A postponed or canceled flight is possibly the most infuriating thing for tourists, especially when you have a joining or a connecting flight to catch! But a big shout out to India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation for releasing new reforms that restated the rights of passengers flying within the country.
This list of rights covers most contingencies – from flight delays to cancellations to even loss of baggage. To be sure, some of these rules were in place already. But, after checking airlines and passenger bodies, the government modified some of these! And so, here is the new set of rules as an air passenger in India! Take a look!
1. Delayed Flights
If your flight has been delayed by 2 or 6 hours, then the airline will have to offer you refreshments and free meals. This applies only to flyers that wait at the airport. If there is a delay of more than 24 hours, passengers will be given free accommodation and hotel transfer (one-way). Airlines are also being asked to reimburse passengers for missing their connecting flights, where the amount to be repaid will be decided in the following way:
If there is a delay of more than 3 hours: INR 5,000/-
If there is a delay between 4 to 12 hours: INR 10,000/-
If there is a delay of more than 12 hours: INR 20,000/-
2. Canceled Flights
The rules being proposed will also come as a huge relief for tourists whose trip itineraries get affected due to canceled flights. Airlines are being initiated to provide travelers with an alternative flight within 2 hours or give them a full refund of the ticket if the traveler has been notified of the cancellation less than two weeks prior and up to 24 hours of the scheduled time of departure. If the airline fails to notify the traveler about such a cancellation until 24 hours preceding the scheduled departure time, they are liable to refund the entire amount of the ticket. Also, In case of overbooking, the airline will provide the passenger a reimbursement of a minimum of INR 5,000 depending on the ticket cost.
3. Refund Process
Tourists can now cancel their tickets without paying any cancellation fee, provided it is done within a day of the booking. But the charter also states that the 0 cancellation charge won’t apply if the tickets are booked less than 7 days before the scheduled departure time of the flight. The refund process is fairly forthright. The reimbursement has to be paid in cash, bank transfer or travel vouchers, according to the preference of the customer.
The charter adds that in such, the airline can charge a cancellation fee limited to the total of the base fare and fuel surcharge. Other extra charges like the tax, airport development fee, user development fee, and passenger service have to be refunded.
Also note that if it is a foreign airline, the right to reimbursement will be subject to its internal policy.
4. Physical injury or loss of life
If a traveler suffers a bodily injury due to the fault of the carrier or a passenger, the airlines will be accountable to pay Rs 20 lakh as compensation.
5. Baggage Norms
And in case these new rules weren’t good enough a reason to rejoice, then we’ve got some more! If your baggage is misplaced, delayed, or damaged by the fault of the airline, they’re entitled to compensate you! The minimum recompense for lost baggage will be INR 3,000/- per kg, and INR 1,000 per kg for both damaged and delayed baggage.
And the best part is that you won’t have to wait very long for these changes to take effect since the government plans to inform the draft charter by mid-July! Isn’t this a huge relief? So if you’re planning a holiday in India then go ahead and book your tickets on www.akbartravels.com to get the cheapest airfares today!