Wednesday, July 12, 2023

'Airline, agent must inform flyer about cancellation'

Vadodara: If the passenger isn't informed about the flight cancellation, the airline and the agent, who booked the tickets, both are responsible for it. The Vadodara district consumer disputes redressal commission (additional) ordered Jet Airways (India) Ltd and tour agent RSGS Holidays to pay money to the aggrieved passenger.

Shivangi Patel, a resident of Harni Road, had filed a complaint against Jet Airways and RSGS Holidays in October 2019.

Patel had bought a return ticket of Jet Airways for her journey from Vadodara to USA via Mumbai in December 2018. She returned from the US to Mumbai in March 2019 and was to take a connecting flight from Mumbai to Vadodara. But the airline staff informed her in Mumbai that her flight to Vadodara was cancelled.

Patel said in her complaint that she was informed through email that there would be delay in the flight departure but she was never informed about the cancellation. She had to buy a ticket for the Vadodara from another airline that also charged her for baggage and she ended up paying Rs 10,894.

RSGS Holidays argued they had booked Patel's ticket through their tie-up with IATA agent Rani Sati Travel House and hence the responsibility lies with the latter. RSGS also said that it will refund the Mumbai to Vadodara fare once it receives it from Jet Airways or the IATA agent.

Jet Airways claimed that an automated message was sent to the booking agent on March 16, March 19 and March 22, 2019 but RSGS claimed that it didn't receive any message of cancellation of rescheduling of the flight.

The forum observed that Jet Airways has not claimed to have informed the guest (passenger) of the scheduled change though it was required to do so as per the revised DGCA guidelines.

Jet Airways hasn't come forward to justify or support the flight cancellation, therefore deficiency lies in their services, the forum observed. The forum also said that RSGS, despite not being an IATA agent, chose to book tickets in its own name and account.

12/07/2023 Tushar Tere/Times of India

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