New Delhi: Flight delay and cancellation nightmares just got slightly bearable, with the government looking to burden domestic airlines for the pains caused to the flyers booked with them. Fresh guidelines by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that from August 1, an airline will have to cough up around Rs 10,000 to a flier in the case of cancelling or delaying a flight beyond two hours, while the compensation for not allowing a passenger to board the flight is up to Rs 20,000.
However, according to Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) founder and president D Sudhakara Reddy, the new norms need further clarity.
In a report by ET, Reddy said explained that airlines will be required to compensate up to Rs. 5,000 or the fare for a booked one-way basic fare plus fuel charge, whichever is less for a cancelled or delayed flight with a block time of up to one hour if the flier has not been informed by the airline as per aviation rules.
Block hours refer to the period when an aircraft pushes back from its departure gate till the moment it reaches the arrival gate.
For delays and cancellations that will exceed one hour, but will have a block time of two hours, airlines will pay a compensation amount of Rs. 7,500 or booked one-way basic fare plus fuel charge, whichever is less, besides the refund amount. For delays or cancellations for more than two hours, the compensation will be Rs. 10,000 or booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, whichever is less.
On the other hand is a passenger is denied boarding, airlines will have to pay 200 per cent of booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, for a maximum of Rs. 20,000. The fight will only pay if in it is not able to arrange any alternate flight that is scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the booked scheduled departure, as per the revised norms.
APAI founder and president D Sudhakara Reddy, in a report to ET said, “How can the ATC delays be a reason for compensation and this leaves the decision in a grey area and will lead to many disputes. It is also not transparent.”