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From today, get compensation for delayed flights

It’s now the turn for airlines to fasten seat belts. From Thursday, fliers can claim compensation for flight delays, denial of boarding or flight cancellations, according to guidelines formulated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Soubhik Mitra reports. What you can claim

india Updated: Aug 05, 2010 09:37 IST
Soubhik Mitra

It’s now the turn for airlines to fasten seat belts.

From Thursday, fliers can claim compensation for flight delays, denial of boarding or flight cancellations, according to guidelines formulated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). What you can claim

The draft policy proposes a compensation of Rs 2,000 - 4,000 if a flight is delayed for more than two hours, but only if the airline is directly responsible for the delay. If the journey is delayed by more than 24 hours, the airline will have to compulsorily provide food and accommodation to passengers.

“It will be on the DGCA website on Thursday,” said Maushumi Chakravarthy, civil aviation ministry spokesperson.
Until now there was no rule to protect stranded fliers. Their only option was to approach a consumer court, often a time-consuming exercise.

The draft also protects the rights of travellers denied boarding during peak seasons owing to airlines overbooking flights. “Airlines will have to pay compensation in addition to a full refund,” reads the draft.

Passengers are not entirely happy. “A workers’ strike can’t be equated with a natural calamity or emergency. Also, why allow airlines to get away for delays of less than two hours?” asked Sudhakar Reddy, president, Air Passenger Association of India.