Indians going for Haj this year will no longer be at the mercy of carriers that leave them stranded at airports with no information about their return flight.
The ministry of civil aviation wants a penal clause included in an MoU to be signed with Haj carriers that will entitle Indian pilgrims to compensation on a par with commercial norms.
The pilgrims will also be entitled to free accommodation, food and other facilities if their departure is delayed by more than six hours.
“There have been numerous instances of poor treatment of Hajis, especially those who are booked with foreign carriers, during their return journey and often for days no information is provided to them about their flights,” a ministry official said.
The ministry will educate the pilgrims about their rights and privileges, and the information will be put up on its website.
For the first time, the ministry has floated a global tender inviting quotations for fares from carriers.
“A committee comprising representatives from the ministry of external affairs, Haj Committee of India, DGCA and the civil aviation ministry has been formed to oversee the process of hiring of aircraft,” the official said.