshay Pathak recounted his experience on January 26th when traveling from Ahmedabad to Bangalore with his wife and their Shih Tzu. In his post, he expressed frustration over the delayed flight, departing at 1:40 AM instead of the scheduled 10:20 PM, causing them to spend over 6 hours at the airport. The ground staff and CISF were reportedly unhelpful, lacking knowledge on handling pet-related queries. Despite the assurance of a comfortable journey with the Rs 5,000 pet ticket, the reality fell short. Pathak criticized the absence of facilities for pets to relieve themselves at the airport and highlighted uncooperative staff. Boarding the flight brought further disappointments, as there was no designated “special seat” for pet travel, contrary to advertised information. The boarding process, taking 40 minutes, resulted in discomfort for both passengers and the pet due to the delayed activation of the air conditioning.
Pathak accused the flight crew of unprofessionalism, lacking empathy for the passengers and their pet. He also raised concerns about restrictions on pets’ movement and inadequate breathing space. Additionally, he questioned the conditions in the cargo holds for pets, given the subpar conditions observed in the cabin.
His post gained traction on social media after tagging Animal Welfare Society India and PETA, sparking calls for accountability and remedial action. Online users urged Akasa Air to address the identified flaws in its pet travel services, emphasizing the importance of passenger satisfaction and animal welfare.
In response to mounting criticism, Akasa Air commented, “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.”
Air Akasa responds further saying, “At Akasa Air, we have carried over 2,500 pets and have well-defined protocols related to the carriage of pets on board to ensure the safety of customers and crew members, which remains our priority. From the inception of Pets on Akasa, we have established a partnership with the Umeed for Animals Foundation. This collaboration ensures that we receive expert advice and guidance on best practices, guaranteeing a seamless, safe, and pet-friendly travel experience for our valued customers and their pets. Needless to mention, we have taken note of passenger feedback and will take any additional measures that may be required towards building even greater efficiency, comfort and ease into our services.”
One LinkedIn user commented, “That’s a long trip… I am sure a chauffeur-driven vehicle would have been cheaper and less stressful.” Another user remarked, “Only if they considered your pet as a living being rather than an animal, they would have been treated better but alas, empathy and kindness are not taught in a classroom.”