DGCA mulls norms to compensate passengers affected by downgrading of ticket

Aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is in the process of amending its provisions to protect the rights of air travellers affected by downgrading of tickets.

With the amendment, if the passenger, who is downgraded involuntarily from his booked class of ticket, will receive the full value of the ticket including taxes as a refund from the airline and the airline will carry the passenger free of cost in the next available class.

In view of rapid expansion of air services within India and on international routes to and from India and with the increase in the volume of passenger traffic, it has been noticed that sometimes airlines downgrade passengers (tickets).

A senior official of the aviation regulator said that in order to cater to such situations, DGCA is in the process of amending its Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) Section-3, Series M Part IV ‘Facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights’ to protect the rights of air travellers affected by downgrading of their ticket.

The official said that the amendment will allow the passenger, who is downgraded involuntarily from his booked class of ticket, to receive the full value of ticket including taxes as refund from the airline and the airline will carry the passenger free of cost in the next available class. However, this proposal will go through stakeholder consultation and the final regulation shall be published and made applicable afterwards.

As per the existing provisions specified in CAR, if the airline has denied boarding to a passenger against confirmed bookings for travel on the flight, then compensation (if alternate flight is within 24 hours of original departure) is 200 per cent of one way fare in addition to the fuel charge (Maximum Rs 10,000). Similarly, compensation if alternate flight after 24 hours of original departure is 400 per cent of one way fare + fuel charge (Maximum Rs 20,000). In case a passenger does not opt for alternate flight then the compensation is full refund and 400 per cent of one way fare + fuel charge (Maximum Rs 20,000).

There will be no compensation if the airline arranges alternate flights within 1 hour of original departure, says the rules.

20221223-162203

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