Cancelling a flight or denying boarding to a flier is going to cost heavily to domestic airlines as the new guidelines by the aviation regulator DGCA provides for massive compensation in such cases.
As per the revised compensation norms, which are effective from August 1, an airline will have to pay up to Rs 10,000 to a flier in the case of cancelling/delaying a flight beyond two hours. The compensation for not allowing a passenger to board the flight stands at up to Rs 20,000.
Presently airlines offer a meagre amount of up to Rs 4,000 for both denied boarding and cancelling a flight.
The revised compensation has been arrived at after extensive consultations with all stakeholders, including the airlines.
The Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) founder and president D Sudhakara Reddy, however, has said that the new norms leave certain grey areas which need to be addressed.
So as per the new norms:
- Airlines shall pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 or booked one-way basic fare plus fuel charge, whichever is less for cancelled/ delayed flights having a block time of up to one hour in addition to refund of ticket, in case a flier has not been informed by the carrier as per the DGCA norms.
- In the case of an airline cancelling/delaying its flight over one hour but up to two hours the compensation amount will be Rs 7,500 or booked one-way basic fare plus fuel charge, whichever is less, besides the refund amount, according to the revised norms.
- An amount of Rs 10,000 or booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, whichever is less, will be the compensation for flights having a block time of more than two hours, according to the new compensation norms.
Block hours refer to the period when an aircraft pushes back from its departure gate till the moment it reaches the arrival gate. These hours are used to calculate an airlines on-time performance (OTP) besides determining the compensation in the eventuality of a flight getting cancelled or delayed.
In case of denied boarding, airline will have to pay an amount equal to 200 per cent of booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, subject to maximum of Rs 20,000, in case airline arranges alternate flight that is scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the booked scheduled departure, as per the revised norms.