Tired of waiting for long hours after a delayed flight or paying exorbitant cancellation charges, despite cancelling the flight on the same day as your booking?
The Ministry of Civil Aviation recently released a draft Passenger Charter defining rights for air passengers which seeks to remedy a number of problems flyers often face.
To resolve the issues, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has released the passengers’ right charter.
Have a look at some critical provisions from the charter to get an understanding of your rights as a flyer.
1) Delay of flights
In case your flight gets delayed by two to six hours, the airlines will have to offer you free meals and refreshments. This only applies to travelers who wait at the airport.
In case flight is delayed for more than six hours, the flyers are also entitled to full refund or an option of an alternate flight.
In case the flight scheduled between 8 pm-3 am, is delayed for more than six hours, the airlines will have to inform you in a day in advance and also provide you free accommodation.
2) Cancellation of flight or tickets
For flights up to one hour long, this makes up to one-way basic fare plus fuel charges or Rs 5,000 and for flights over two hours long this amounts to Rs 10,000—whichever is less.
An airline can no longer cancel your flight in the last 24 hours and compensate. As per the rules under the new charter, the carriers can either offer refund to the passengers or arrange for an alternate flight.
Gone are the days when you had to give cancellation amount for cancelling your ticket. Now you can get full refund, provided it is done within a day of the booking.
If the tickets are booked less than seven days before the departure time of the flight, this zero cancellation charge won’t apply
In case there are less than 7 days between the date of booking and departure, the airline can charge cancellation fee limited to the total of the base fare and fuel surcharge. Other additional charges including user development fee, tax, passenger service and airport development fee have to be refunded.
In case of foreign airline, the right to refund will be subject to internal policy of the carrier.
4) Change of name
The new rules also allow passengers to make corrections to their names within 24 hours of booking, free of cost. Earlier, a correction in the name was considered as cancellation so the passengers had to book a new ticket and pay additional charges.
5) Overbooked flights
In case boarding was denied due to overbooking, the airline had to arrange an alternate flight within one hour of the original flight. If an alternate flight as stipulated is not available, then the passenger has to be compensated up to 400 per cent of booking price (one way) subject to certain conditions.
6) Baggage loss or damage
In case your baggage is damaged or lost, passenger will get a compensation of Rs 350 per kg or up to Rs 20,000. The new amount is 75% more than the previous compensation.
In case where a passenger suffers physical injury because of airline’s fault of if a passenger dies on-board, the airline will be liable to pay Rs 20 lakh as compensation.
According to a Financial Express Report, the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said the purpose of the charter is to bring uniformity in passenger services.
“A minimum benchmark has been set. We want passengers to have a world-class flying experience. This would be beneficial for the airlines too in the long-run,” he said.