Tuesday, March 05, 2019

You’ll now get free food, stay & full refund the next time your flight is cancelled

Indian aviation industry seems quite committed to improving the air travel experience of the passengers. At least the new passenger charter released by the government shows that the steps taken in this direction are, in fact, substantial. The passenger charter was released by Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu recently while inaugurating the Aviation Conclave 2019 was organised with the theme “Flying for All”. It was finalised after a nine-month-long consultation session of the government and airline industry and underlines all the rights of the travellers as well as the responsibilities of the airline. Here are all the benefits that the flyers are entitled to along with the duties and obligations of the airlines.
The charter states that if the airline informs the passengers about flight cancellation less than two weeks before departure, it must either provide an alternate flight or refund the whole amount. Further, according to the charter, if a domestic flight is delayed by more than six hours, the airlines will be required to give the passenger an option of ‘alternate flight’ within that time period. If failed to do so, they’ll have to refund the full money. For instances when night flights are delayed by more than six hours, the airlines will be obliged to provide passengers free hotel stay. Additionally, if a flight has been delayed by 2-6 hours, depending on the time of travel, the airline will have to provide passengers with free meal and refreshment. Only the passengers who wait at the airport can avail it.
If an airline cancels a fight with less than a day’s notice and cannot provide an alternate flight, they’re bound to refund the full ticket cost along with providing a compensation, which can go up to ₹10,000 in case the travel time is more than two hours.

Even though the free cancellation of the tickets may have a negative impact on the airlines’ revenue, the government believes that it’ll improve the air travel experience of the passengers. The charter states that at the time of booking a ticket, the airline must clearly ‘indicate’ the amount of money that’ll be refunded in case the passenger cancels it. If the airline provides a passenger with an alternate flight within the time period in case they’re denied boarding due to over-booking, the passenger can’t file a complaint.
04/03/19 Shabdita Pareek/GQ

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