As a great relief to air travellers, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed abolishing the levies on domestic flight tickets if the cancellation is made within 24 hours of booking. Presently, domestic airlines impose different cancellation charges ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per traveler. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a press conference that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) could look into issues where the airlines are not in agreement with the passenger on the compensation issue.
The proposed charter of passenger rights has been put out for public consultations. Further, in case of flights being cancelled by the airlines, the charter proposes compensation of Rs 20,000 on missing connecting flights if the delay is over 12 hours, and Rs 10,000 if the delay is between 4-12 hours.
The charter also proposes that if the passenger is informed about cancellation of flight less than two weeks before and up to 24 hours of the scheduled departure time, the airline must offer an alternative flight allowing the passenger to depart within two hours of the booked scheduled departure time or refund the ticket, as acceptable to the passenger. Further, if the flight delay is communicated by the airline more than 24 hours prior to original scheduled time and if the flight is delayed for more than 4 hours, then airlines will have to offer an option of full refund. When delay is more than 24 hours and involves flight to fly on the next day i.e. beyond 0000 hours, a passenger is to be offered free-of-charge hotel accommodation including transfers, an official document released by the Aviation Ministry stated.
Customer is King! Here are the 10 Proposals of the Ministry of Aviation that Guarantee You will 'Fly With Happiness'
1. If the flight delay is communicated more than 24 hours prior to original scheduled time and, if delay is for more than 4 hours, airlines to offer an option of full refund of ticket to the passenger.
2. If delay involves the flight to fly on the next day, that is beyond 0000 hours, airline to offer additional free-of-charge hotel accommodation (including transfers)
3. When the flight is stationed on the tarmac for more than 60 minutes, sufficient and free-of-charge hot snacks and beverages are to be provided to the passengers
4. If Passenger dies or undergoes bodily injuries onboard an aircraft, limit of liability to be paid by the airline must be same for both international and domestic passengers
5. Limit of liability to be paid by the airline to be the same for both international and domestic passengers, and the minimum compensation will be: Rs. 3,000 per kg for loss of baggage, Rs. 1,000 per kg for delay and Rs. 1,000 per kg for damage of baggage
6. In case of ticket cancellation, airline not to levy any additional charge for correction in name of the same person when name correction is required up to three characters only and when error in the name spelling is pointed out by the passenger to the airline within 24 hours of making a reservation
7. Airlines to have seats that are designated as acceptable for persons with disabilities, which will remain blocked until close to the time of departure
8. DigiYatra: An industry-led initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Digital India vision to transform the nation into a digitally empowered society, DigiYatra aims to transform the flying experience for passengers
9. AirSewa app: AirSew app brings together all the stakeholders on a common platform to ensure timely and effective handling of customer grievances and to disseminate real-time data.
10.Wi-Fi Connectivity in Flights: Both domestic and international airlines are allowed to offer internet services and mobile services on-board.