India’s consumer court has begun cracking down on budget airlines denying boarding to passengers

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  • Indian consumer forum has asked the budget carrier, IndiGo, to pay ₹25,000 ($348) as compensation for cancelling a passenger’s flight minutes before the departure in 2016.
  • A jury found no genuine reason for the airline to refuse the passenger from boarding, and ordered the airline to also revert the charges for the original ticket and the alternate ticket amounting to ₹9,729 in total.
  • Last year, over 512,000 domestic passengers in India faced inconvenience due to cancellations in the first four months of the year alone.
Two years after IndiGo Airlines reportedly refused a male passenger from boarding a flight from Hyderabad to Chennai despite clearing all essential security checks, a district consumer forum has now asked the budget carrier to refund the total flight costs along with a compensation of ₹25,000, Times of India reported.

Looking through the complaint, the consumer forum said that they found no genuine reason for denying the passenger boarding. The forum claimed that the complainant, could only manage to be at the boarding gate after the gates were closed. Kumar, the complainant had to reportedly take an alternate flight on his own, and lodged complaints about the incident.

IndiGo, on the other hand, reportedly had sought to have the case dismissed over a technicality — that it was filed against IndiGo and not InterGlobe Aviation — its registered name.

The decision is significant as India’s civil aviation authorities appear to be taking note and acting on flyer complaints about unwarranted cancellations.

In 2016, Indian civil aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), issued guidelines on cancellation and denying boarding by airlines saying that the airlines will have to provide compensation to the flyer in such cases. According to the norms then formulated, airlines are supposed to pay a compensation of up to ₹20,000 in case of refused boarding while for a cancelled or delayed flight, the airline is bound to pay up to ₹10,000 to the flyer.

Last year, over 512,000 domestic passengers in India faced inconvenience due to cancellations and refused boarding with airlines, according to DGCA stats for first four month of the year.

This maybe due to the airlines making bookings beyond availability, ET reported earlier. As per the aviation norms, a person can claim monetary compensation from airlines for denied boarding if the ticket is confirmed and the passenger is available at the time of boarding, it said.

See also:
Indian government to review IndiGo, Spicejet policies to charge for web check-in after flyers protest

Indian Railways had the best response to budget airlines in India charging for online check-ins

India’s largest passenger airline just posted its first ever quarterly loss since going public — and its results reflect the larger woes of the country’s aviation sector
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