At the time when the aviation industry is facing economic turmoil, the State Consumer Commission has slapped Rs one lakh penalty on Air Deccan for abruptly cancelling a flight and refusing to provide alternative arrangements.
Rejecting the claim of the low-cost airline that it was not under obligation to provide alternative arrangements after cancellation of the flight, the Commission ruled that it amounted to "deficiency of service" to a consumer.
Anil Bhandoola, the flier, had initially approached the district consumer forum, Delhi after the airline abruptly cancelled last year the Delhi-bound Air Deccan flight from Pune.
The district forum had asked the airline to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to Bhandoola.
The airline, which had filed a cross appeal challenging the forum's direction, contended as per the contract that it was not its responsibility to provide alternate arrangements to the passenger in case the flights get cancelled.
The Commission not only dismissed the appeal of the aviation company but also revised the compensation from Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh in view of the gross deficiency.
The compensation granted to Bhandoola by the District Forum VII keeping in view of the fact that he was stranded at the airport with his family and underwent mental agony on account of no alternative arrangement is inadequate, the Commission said.
"The harassment suffered by complainant Anil Bhandoola in such a situation (cancellation of flight) can be imagined when neither an alternative flight was provided nor the queries for meals, transport and night accommodation were answered," Commission presiding member Rumnita Mittal said.