Jayant Sinha, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, on Tuesday, unveiled a draft air passenger charter, which if implemented, will empower air passengers in India like never before. The passengers will be entitled to full refund of air tickets, zero cancellation fee, among many other benefits on the implementation of the charter. The draft, which has been put in the public domain for comments, will be finalized after taking into consideration the opinions of different stakeholders.
Here are some of the things that the charter proposes!
→ A passenger will get a full refund of his money if a ticket is cancelled within 24 hours of booking a flight ticket. The flight, however, should be four days away from the departure time. It will not matter whether a person has booked the flight directly through the airline, through travel portals or through an agent.
→ If the airline informs a passenger 24 hours before the departure time that the flight is delayed by four hours the passenger will be entitled to a full refund. Also, if the airline informs the passenger about the cancellation of a flight two weeks before up to 24 hours of the departure time, the airline will have to offer an alternative flight or refund the ticket as acceptable by the passenger.
→ If a flight gets delayed by over four to twelve hours and a passenger misses a connecting flight, an airline will have to compensate the passenger with Rs 5,000 up to Rs 20,000.
→ An airline will have to pay Rs 5,000 to the passenger if he is now allowed to board the aircraft due to over booking.
→ It has been however made clear in the charter that the airline will not be held responsible for delay of a flight due to weather or other unavoidable conditions.
→ The passengers must be provided with 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi by the airport.
→ If a passenger injures himself or dies onboard the aircraft, the airline (domestic and international) will have to pay a compensation.
→ The airlines must be disabled-friendly and it should have seats, which are accessible for persons with disabilities. The seats should be blocked along with provision for adequate leg space provided free of charge.
→ The cancellation charges, should be clearly printed on the ticket. The airlines and their agents should not levy cancellation charge more than the basic fare plus fuel surcharge.