If a cancellation is made within 24 hours of booking a flight ticket, no charges should be imposed on passengers, the government proposed on Tuesday. The proposal also seeks to provide full refund to passengers if a flight is delayed by more than four hours. The new air passenger charter seeks to amend the current norms for charges incurred by travellers on cancellation and rescheduling of air travel, among other things. During this 24-hour “lock-in period”, passengers would be able to make correction in the name or amend the travel date free of cost, said Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, while unveiling the draft air passengers charter.
Here are 10 things to know about the draft air passengers charter:
- The proposed rule won’t apply if the tickets are booked less than 96 hours (four days) before the scheduled departure time of the flight.
- The charter also proposes that passengers would be compensated Rs. 20,000 on missing connecting flights if the delay is over 12 hours, and Rs. 10,000 if the delay is between 4-12 hours, reported news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).
- If the passenger is informed about cancellation of flight less than two weeks before and up to 24 hours of the scheduled departure time, the airline must offer an alternative flight allowing the passenger to depart within two hours of the booked scheduled departure time or refund the ticket, as acceptable to the passenger.
- Further, if the flight delay is communicated by the airline more than 24 hours prior to the original scheduled time and if the flight is delayed for more than 4 hours, then airlines will have to offer an option of full refund of ticket.
- However, the government made it clear that airlines could not be held accountable in case of weather-related disturbances.
- In case of denial of boarding, airlines are liable to pay a minimum compensation of Rs. 5,000 or more, according to the proposed charter.
- To make the airlines disabled-friendly, the charter proposes that airlines should have seats – which are accessible for persons with disabilities – blocked, along with provision for adequate leg space, free of charge.
- According to the charter, the cancellation charges should be printed prominently on ticket and airlines and their agents together should not, under any circumstances, levy cancellation charge more than the basic fare plus fuel surcharge, reported PTI.
- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) could look into issues where the airlines are not in agreement with the passenger on the compensation issue, said Mr Sinha.
- The charter has been placed in public domain and the consultation process will be open for 30 days. The new norms are expected to be notified by July 15 after public comments on the draft charter have been received by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. (With PTI inputs)