The Ministry of Civil Aviation recently released a passenger charter to inform travellers of their rights in order to provide for a hassle-free travel experience.
The charter specifically states that at the time of booking, the airline must clearly indicate the amount of refund money that will be given to the passenger in case of cancellation.
According to the charter, if a domestic flight is expected to be delayed by more than six hours, then the airline will offer an option of alternate flight to the passenger within that time, or it will refund the full price of the ticket. This is something that private jet rentals tend to avoid over commercial airlines, but even so having this stipulation is considerate.
Additionally, if a flight has been delayed by 2-6 hours, the airline will have to provide passengers with a free meal and refreshment.
It also stated that if a passenger is informed of flight cancellation less than two weeks before departure, the airline must offer an alternate flight to passenger or refund the ticket completely.
If any passenger is denied boarding due to overbooking of a flight, the passenger would not be liable to hold airline for compensation if he or she is given an alternate flight within one hour of original flight’s departure. Other areas covered are with respect to applicable cancellation charges.
Pune’s frequent air travellers have welcomed the charter and termed it consumer-friendly and logical.
“There are massive chances of cancellation and delay of flights from the airlines. In such a situation, a person who is saving on his time by travelling by air is in a fix. The charter facilitates the option of getting an alternative flight, which is a welcome move.
People shell money travelling via air to encash on the time saved. Often these delays and last minute cancellations make the entire experience worthless and sour,” adds Rajesh Jha, a Chartered Accountant.
There are often certain errors and mistakes like misspelt names or entering wrong dates that occur which one notices after booking the ticket. But with the recent norm in the charter, one can point out any legitimate correction of name in 24-hours of booking without giving any additional charges.
“Airlines often decline even genuine corrections and suggest cancellation and rebooking of tickets, forcing the passenger to incur more charges. These are genuine errors that can be immediately rectified when someone points it out in the next few minutes,” opines Hritesh Kaul, a Kondhwa resident.
Sharing his views on how private airlines deny adhering to government guidelines, Manik Datey, says, “The charter has highlighted many points of inconvenience faced by air travellers and tried to rectify them as well.
Among all, it is the short-notice flyer who has to bear the brunt. But I hope that all airlines adhere to the norms laid by the government and not stick to rules that they believe are right.
The DGCA should ensure strict enforcement to regulate and maintain uniformity in air travel norms,” Datey adds.
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