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EaseMyTrip quietly restarts India-Maldives flight bookings. Update: Banned again; full refund announced

EaseMyTrip starts Maldives flight bookings? The company made a u-turn. EaseMyTrip CEO Nishant Pitti ‘reinforced’ the ban again without providing any explanation as to how EaseMyTrip silently moved away from its 'self-imposed ban' and restarted India to Maldives flight bookings in the first place.

By: DEBASHIS SARKAR
Updated on: May 27 2024, 07:03 IST
So, how did EaseMyTrip 'unban' Maldives without the CEO of the company knowing about it? Well, Pitti said it was a “tech issue”! (EaseMyTrip)

Update: EaseMyTrip makes another u-turn. After media reports highlighted that the travel booking platform quietly restarted flight bookings to Maldives from any city in India, EaseMyTrip CEO Nishant Pitti ‘reinforced’ the ban again without providing any explanation as to how EaseMyTrip silently moved away from its 'self-imposed ban' and restarted India to Maldives flight bookings in the first place. “We will make an announcement when we remove the boycott. Attaching a screenshot taken just now for reference for flight search and hotel search page !!,” said the CEO. 

So, how did EaseMyTrip 'unban' Maldives without the CEO of the company knowing about it? Well, Pitti said it was a “tech issue”! The CEO went a step further an issued a full refund to users who booked flights to Maldives from India due this “tech issue” .

EaseMyTrip CEO Nishant Pitti makes official statement


Taking note of the media reports around EaseMyTrip silently restarting flight bookings from India to Maldives, EaseMyTrip CEO Nishant Pitti issued an official statement: 

"We are reaching out to address a recent issue that has come to our attention regarding bookings for the Maldives.

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As you may know, EaseMyTrip has previously decided to boycott travel to the Maldives. Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch in our system, recently some users were able to book tickets to the Maldives despite this policy.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

We want to assure you that this issue has now been resolved, and our team has implemented measures to prevent such occurrences in the future. We take full responsibility for this oversight and are committed to making things right for our valued customers.

To address this matter, we are offering a full refund to all customers who have booked tickets to the Maldives during this period. Additionally, as a gesture of goodwill and to compensate for any inconvenience, we are pleased to offer a free domestic package ticket to each affected customer. Our customer service team will be reaching out to you with the details and next steps for claiming your refund and complimentary domestic package ticket.

Your trust and satisfaction are of utmost importance to us, and we are dedicated to providing you with the best possible service. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support."

EaseMyTrip quietly restarts Maldives flight bookings- Full story
 

Travel company EaseMyTrip has quietly resumed (As on 11AM, May 26, 2024) flight bookings from Indian cities to Maldives within months of banning all flight bookings to the island nation on January 8, 2024. EaseMyTrip was the first travel company to join the ‘social media war’ when three ministers of Maldives made disparaging remarks on India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Lakshadweep on January 2, 2024, where the Prime Minister posted few photographs on social media highlighting the beauty of Lakshadweep.

EaseMyTrip starts Maldives flight bookings

Anyone travelling to Maldives can now book their flights on the EaseMyTrip platform from any Indian city. The “indefinite ban” that was imposed earlier in January seems to be withdrawn. However, note that EaseMyTrip hasn’t made any official announcement on the same.

Maldives faced a strong backlash from India, especially on social media, due to the unwarranted comments made by three of their ministers. Many Indians responded to the insults by dropping Maldives from their travel plans altogether while EaseMyTrip took a step further and banned all flight bookings to Maldives on its platform.

EaseMyTrip showcases Delhi to Male flight options on its platform on 26 May 2024.
EaseMyTrip showcases Delhi to Male flight options on its platform on 26 May 2024.

"Nation First, Business Later" message by EaseMyTrip

With the ‘anti-Maldives’ sentiment dying down among Indian citizens of late, EaseMyTrip quietly, without making any official announcements, restarted flight bookings to Maldives. In January 2024, when the travel company went ahead with the sudden ban, it made a lot of noise on social media. EaseMyTrip even sent a message over WhatsApp to its users explaining its “Nation First, Business Later” stance, as to why it’s banning flight booking to Maldives.

WhatsApp message sent by EaseMyTrip in January 2024.
WhatsApp message sent by EaseMyTrip in January 2024.

Despite Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) apologising to EaseMyTrip CEO Nishant Pitti in an open letter, back in January, Pitti did not reconsider the ban and said, “Starting Jan 8th, we have indefinitely suspended all travel bookings to Maldives. For us, our nation takes precedence over profit…We are immensely proud of India's stunning beaches." The company even introduced “NATIONFIRST” and “BHARATFIRST” discount coupons. After these announcements by the CEO, the company’s stocks saw a noticeable surge. Many had called out the company’s move as a PR activity to bank on the sentiments of Indians.

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First Published Date: 26 May, 13:44 IST
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