google flight notification problem

Today I want to share my worst experience with Google mobile app while I am coming back from the Brahmatal trek in Uttarakhand. For a single wrong notification from the Google app, I missed my flight from Delhi to Kolkata and when people were going to celebrate new year I was paying extra Rs. 25,000 for flight ticket, hotel and food expenses.

kathgodam station
Kathgodam Railway Station

Me and my wife went for a 6 days trek in Brambhatal, Uttarakhand on the last week of December 2017. Our returning flight was on 30th December, at 7:35 PM. We departed from Kathgodam by Sampark Kranti Express at 8:45 AM on that same day. The train reaching time was 3:15 PM at Old Delhi Railway Station. So, we had enough time to reach Delhi Airport Terminal 2 for boarding GoAir flight G8-127. [Currently, all GoAir flights are operated from Terminal 2 instead of Terminal 1D] But the train was extremely slow and keep waiting in every station in average 30 mins to 45 mins. We were getting tensed and anticipating that we will definitely miss the flight. Then suddenly a google app notification popped up and it was saying that the flight was delayed by 2 hrs and will depart at 9:20 PM instead of 7:35 PM. We were bit relieved that time.

The train was 4 hrs 39 mins late. Don’t know why this late. Many passengers are telling that the average late time is 45 min to 1 hr for Sampark Kranti but that day it was something else. I think the main reason was the dense fog. Though we had time to reach the Delhi Airport to catch our rescheduled flight. When our train was crossing Ghaziabad platform, suddenly another notification popped up saying that the flight is on time and only 10 mins delayed, It will leave the airport at 7:45 pm. This message shocked me and also didn’t give me the sufficient time to cancel the ticket. Whom to blame for this!?

Thereafter we tried our last best to catch the flight. We dodged and tackled the ever busiest Old Delhi Railway Station to enter Chandni Chowk Metro Station, went through the security check with a long queue, collected the ticket for New Delhi Metro. Got down there and then again booked tickets for Airport Metro Station which is connected with T2 and T3.

We reached the airport at 7:15 PM and searching for the right way to go T2. We were totally confused, frustrated, hungry after 11 hours of car, train and metro journey. We ran towards the flight info display board wishing that if the flight actually delayed but saw it was departed on time. We were devastated at that moment. My wife was crying, I was clueless what to do. After 15 mins of silence, I took the decision to book another flight for Kolkata but next all flights were over priced, ticket costs over Rs. 20,000 per person, so the total expense would be above 40k. I stepped back and decided to stay in a hotel at Mahipalpur for that night and book the flight for next day which is 31st morning. We didn’t get any ticket for the morning due to heavy fog forecast so booked another GoAir flight at 8 PM for next day 31st Dec.

mahipalpur hotels
Hotels in Mahipalpur

What was our previous flight ticket total cost for returning (Delhi to Kolkata): 13,017 INR

Now the extra expenses:

We had to pay hotel fare for 2 nights as our flight was next day at 8 o’clock night.

  • Hotel: 3,100 INR
  • Food: 1,100 INR
  • Car Transport (Airport – Hotel – Airport): 400 INR
  • Now the current returning flight ticket cost: 21,162 INR

Total Extra Cost: (3,100 + 1,100 + 400 + 21,162) = 25,762 INR

I never expected this experience ever from technology giant Google and this is not new, I searched for the same issue and got there are others who went through this same situation. For reference here are the links –

https://medium.com/factor-daily/how-google-can-make-you-miss-your-flight-9178708519f0

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/19/tigerair-google-flight-card-delay

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/01/reminder-blindly-trusting-google-cards-can-make-you-miss-your-flight/

I don’t know whom to complain this or how to reach Google for complaining, is there any compensation for this loss, this harassment!? I am now out of pocket. The end of the year 2017 was very bad for me. The whole sequence of that day is coming again and again as a nightmare to both me and my wife.

What I have learned from this incident:

#1. I am not here as a cry baby. But the matter of fact, for God’s sake, don’t ever rely on Google App for flight status. Check the update and confirm the status only with the flight’s official website with PNR or call their customer care and ask for the status. This will give you more accurate information regarding your flight status.

#2. Try to avoid journey on Sampark Kranti Express. I had the horrible experience with this train. The train stopped almost every station during the journey from Kathgodam to Delhi. Rail coach was not good, no electricity was there. Toilets were like hell.

#3. Avoid booking flight on the same day if you are traveling by train of 6 – 7 hours journey because you can’t rely on Indian Railways now-a-day

 
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