A city consumer forum has directed Kingfisher Airlines to pay Rs75,000 to a Peddar Road resident for failing to accommodate his family members on another flight after their flight, for which tickets were booked six months in advance, was cancelled.
The Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum found much substance in the allegation levelled by Sanjay Banga that the airline had cancelled several flights during the period in order to compel passengers to purchase new tickets by paying full ticket amount at the eleventh hour, and thus get rid of tickets booked in advance at concessional rates.
In November 2006, the Peddar Road resident had booked 15 return tickets - some from Mumbai and remaining from Delhi to Chennai - as his family members had decided to visit to Tirupati Balaji during the summer vacation.
The flights were scheduled to leave on May 6, 2007. A week prior to their scheduled trip, however, the airline informed him that two of the flights had been cancelled.
Banga then requested the airline to accommodate them on another flight in which seats were available, but the airline turned down his request.Kingfisher Airlines' counsel Shivajirao Masal contended that the airline had the authority to cancel flights because of certain extra-ordinary circumstances.
The bench of forum president JL Deshpande and member Deepa Bidnurkar, however, found that there was no evidence suggesting a 'extraordinary' circumstance. The consumer forum reduced the compensation taking into consideration that the Bangas cancelled their trip and were not required to purchase tickets at higher rate.