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Viva Air travelers were left without answers at Benito Salas

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Viva Air travelers were left without answers at Benito Salas

Passengers who had a flight scheduled yesterday Thursday at 8:45 in the morning from Neiva to Cartagena with the airline Viva Air, were waiting for a response from the airline and the aeronautical authorities about who is going to answer for the tickets or the value of them. Entire families were left with the illusion of traveling.

Users of the airline resident in Neiva, began to live the drama before the indefinite suspension of the operations of the low-cost airline Viva Air. Passengers, who had a scheduled flight at 8:45 AM, from the Huilense capital, had to wait for hours for a response from the airline, which never came.

The Neiva air terminal in the early hours of the day was cordoned off by the public force and there were restrictions to enter it. The presence of the Ombudsman’s Office made it open in a more normal way.

The travelers drama

About 150 people were expected for yesterday’s flight, of which a little more than 50 arrived to try to find an answer or to be boarded on the other airlines as one of the alternatives offered. However, this last option meant an additional value for travelers that in many cases exceeded up to 100% of the value per trip.

Diario del Huila, listened to several of the frustrated travelers who were going from one place to another in the Benito Salas Airport, hoping to find more than an answer, a solution to their need to travel. Most of them were groups of friends or companies and even entire families who had planned a trip to the North Coast in advance.

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Liliana Andrade, a young professional from the health sector, with a group of colleagues from the municipality of La Plata, said that they had scheduled a trip to Cartagena since November of last year, which they began to carry out this Thursday morning. with departure from Neiva at 8:50 in the morning and return next Monday at 5:45 in the afternoon, with a cost of $418,000 pesos round trip per person.

Until the last minute they hoped to be able to fulfill their purpose of traveling.

“The concern is for the tickets that we buy directly through the airline’s page and we must add the cost of travel, La Plata to Neiva, the Hotel in Cartagena and food. If the airline had been in crisis since August of last year, why did they sell more tickets, playing with the illusions of entire families, ”he said.

It is not only economic, it is also labor, many accommodated their time and even paid shifts to be able to travel to have a rest period, “now according to what we are experiencing, we only have the alternative of suing and being left with the frustration of not being able to travel.”

Everyone was waiting for a response from other airlines such as LATAM and Avianca, which offered, according to the availability of seats, to reaccommodate Viva Air travelers.

Ombudsman

From the very moment the suspension of flights by the low-cost airline, Viva Air, was announced, the Ombudsman’s Office has been accompanying the people who were mocked by this measure.

In Neiva, Johana Rojas, a Regional defender, was present at the air terminal to try to find answers from the airline and the Aeronautics to the desperate passengers who were left on the ground.

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“We are making a presence at the Neiva airport, to corroborate, all the complaints that have been reported to us through our virtual and face-to-face channels in which we are told of all kinds of abuses by the airlines that are like throwing the lifeline at this airport crisis that is being experienced,” he said.

There are two days of crisis that definitely has no answers, so they have focused their activities on bringing back people who are stranded in country airports, who have left on tourist trips, but mainly those who have some situation health, that does not allow time to give them the possibility of moving by land, or other means.

The Ombudsman was present in the company of other institutions such as the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, which is also present to guarantee the rights of travelers.

“Unfortunately we have realized that if there are abuses, journeys that came for costs of the order of $600,000 pesos, they are being paid at $1,800,000 pesos, per person, without hold luggage, this really is an abuse that threatens the consumer rights,” he concluded.

Finally they had to leave the terminal without solution.

Finally, after noon, the passengers who intended to travel to their tourism destination left the airport, without any solution and with the intention of suing as the only possibility of recovering the investment.

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