Friday, April 06, 2018

Civil aviation ministry proposes steep rise in compensation for flyers

Mumbai/New Delhi:The civil aviation ministry has proposed an increase in compensation for loss of life and baggage in air accidents, strict caps on cancellation fees and monetary benefits to passengers for missed flight connections.

These have been recommended by the ministry in its proposed passenger charter. A draft proposal is expected for public consultation in the next few days.

The ministry has already introduced a grievance redressal app and abolished the practice of stamping passenger bags during airport security checks. The next step is the charter, which aims to safeguard consumer rights and address criticism about the government not doing enough for passengers.

“We have had two rounds of preliminary discussion with airlines, airports and a few other industry participants. This has helped us develop a good first draft of the passenger charter that we can now place in the public domain for consultation,” minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha tweeted on Wednesday.

At present, benefits and facilities to be given to passengers in case of delays, cancellation and denied boarding are specified in regulations. Compensation for damage or loss of baggage and for injuries or deaths in air accidents is given in line with global norms.
The ministry has recommended an increase in the liability for both domestic and international travel, with compensation of Rs 1,000-3,000 a kg for loss, delay and damage. Airlines are presently liable to pay upto Rs 20,000 and Rs 100,000 (rupee equivalent of SDR) for loss or damage to bags in domestic and international flights, respectively. Further, the ministry has proposed that airlines compensate for a passenger missing a connecting flight due to the delay.
06/04/18 Aneesh Phadnis & Arindam Majumder/Business Standard