Air India has decided to formulate certain rules to reduce the activities of unruly passengers. After an increase in the number of incidents of passengers being denied boarding by Indian airlines, Air India has also decided to impose fine on passengers for the delay. According to the news agency ANI, for a delay up to 1 hour, a fine of Rs 5 lakh will be imposed. In case the delay is between 1 to 2 hours, a fine of Rs 15 lakhs will be imposed and for any delay beyond 2 hours, the passengers will have to pay rs 15 lakhs as fine.
The news broke out only one day after the air traffic data released by the government revealed that incidents of passengers being denied boarding by Indian airlines have doubled in the past one year. A total of 18,242 passengers were not allowed to board aircraft between April 2016 and February 2017. This is up from 10,561 passengers not allowed onboard aircraft during the same time period in the preceding year.
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As per the data for 2016-2017, more than 80 percent of the passengers affected were those who flew Jet Airways and 14 per cent were Air India fliers, according to the air traffic data. “A passenger could be denied boarding primarily for three reasons. If he/she turned up late at either the check-in counter or the boarding gate, for security reasons and due to overbooking of a flight,” former Director General of Civil Aviation Kanu Gohain said.
While most airlines officially maintain that they don’t overbook their flights, industry insiders admit that selling “5-10 percent” seats over and above the actual seating capacity of an aircraft is a norm across the world as they don’t want planes to take off with empty seats in case of no- shows. “Optimal inventory allocation is broadly governed by two factors–accurately forecasting passenger demand and maximising revenue by accounting for cancellations and no- shows,” explained an Air India official who oversees revenue management at the airline.
(with input from PTI)