Friday, February 08, 2019

Two months after Parl panel rap, aviation charges continue to fly high

A Parliamentary committee strongly favoured a cap on airfare and luggage rates in various sectors and pulled up airlines for misleading passengers by not passing the cut in excise duty on aviation turbine fuels besides criticising the poor food quality and inconvenient airlines seating arrangements.

The Parliamentary standing committee report on civil aviation tabled in Rajya Sabha recently also castigated the airlines for unruly behavior of their staff towards passengers.

Strongly recommending an upper cap of airfare in each sector to discourage the airlines from predatory pricing of air tickets, the committee felt that high luggage charges were due to global practices blindly followed by the local carriers. This is a faulting premise as Indian conditions are different. The need of the local people should be given due consideration while regulating airfares and luggage charges.
Civil aviation ministry and DGCA should come forward to regulate baggage charges and airfares in such a way to facilitate and benefit the air passengers, it said.

"Almost all airlines have introduced a 'no-fly'list for the unruly passengers, but when it comes to the turn of airlines to contain their unruly staff, they escape from their responsibility by saying that necessary training being imparted upon. It is very essential that the airlines adopt a friendly approach," it said.

In fact, 'cooperative, courteous and polite behaviour' should be a pre-requisite for a person to join the airline sector, it said adding one should continue to exhibit the same qualities till they are in the service of the airlines.

The 268th report of the standing committee was on action taken by the government on the recommendations and observations of the committee on issues related to improving consumers' satisfaction of airlines.
08/02/19 KR Sudhaman/DNA