Saturday, April 22, 2017

Civil Aviation Ministry to check overbooking by airlines

The Civil Aviation Ministry has swung into action to crack down on the incidence of overbooking on domestic flights which rose by more than 60% in the last eight months despite stiff compensation rules for airlines.

Such overbooking has resulted in thousands of passengers being denied boarding despite holding a ticket.

“We may issue clear guidelines for airlines to follow in case they deny boarding to passengers on overbooked flights,” said a senior ministry official.

Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey has called a meeting with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief B.S. Bhullar and other officials from the DGCA and the Civil Aviation Ministry to discuss the rising number of boarding denial cases in 2016-17.

While an outright ban on the practice of airlines overbooking flights is not being considered yet, the Ministry may issue fresh guidelines for domestic airlines on overbooked flights.

Many airlines in India as well as abroad tend to issue confirmed bookings to more passengers than the number of seats available on a flight in anticipation of a few ticket cancellations and to reduce the possibility of departing with empty seats.

Airlines may deny boarding even in cases when passengers may be holding confirmed bookings for travel on a flight.
22/04/17 Somesh Jha/The Hindu