NEW DELHI: Passengers will not be charged for cancelling their air tickets within 24 hours of booking them, the government has decided in new draft rules to improve the flying experience in India. A draft charter put out by the civil aviation ministry also proposes compensation to passengers denied boarding due to over-booking or flights delays attributed due to an airline. Junior civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha said the passenger charter of rights defines and augment entitlement and compensation of air passengers.
Here are the 10 facts on the draft passenger charter:
- If a flight is delayed for more than four hours, the passenger will be offered a full refund. For a flight that is so delayed that it will take off the next day, the airline has to offer free hotel stay. If passengers are informed about a cancelled flight less than 24 hours before, they can get a full refund.
- Mr Sinha said passengers would be entitled for compensation for delayed flights only if the airline concerned is completely responsible for the delay.
- Passengers cannot expect anything for delays on account of inclement weather, air traffic congestion or other factors that apply to all airlines at a particular point of time, he said.
- The draft charter also provides for compensating passengers for missing connecting flights booked on the same ticket due to delays caused by airlines. If the connecting flight is missed because the first flight was delayed for more than three hours, the airline has to pay Rs. 5,000. If the delay is four to 12 hours, the passenger can get Rs. 10,000. For more, the airline is liable to pay Rs. 20,000.
- The ministry also seeks to prohibit airlines from keeping passengers in aircrafts for more than two hours.
- If the plane is on the tarmac for more than an hour, passengers must be provided enough food and drinks free of cost. Passengers must be allowed to exit the plane if the time stretches to more than two hours, a civil aviation ministry statement said.
- If a passenger is denied boarding due to over-booking, the airline is liable to pay a minimum compensation of Rs. 5,000, depending on the ticket price.
- The new rules also say passengers will not have to pay cancellation fee on air tickets cancelled within 24 hours of booking, provided the cancellation is done more than 4 days before the flight departure date.
- The cancellation charges must be printed prominently on the ticket in a minimum font size of 12 and not as fine print. This information must also be provided as part of the reservation and ticket documentation.
- The civil aviation ministry has also proposed to fix the liability of airlines at Rs.3,000 per kg for loss of baggage, Rs. 1,000 per kg for delay and Rs. 1,000 per kg for damage to passenger’s baggage.