Suresh Prabhu, Civil Aviation Minister, avowed a charter in the favour of the Indian fliers this Wednesday. The passenger charter depicts several changes in favour of the air travellers in India.
This charter includes revision of cancellation charges and rescheduling costs paid by the Indian air travellers to the airline services. It also includes other changes and amendment of new rules based on loss of luggage.
Baggage damage or loss will be charged at the rate of INR 350 per kg from the airlines. The penalty rose by 75% of the previous value. The upper limit of this penalty has been escalated to INR 20,000 which was only INR 3000.
As per the new compensation format, these charges will be applicable only when the cancellation or delay is done by the service provider.
However, it is also mentioned that zero charges for cancellation will not be valid if the ticket is booked within seven days of scheduled departure. The travelling date and booking date must have at least seven days of difference.
The airline service will have the power to charge fuel surcharge along with base fare as the cancellation fee. The other components in the fare structure will be refunded.
The airline services charge an extra fee ranging from INR 3000 to INR 4500 on cancellation of a ticket which was immediately booked.
The new charter also depicts that flight services will have to arrange for meals and refreshments for passengers when the flights are delayed for 4 hours or more. If the delay crosses the 6-hours limit, the passengers are eligible for an entire ticket refund.
It also states that if the flight, scheduled within the time span of 20:00 and 3:00, gets delayed by 6 hours or more or get cancelled, the passengers will be eligible to get free accommodation from the service.
The airline service will be obligated to notify the passengers 24 hours beforehand if it expects a 6-hours or more delay in the scheduled departure time.
A low-cost carrier official said, “We already follow DGCA guidelines on passenger service benchmark. There was no need for this (passenger charter). Cancellations’ revenue help airlines keep tickets low for other flyers.”
The Aviation Conclave 2019 witnessed the release of this new passenger charter. It said, “The airlines must inform about flight cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure and arrange alternate flights or refund.“
It also depicted that a passenger will be eligible for compensation ranging up to INR 10,000 if he misses a connecting service. The compensation will be decided based on the duration of the flight service.
During the waiting time, the passenger will have to be served with refreshments and meals by the service provider at all cost.
If there is an overbooking, the service provider is obligated to offer an alternative option to the passengers. This alternative flight should be leaving the airport within an hour of the overbooked flight time. If the service provider fails, it will be compensated as per the new rules.
Suresh Prabhu, Civil Aviation Minister, said, “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s civil aviation requirements lists out the rights of the air passengers. A minimum benchmark has been set now. We want passengers to have a world-class flying experience. This would be beneficial for the airlines too in the long-run.”
The new charter also states full refund of the statutory taxes, passenger service fee, user development charges, etc levied by the airline service. This new clause is restricted for domestic flights. The international services are subjected to their own internal policies.
If an injury is inflicted or a passenger dies because of the airline’s fault, the service provider will have to pay a compensation of INR 20 Lakh.