Air travel is the most trending topic of discussion on the Internet these days, and not without a reason. Where one frustrated flyer hits the pilot, another airline locks their passengers on account of the delay, and we don’t even know how to get started on flight delays.
We’re seeing clips of passengers eating their dinner in front of the plane after a 12-hour delay. Passengers arriving and departing from Delhi are in for a special treat because of the dense fog and pollution enveloping the national capital. According to an ANI report citing airport sources, around 30 flights were delayed at Delhi Airport recently, while 16 others were cancelled.
passengers of IndiGo Goa-Delhi who after 12 hours delayed flight got diverted to Mumbai having dinner just next to indigo plane pic.twitter.com/jGL3N82LNS— JΛYΣƧΉ (@baldwhiner) January 15, 2024
Amid this tricky scenario, here are 9 rights you have as a passenger that you should be aware of:
The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s draft Passenger Charter defines rights for air passengers which seeks to remedy a number of problems flyers often face.
Here are some critical provisions from the charter that will give you an understanding of your rights as a flyer.
1. If your flight gets delayed by two to six hours, the airline will have to offer you refreshments and free meals.
However, this will only apply to flyers who wait at the airport.
2. You are also entitled to opt for an alternate flight or demand a full refund of your ticket if the delay is for more than six hours.
If your flight gets delayed by more than six hours and is scheduled between 8 PM and 3 AM, the airline will have to offer you free hotel accommodations. Additionally, if the airline informs you about the delay 24 hours before the original departure time or if the delay duration is more than 24 hours, you are eligible to receive free hotel accommodation.
3. If your flight gets cancelled two weeks before, but up to 24 hours of your departure time, you are eligible to receive a compensation.
In case they do inform about the cancellation of the flight less than two weeks and more than 24 hours in advance, they will have to offer an alternate flight or give a full refund.
You will also receive compensation if you miss your connecting flight due to a delay in your previous flight.
4. If the airline has failed to inform you about the cancellation at least 24 hours before the departure time
In this scenario, your airline has to arrange an alternate flight or provide compensation, and a full refund. For compensation, you will be either paid a one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge or a sum of ₹5,000, ₹7,500, or ₹10,000, depending upon your flight’s duration, whichever is less.
5. You can also cancel your tickets without paying any cancellation fee, provided that it is done within a day of the booking.
However, in case the duration between the day of the booking and the day of travel is less than seven days, the airline can only charge a cancellation fee which will be limited to the total of the base fare and fuel surcharge.
6. Passengers can now make corrections to their name without any charge within 24 hours of the booking.
Earlier, a correction in the name rendered the ticket cancelled.
7. In case a flight gets overbooked, the airline will have to arrange for an alternate flight for the passengers within an hour of the original flight.
In case they accommodate you to an alternative flight within 24 hours, you are entitled to receive a compensation of 200 per cent of the booked one-way basic fare with fuel charge, up to ₹10,000. In a scenario where the alternate flight departs 24 hours later than the scheduled departure, you can claim 400 per cent of the one-way basic fare with a fuel charge, up to ₹20,000.
8. If the airlines lose or damage your baggage, they will have to pay you a compensation up to ₹350 per kg, or up to ₹20,000.
This is 75% more than the earlier compensation.
9. If a passenger dies on-board or suffers bodily injury due to a fault of the airline, the airlines will have to pay a compensation of ₹20 lakh.
These days, air passenger woes seem to be endless. It’d be a good idea to be aware of your rights, lest the situation should arise.