The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday outlined the conditions for airlines in case a passenger holding a valid ticket and having presented on time is denied boarding. If an airline is able to provide an alternate flight for the passenger within an hour, no compensation is required; however, if the alternate flight is provided within the next 24 hours, a compensation of up to Rs 10,000 is required; and anything beyond 24 hours, Rs 20,000 is laid down.
DGCA in its official statement said that the given stipulations on the subject are in sync with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and similar regulations are followed globally to accord appropriate respect to passenger rights.
While in the recent times, the DGCA also issued strict instructions to all domestic Airlines to abide by the said regulation in letter and spirit.
“After that, a series of checks were carried out by DGCA and during our surveillance at Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi, there were specific instances, in the case of Air India – where the regulation is not being followed and therefore, a show-cause notice was issued to the Airline and also a personal hearing was afforded,” it said.
“It appears that the Airline does not have a policy in this regard and is not paying any compensation to hapless passengers, whose numbers can be anybody’s guess. To say the least, it is a matter of serious concern and unacceptable. In the specific cases detailed in the SCN, after going through AI submissions, as part of enforcement action, the competent authority has levied a penalty of Rs 10 lakhs,” the DGCA added.
Lastly, the airline has also been advised to immediately put the systems in place to resolve the issue – failing which further action shall be taken by DGCA.