SpiceJet has been directed by aconsumer forum here to pay Rs one lakh to a passenger for not allowing all members of his family to board the plane despite having confirmed tickets and making them travel on two different flights while returning to Delhi from Goa.
The East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum noted that it was "cruelty" on the part of SpiceJet to split the family into two groups especially when they had children with them and held it guilty of unfair trade practice.
The forum noted that since the airline had not opposed the family's contention, that four passengers who arrived after them were allowed to board and then only three members of their group were later accommodated on the plane, it showed that SpiceJet had overbooked their flight. "Allegation of the complainant has not been specifically denied (by airline)... Entire conduct of respondent (SpiceJet) is such which points only towards one conclusion that the airline had infact overbooked the passengers on its flight. "This is a clear act of unfair trade practice.
It is also contended by complainant that his two minor children were separated on different flights to travel to Delhi which is a cruelty not only to parents but also to children," a bench presided by N A Zaidi said. The forum also held the airline "guilty of breach of contract" and directed it to pay Rs one lakh as compensation to the complainant Delhi resident Manu Digvijay Singh.
Singh had contended that despite having confirmed tickets and arriving on time at the Goa airport, he and five members of his family were initially denied boarding saying the flight was full even though four passengers who arrived after them were allowed on to the plane. Later three members of their family were allowed to board the plane, while the remaining had to take an evening flight back to Delhi, he said.
Spice Jet had said it had denied boarding to half of the family as the flight was already full, which contention was rejected by the forum on the ground that no proof was shown by the airline that the plane was overloaded.