The government is looking to reduce cancellation charges for air tickets as it works on a host of new rules for airlines to ensure fair treatment of passengers.
The government is of the view that the cancellation fee should not exceed the base fare, sources said. Aviation regulator DGCA has already held discussions with airlines on this issue.
“Cancellation fees cannot include airport charges, service tax when the passenger hasn’t flown at all,” said an official.
“There are a lot of suggestions we are working on,” civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Wednesday.
The move comes in the wake of numerous complaints from passengers. Currently, cancellation charges aren’t fixed and range between Rs 1,500 and 100% of the fare, depending on class, price and time before departure.
Among other measures — as reported by HT on June 2 — airlines may have to pay a stiff fine for turning away flyers due to overbooking of flights, allow passengers a few extra kilos of baggage for free or at a nominal cost, and cap fares in emergency conditions.
Airlines usually overbook seats to reduce the possibility of empty seats. Flyers denied a seat in such circumstances get Rs 2,000-4,000, which ministry officials believe isn’t enough.
“Also, if one has to buy a ticket on the spot, it costs much more. We are proposing higher compensation for passengers,” said an official.