Air passengers in India will soon be able to claim compensation for delays, cancellations or if boarding is denied by the airline, as the government on Wednesday released a passenger charter defining the rights of passengers.
“We have finalised the charter and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been asked to issue necessary changes in the rule to let this happen,” said a senior aviation ministry official. The DGCA will be issuing revised civil aviation rules for implementing these changes, which were released at an aviation summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
According to the new rules, a passenger will be eligible for a compensation of up to Rs20,000 if the airline denies boarding to the passenger due to the flight being overbooked and does not offer an alternate flight which is within an hour of the timing of the earlier flight which the passenger wasn’t allowed to board.
The new rules also make passengers eligible for compensation if they are not informed about the flight cancellation well in advance.
According to the rules, a passenger will be eligible for up to Rs 10,000 cancellation, or full return of fares, whichever is lower, in case of a lastminute cancellation.
The new rules also allow passengers to carry out changes such as name and others within 24 hours of the booking of ticket free of cost. Under the new rules, the airlines will also be liable to pay a compensation of up to Rs20,000 to passengers in the case of loss of baggage, while damage to cargo would attract a compensation of Rs350 a kg.
All these details were reported and the government subsequently announced a draft policy on passenger charter. However, the final rules could not be implemented after airlines objected to the rules, as it would financially burden the airlines further.
Senior government officials said that the airlines are still not fully on board on this but the ministry has decided to go ahead with the implementation of the policy.