Monday, November 16, 2020

Bengaluru: Missed trip; airline told to refund tennis player, father’s fare

Bengaluru: A teenage tennis player from the city and her father have sued a private airline for failing to make alternative arrangements for her travel to Indore for a tournament. The consumer forum, while not ordering for compensation, has directed the airline to refund the duo’s ticket fare, reimburse their hotel accommodation charges and pay their litigation expenses for the inconvenience caused.

Chitali Narde, who claimed to be a player in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior circuit, had booked tickets (via Mumbai) for January 22, 2016 to take part in an Indore tournament. Adinath Narde was meant to accompany his daughter. However, the Vistara flight was delayed on the day and airline representatives failed to provide a clear reason.

Following a delay in the aircraft reaching Bengaluru from Delhi due to bad weather, Narde couldn’t fly out in time for her match. Adinath contacted the airline but it refused to refund the ticket fare.

In July 2016, he lodged a complaint with Bangalore Urban 2nd Additional Disputes Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission against Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, which operates Vistara, on behalf on his minor daughter, demanding refund and suitable compensation. While Narde’s attorney presented the case, the airline’s lawyer argued that flight delay due to weather conditions is unavoidable in the aviation sector and can’t be considered deficiency of service.

After proceedings which lasted four years and four months, judges of the forum said Narde’s side had failed to furnish necessary documents to prove she had missed a crucial tennis tournament in Indore and thus the need for compensation doesn’t arise. However, the court noted the airline had not refunded the money for the trip the teenager and her father failed to take due to delay in operations.

16/11/20 Petlee Peter/Times of India

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