How many times have you missed an important meeting or your connecting flight due to a delay in your flight schedule? A lot, more than a lot. It almost seems that a normal domestic flight journey in India just can’t be completed without a delay in it. There are also various incidences of flight cancellations that many of us have faced in the past.
All of this not only makes a flight journey excruciating but also impossibly untimely. One can’t wholeheartedly rely on the domestic airlines to take off at the time they’ve been booked for which is affecting a lot of fliers.
Now, the Union aviation ministry has decided to provide some relief to the passengers everytime their booked flight is delayed or gets cancelled. The ministry has recommended increasing the compensation to up to Rs 20,000 per flier for deficiencies in airline services. These deficiencies include flight delays and cancellations. The possible new rule also states that the airline would have to pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 to a passenger if he/she has been denied from boarding forcefully. Airlines often deny passengers from boarding a flight when it’s overbooked. Along with this, in case of a delay beyond two hours on the runway, the DGCA has suggested that passengers should be allowed to deplane. However, these tarmac delays occur most likely during the winter months.
But one should note that these changes in the rule not only affects the airlines but also the passengers. There have been various instances reported in the recent past that shows the unruly behaviour of both airlines and passengers towards each other and these new rules might be able to change it. Considering India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, there is an urgent need to resolve these problems.
The ministry will soon put up the draft of a passenger charter containing the proposals online before the final set of rules are issued once it has weighed comments from the public and the carriers. However, not everyone is happy about the possible new changes in the rules. Various airlines are against this new possible rule and have warned that this might lead to “fare hikes” which would only and only affect the passengers in this matter.
FIA (Federation of Indian Airlines) and non-FIA members are strongly opposing the decision and said that this would adversely affect the basic model of airline functioning in the country. Times Now reported Vistara saying, “Airline obligation is only if the connection is on the same ticket or PNR.Airlines should have no regulatory obligation or penalty whatsoever if the connection is on a separately purchased ticket on a different PNR.”