The national consumer court held travel company, Cox & King, guilty of deficiency in service and ordered them to pay Rs 98,806 to a Kolkata-based couple for mental agony and harassment caused. In the year 2003, the couple did not get a return ticket from Bangkok despite advance payment.
Cox & Kings filed a petition in National Consumer Commission seeking reversal of order of State Consumer Commission, which had directed the travel company to compensate the couple with the entire travel cost along with Rs 50,000.
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission presiding member VB Gupta and member Suresh Chandra said, "In the present case, there are concurrent findings of the fact by two for a (lower consumer courts) below, stating that there is deficiency in the service provided by the petitioner (Cox & Kings)".
Tushar Kanti Pal and his wife Swati Pal, both residents of Kolkata, had booked a short holiday package of four nights and five days to Thailand on November 25, 2003, through Kolkata branch. The couple made an advance payment of Rs 43,806 and received the return tickets.
On their return from Bangkok, the couple approached the regional office of Thai Airlines to confirm their tickets. They were shocked to learn that their names were not included in the return trip, despite tickets being stamped "o.k".
For nearly two days, the couple frantically contacted several offices of Cox & Kings in Bangkok and Kolkata-but none of the officials responded. Finally, they bought fresh business class return tickets.
The court said "The very admission of the OP (travel company) that the tickets were bearing "o.k". status but were actually waitlisted is a glaring example of deficiency in service".
However, the Counsel for Cox & Kings refuted the charges and told the court the tickets issued to the couple were never cancelled, but were confirmed.
The court observed both district commission and state commission have given detailed and reasoned orders, which does not call for any interference.