Air Passengers Association of India seeks compensation for pax for over 2-hour flight delays

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Mumbai | Published: July 12, 2018 8:33:50 PM

The Air Passengers Association of India has sought compensation for passengers for over two-hour flight delays.

air passengers, aviation sector, aviation industryIt is expected to finalise the proposals this month.

The Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) has sought compensation for passengers for over two-hour flight delays and for no notification at least 24-hour prior to the scheduled departure, along with the appointment of an ombudsman for the sector.

In its suggestions and objections over the draft air passenger charter, APAI has also asked the aviation ministry to convene a meeting of all stakeholders prior to finalising and circulating it.

The ministry had in May come out with the draft air passenger charter, that seeks to address issues related to flight delays, cancellations and others. The draft charter has proposed that passengers would be compensated Rs 20,000 on missing connecting flights if the delay is over 12 hours and Rs 10,000 if the delay is between 4 and 12 hours.

It is expected to finalise the proposals this month.

“We would like to request you to please call for a stakeholders’ meeting during the last week of July by which time the final draft would be ready and in circulation,” said D Sudhakara Reddy, president, APAI.

“At this meeting, all stakeholders can address their concerns to enable the finalisation of the passenger charter/rights,” he added.

APAI alleged that the compensation for cancellation for any reason,and not only for “extraordinary circumstances”, is very vague and is being largely misused by the airlines when a claim is made by a passenger.

“(Therefore) the compensation in the event of cancellation of a flight between seven days of departure of the flight must be well defined, as for a period of less than seven days, the passenger has to pay steep fares, as they are considered as last-minute bookings,” the association said.

On the high and uniform ticket cancellation fee charged by airlines, APAI has suggested that these charges must only confine to the base fare as all other costs, including fuel surcharge, are incurred by the airline, only if the passenger travels.

“Also there is no clear definition about what is the quantum of base fare and how fuel surcharge is calculated. This varies from airline to airline and also sector to sector,” it said.

APAI also suggested that any minor correction in the name must be done free of cost both by the airline’s own call centre/check-in counter on production of a valid/approved identity card, adding, “There should be no time limit for such a thing.”

It also called for appointment of an Ombudsman for the sector to keep track of complaints and their resolutions by the airports/airlines.

The other suggestions include a standard format for giving the breakup of air fare, fuel surcharge and passenger service fee by the airlines, denied boarding form to passengers in the eventuality of a denied boarding on account of late arrival and a time-bound resolution of all passenger complaints.

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