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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Airlines to pay for serving non-veg food to couple

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 15, 2013
First Published: 00:33 IST(15/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:34 IST(15/3/2013)

The state consumer commission has asked Japan Airlines to pay a compensation of Rs. 35,000 to a couple for serving them non-vegetarian food instead of the vegetarian meals they had chosen while booking tickets.

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The commission said the airline's negligence and deficiency in service is clear from the conduct of the cabin crew, who did not mention in its report that the couple had complained about the wrong food provided to them.

"As soon as they started eating, the respondents (couple) observed something wrong in the food and started feeling uneasy. They immediately called the air hostess who had served the food packet and she confirmed they had been served non-vegetarian food.

"It is wrong to say on the part of the airline that cabin crew was not informed of the mistake. This was the duty of the cabin crew to mention all the happenings which they failed to do just to avoid their liability. This clearly shows negligence and deficiency of service on the part of airline," a bench of members S A Siddiqui and S C Jain said.

The order was passed while dismissing the appeal of Japan Airlines, which had challenged the decision of a district forum, directing it to pay compensation of Rs. 35,000 to the Delhi-based couple, NR Ahuja and his wife Karuna Ahuja for serving them non-vegetarian food instead of the vegetarian meal.

The airline, in its plea, had contended that the couple was given non-vegetarian meals as they were instructed to do so over phone by the daughter of the two passengers.

The state commission, however, rejected the contention saying the airline submitted no proof that it had received any such instruction and also said that its version cannot be relied upon since they did not serve the non-veg meal on both legs of the journey from San Francisco to Delhi.

The commission noted that the couple had been served vegetarian food during the first leg of journey from San Francisco to Tokyo and the non-vegetarian food was served on the second leg from Tokyo to Delhi.

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