Inform travellers about flying rights

Passengers have many issues concerning airline services, which crop up from time to time. To redress grievances of passengers, Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has released ‘Passenger Charter’ to define the rights of passengers and the rules governing the airlines. Here is a what-to-do list of things that agents must inform passengers about.

TT Bureau

Ticket cancellation

The airlines should inform the passenger of the flight cancellation at least two weeks before departure and arrange an alternate flight or give a full refund. If the carrier cancels a flight and provides an alternate flight to the passenger, it must bear the cost of flying him/her to/ from the alternate airport or terminal from/ to his/ her destination. If the passenger has been informed in advance, he/ she shall be responsible for making his/ her own arrangements.

If the passenger cancels his/ her ticket, the airline is obliged to refund statutory taxes, user development fee, airport development fee, and passenger service fee. This is applicable for all types of fares offered. At the time of ticket booking, the passenger must ensure that refund amount and its break-up are clearly mentioned.

Correction in the name of the passenger or error in the spelling of the passenger’s name invites a penalty. However, there is a lock-in option for 24 hours after booking a ticket in which the passenger can either cancel or amend the ticket.

Medical emergency

All airports have a medical doctor, an ambulance, minimum medical support, including oxygen cylinders and defibrillators, trained medical personnel, SOPs to take care of inbound and outbound passengers in medical emergencies. All these rights are over and above the ones that are existing.

This apart, all airlines should have designated seats for persons with disabilities, which will remain blocked until departure time. Unlike in the recent domestic airline incident, no airline can refuse to carry the disabled passenger, along with his/ her escorts. The airlines must be notified in this connection 48 hours prior to departure. If the passenger is denied carriage basis because of your disability, the airline must specify in writing about the same. In case the disabled passenger is offloaded by the airline, the same must be given in writing.

Compensation

The passenger will get his/ her ticket refunded in accordance with regulations of the airline’s country of origin, if it is a foreign carrier operating to/ from India. In case of missing connecting flights, the airline is liable to pay compensation of `5,000 if the connecting flight is delayed by three hours and `10,000 in case the delay is between four and 12 hours. If delay is over 12 hours, the airlines will pay `20,000 as compensation.  In case of death or bodily harm to the passenger onboard, the airline should pay compensation up to 113,100 SDR per passenger. However, in case of death inside the aircraft due to natural causes, the airline will not pay any compensation.

Overbooking

In case of overbooking, the airline seek ‘volunteers’ to give up their seats for other passengers to travel on the flight. In exchange, they are given check-in facilities/ gate areas at concerned airports. The airline will not pay compensation if the passenger misses his/her original flight on which he/ she did not board due to overbooking.If the airline arranges an alternate flight within 24 hours of the original departure due to overbooking, compensation equal to 200 per cent of one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge will be refunded subject to a limit of `10,000 respectively.  Similarly, the compensation is 400 per cent of the same subject to maximum amount of `20,000, if the airline arranges an alternate flight more than 24 hours of the original departure. Moreover, the passenger will be refunded 400 per cent of one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, subject to maximum of `20,000 is he/ she does not take the alternate flight.

 

How long to get refund

  • Immediately, if payment is made in cash.
  • Within 7 days, if payment is made by credit card.
  • If the payment is made through a travel agent, the passenger will have to collect the refund through the agent

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