Most Indians prefer air travel. As the common man learns to fly, these things too are becoming quite common: Poor airline service and too many flight delays.
Take the case of a media professional who booked an early morning flight from Kolkata to Delhi. The Indigo flight was to land at 9AM, just in time for a very important meeting.
Indigo Airlines informed this passenger that his flight’s departure had been pushed up to 11:30 AM. This was due to operational reasons. The flight would land in Delhi only at 2 PM. This passenger wanted an explanation, and the Indigo Airlines spokesperson asked him to take a look at the passenger charter.
If you take a look at this document you will see something nice. Airline responsibility comes in only after a 6 hour+ delay. This is in a country which is called the fastest-growing aviation market in the World for the most part of 5 years. Passenger numbers are also set to rise 6-fold, settling at around 1.1 Billion Passengers a year by 2040. This is according to reports by KPMG and Ficci.
Clearly, consumer-friendly service and minimum guarantees of service are the need of the hour. Let’s take the case of the Mumbai deluge. Passengers were stranded at the airport for hours. Many passengers sat in airplanes for 6-7 hours as rains choked the airport operations. This is not the case of any one airline but all airlines. What should you do when airlines stamp over you, by not offering quality customer care?
The Government has launched an online customer grievance portal to resolve customer complaints called AirSewa. AirSewa looks to change the rules of the game, in favor of the customer. The airliner cannot charge an extra fee for ticket cancellation or even modification if done within 24 hours of a booking. The travel date must be at least a week away.
Airliners would have to compensate flyers and refund the entire amount; if they cannot offer another flight which is acceptable when an airline flight gets cancelled. You could enjoy a compensation of up to Rs 10,000 if travel time exceeds 2 hours. You must also be offered free hotel stay if night flights are delayed by a time-frame of more than 6 hours. You can also claim compensation for a maximum of Rs 20,000 if the airliner loses your baggage.
Always approach an airliner to lodge a grievance and ask for compensation. If the airliner doesn’t comply, just lodge a complaint on the AirSewa App. This is a grievance redressal system which has been initiated by the Civil Aviation Ministry of India. The airliner pays compensation in cash, bank transfer or travel vouchers.
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