The Virgin Atlantic Airways has been directed by a consumer forum here to pay compensation of Rs 70,000 to a family of three for cancelling their tickets to UK and not informing them about it.
The Haryana-based family was denied permission to board their flight by the airline's staff when they arrived at the airport on the date of departure. The airline contended that it was done on the direction of the British High Commission.
Observing that the family should have been informed in advance that their tickets were cancelled to avoid causing them embarrassment, the district consumer disputes redressal forum presided by Narendra Kumar held the airline's actions amounted to deficiency in service and said the family was entitled to compensation.
"We presume that on instructions the opposite party-2 (Virgin Atlantic) might have cancelled the tickets. We are of the considered opinion that instructions of the British High Commission should have been received by it much in advance.
There was possibility of informing the complainants in decent way in advance to avoid embarrassment to complainants.
"The action and the way adopted by the airline certainly amounts to deficiency in service and the complainants deserve compensation for harassment and mental agony faced by them. We direct the airline to pay a sum of Rs 50,000 to complainants as compensation for physical and mental harassment along with Rs 20,000 as cost of litigation," the forum said.
The order of the bench came on the plea of a the family which had alleged that despite having confirmed tickets and valid travel visas they were not allowed to board a Virgin Atlantic flight to UK by the airline staff.
They also alleged that they were harassed, manhandled and abused by the airline staff.
The airline in its defence while denying the allegations contended that the tickets of the family were cancelled on instructions of the British High Commission.