Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Panel orders airline to compensate passengers

Ludhiana: The district consumer disputes redressal commission has ordered a private airline to pay Rs 10,000 as composite cost to the passengers of a rescheduled flight, for the inconvenience it had caused. Commission president K K Kareer and member Jaswinder Singh considered the harassment that complainants Naveen Singla, his wife Deepika Singla, and son Swapan Singla of Haibowal Kalan must have gone through.

In their complaint to the commission on December 20, 2018, they had mentioned that they had booked air tickets online to travel from Amritsar to Singapore on October 25, 2018, and return on November 1, 2018. The respondents accepted the request, received booking amount of Rs 26,313, and showed the booking status as confirmed, sending them even the details of the schedule. The payment for the ticket was made by Deepika Singla through her credit card.

On October 16, 2018, the complainants received a notification in email from the airline, disclosing that the flight has been rescheduled to now take off on November 2, 2018, with departure time of 11.30pm, and will go from Singapore to Kuala Lampur instead flying on November 1, 2018, at 14.05 hours. It was a long delay. The other connecting flight from Kuala Lampur to Amritsar was rescheduled from 30 minutes past midnight to 7.20am with the result the complainant had to wait for more than 7 hours for his flight from Kuala Lampur to Amritsar.

The complainants sent a legal notice to the airline on October 24, 2018, requesting the opposite parties not to change the earlier schedule of the flight, and keep it as confirmed status. They made it clear to the airline that if it failed to keep the original schedule of the return flight for November 1, 2018, it will be liable to compensate the complainants. The notice sent through email on October 24, 2018, was duly received but in the detailed reply, the airline failed to justify its stand. The rescheduling of the flight put extra financial burden on the complainants and caused them mental harassment and tension.

Upon getting the notice, the Karnataka office of the private airline appeared through counsel Prabhjot Singh Sachdeva initially but later but no one appeared on its behalf despite summons, and the case was proceeded against ex parte. The respondent was absent from the proceedings, so the ex parte order came on April 28.

12/07/22 Times of India

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