Updated: June 15, 2022 3:47:37 am
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has fined the Tata Group-owned Air India Rs 10 lakh for violating the regulator’s norms on denying boarding to passengers holding valid tickets.
The aviation safety regulator has said that the matter is “of serious concern and unacceptable”.
“A series of checks were carried out by DGCA and during our surveillance at Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi, there were specific instances, in the case of Air India, where the regulation (regarding compensation to passengers) is not being followed, and therefore, a show cause notice was issued to the airline and also a personal hearing was afforded,” DGCA said in a media release.
It said Air India “does not have a policy in this regard and is not paying any compensation to hapless passengers, whose numbers can be anybody’s guess”.
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“To say the least, it is a matter of serious concern and unacceptable. In the specific cases detailed in the show cause notice, after going through Air India’s submissions, as part of enforcement action, the competent authority has levied a penalty of Rs 10 lakh,” the DGCA said. It stated that the airline has been advised to immediately put systems in place to resolve the issue, failing which the aviation safety regulator will take further action.
What norms say on compensation
If a passenger with a valid ticket is denied boarding, the airline must provide an alternate arrangement or compensation. In case the airline is able to arrange an alternate flight within an hour, no compensation is to be paid, while compensation amount will be up to Rs 10,000 if alternate arrangement is provided within 24 hours. For anything beyond 24 hours, a compensation up to Rs 20,000 is laid down.
An e-mail sent to Air India seeking its comments for this report went unanswered.
Last month, following several instances of airlines denying boarding to passengers, the DGCA had written to all airlines and directed them to strictly comply with the regulations. In the letter, DGCA had warned the airlines that any non-compliance would warrant strict action against the erring airline, including imposing financial penalties.
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