India’s aviation ministry proposed on Tuesday that new rules on no cancellation fee and full refund tickets by saying that if a cancellation is made within 24 hours of booking a flight ticket, no charges should be applied to passengers. And the government also said that full refund will be provided if a flight is delayed by more than 4 hours to the passengers.
While unveiling the draft air passengers’ charter, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said, the new air passenger charter seeks to amend the current norms for charges incurred by travelers on cancellation and rescheduling of air travel. During this 24-hour “lock-in period”, passengers will also be allowed to amend journey details or can make the correction in the name, without attracting penalties, in the first 24 hours of purchasing a ticket.
Here are 10 things to know about the draft air passenger’s charter:
- The proposed rule will not apply if the tickets are booked less than 96 hours (4 days) before the scheduled departure time of the flight.
- The passengers would be compensated on missing connecting flights if the delay is over 12 hours and between 4-12 hours.
- If the passenger is informed about the cancellation of flight less than 2 weeks before and up to 24 hours of the departure time, then the airline must offer an alternative flight allowing the passenger to depart within 2 hours of the booked scheduled departure time or refund the ticket, as on passenger choice.
- If the flight delay is communicated by the airline more than 24 hours before the originally scheduled time and if the flight is delayed for more than 4 hours, then airlines will have to offer an option of a full refund of the ticket.
- The government also clear that airlines could not be held accountable in case of weather-related disturbances.
- In case of denial of boarding, airlines are liable to pay compensation.
- To make the airlines disabled-friendly, airlines should have seats – which are accessible for persons with disabilities – blocked, along with provision for adequate leg space, free of charge.
- The cancellation charges should be printed prominently on ticket and airlines and their agents together should not, under any circumstances, levy cancellation charge more than the basic fare plus fuel surcharge.
- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) could look into issues where the airlines are not in agreement with the passenger on the compensation issue.
- The consultation process will be open for 30 days. The new norms are expected to be notified by July 15 after public comments on the draft charter have been received by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.