Maiden aviation policy ignores travellers’ grouses | india | Hindustan Times
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Maiden aviation policy ignores travellers’ grouses

More than one fifth of air passenger complaints last month were of lost baggage followed by rude airline staff, according to data released by the civil aviation ministry. But these two issues are not addressed in the new passenger rights policy.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2010 23:24 IST
Soubhik Mitra

More than one fifth of air passenger complaints last month were of lost baggage followed by rude airline staff, according to data released by the civil aviation ministry. But these two issues are not addressed in the new passenger rights policy.

While 22 per cent of 1078 complaints were of lost baggage, 11 per cent was of misbehaved staff. Getting a refund against your ticket and glitches on websites are the other issues that passengers have complained about. This is the first time that the ministry has taken stock of passenger grievances.

But the ministry’s maiden policy on passenger rights that came into effect on August 15 has no provisions to protect for such travellers. The rule only helps passengers stranded because of denied boarding, flight delays and last-minute cancellations. Last month, airlines compensated 52,000 such travellers with full refunds against the ticket, cash compensation, hotel accommodation or by putting them in alternative flights.

The Air Passenger Association of India (APAI), a body formed by air travellers had pointed out these gaps when the policy was at a draft stage but the aviation regulator ignored it. “Baggage loss is the most common problem. How can the regulator ignore it,” said Sudhakar Reddy, national president, APAI.

Many foreign airlines have invested in installing baggage-monitoring softwares such as ‘baggage tracker’ in their system because aviation regulators in the UK and US heavily penalise them. Airport sources said none of the Indian airports have close circuit television camera in the area used by loaders to move baggage from terminal to aircraft belly.
Despite several attempts the ministry spokesperson did not respond to our calls.