What are the Compensation norms & Facilities available for Passengers affected by Flight delays & cancellations?

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The CAR by DGCA provide for compensation & facilities to be provided to passengers affected by delays & cancellations of flights and also those denied boarding.  As per data available with the government, more than 15 lakh passengers were affected in 2015 & 2016.

With growing air travel in the country, there has also been an increase in the number of cancellations & delayed flights. As per data available with the government, more than 15 lakh people were affected by delays, cancellations & denied boarding. So what are the norms for compensation for the affected passengers?

Civil Aviation Requirements provide for Compensation & Facilities

Under the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Section-3, Series-M, Part-IV ‘Facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding cancellation of flights and delays in flights’ issued by the DGCA, airlines are required to pay compensation/provide facilities to passengers in case of denied boarding, cancellation and delays in flight.

In case a passenger is denied boarding against his/her will after having reported on time, the following norms for compensation will apply.

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In case of Cancellations where the passenger has not been informed either two weeks before the scheduled departure or has not been allowed a departure within two hours of the scheduled departure, the following compensation norms would be applicable. These would not apply to cases where the cancellation of a flight is due to an extra ordinary circumstance.

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In case of delays, the airlines are required to provide facilities to the passengers in certain circumstances including meals & refreshments, hotel accommodation etc.

How to claim the Compensation?

When affected by denied boarding, a cancellation or a long delay, the passenger should make a complaint directly to the airline if the airline has not provided the compensation and/or reasonable facilities as specified in the CAR. If the airlines fail to fulfill their obligations, then the passenger can approach the Nodal officer and Appellate Authority of the respective airline. The details of these officers should be prominently displayed on the websites of various airlines. The airlines are also supposed to display the policies with respect to compensation etc on their websites and also inform the same to passengers so that they can exercise their rights.

More than 15 lakh passengers affected in 2015 & 2016

As per the data shared by the government in the Lok Sabha, more than 15 lakh passengers were affected by delay, cancellation and denied boarding on flights in 2015 & 2016 (up to September). The number of passengers affected by delay in flights has more than doubled from 3.14 lakh in 2013 to 7.26 lakh in 2015. On the other hand, the number of passengers affected by cancellation of flights has gone down from 1.23 lakh in 2013 to 1.16 lakh in 2015. The number of passengers who were denied boarding has gone up from 11932 in 2013 to 13175 in 2015.

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As per the available data, passengers are most affected during the months of December & January, the usual holiday season. Close to 35% of all the passengers affected during this period were affected in the months of December & January.

Airlines spent Rs 53.5 crore in compensation & facilities

Between 2013 and September 2016, the domestic airlines in India spent a total of Rs 53.35 crore in compensation & providing facilities to passengers affected by delays, cancellations & denied boarding. While Rs 17.26 crore was spent on compensation for denied boarding, Rs 16.96 crore was spent on passengers affected by cancellations. Another Rs 19.29 crore was spent on passengers affected by delays.

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The average amount spent per passenger who were denied boarding during this period is Rs 3424 while the average amount spent per passenger affected by cancellations is Rs 370. The average amount spent per passenger affected by delays is Rs 90.

Featured Image: Times Of India

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