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Flight delayed? You may soon be able to get a full refund!!

Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed set of reform initiatives for flight passengers to ease their Air Travel. The Draft Passenger Charter will be kept open for public consultation for 30 days, post which it will be notified.

Flight Cancellation

Airlines have to provide flyers with an alternative flight allowing them to depart within two hours of their scheduled departure time or receive a refund of the ticket, if passengers have been informed of the cancellation less than two weeks before and up to 24 hours of the scheduled departure. If passengers are not informed of cancellations until 24 hours before the scheduled departure, the airline is liable to refund the full cost of the ticket.

With the introduction of a 24-hr lock-in period, passengers can amend or cancel their bookings at no extra charge. Cancellation charges must be printed in a font size of no less than 12. The information must be made available at the time of reservation and ticket documentation. The airline cannot charge a cancellation fee which is higher than the original fare. In case of overbooking, compensations are at a minimum of Rs 5,000, depending on the cost of the ticket.

Flight Delays Flyers will have the option of a full refund if a flight is delayed by more than four hours from the scheduled time of departure or previously revised time of departure (communicated 24 hours prior to the scheduled time). In case of a delay of more than 24 hours, passengers will receive free accommodation and a transfer to the hotel. Airlines are also to compensate passengers for missing connecting flights based on these norms:

  • If the delay is more than three hours: Rs 5,000

  • If the delay is between four and 12 hours: Rs 10,000

  • If the delay is more than 12 hours: Rs 20,000

The endless hours of waiting at the tarmac are also over, with airlines being instructed to provide passengers with food and beverages free of cost if the flight is stationed on the tarmac for more than an hour and to deboard passengers if the flight is still at the tarmac beyond 90 minutes.

Baggage: Losing, delaying or damaging baggage is also going to cost the airline, with minimum compensation for lost baggage being Rs 3,000 per kg of lost baggage, and Rs 1,000 per kg for both damaged or delayed baggage.

The government expects to notify the draft charter by mid-July. Clear skies ahead?

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