The Maharashtra State Consumer Forum has ruled that airline service providers would be liable to its passengers in case of failure to take necessary steps at proper stage leading to cancellation of a flight.
The order was passed in a complaint filed by two families -- Doiphodes and Alwanis — who were in January 2008 left to fend for themselves after their Mumbai-bound Jetlite flight from Delhi was cancelled citing technical reasons.
The forum held Jetlite guilty of deficiency in service and directed them to pay the families a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each and a refund of the ticket price with 12% interest from January 2008.
Six members of the Doiphode family and two members of the Alwani family had booked their tickets on a Jetlite flight scheduled to depart at 9.55am on June 7, 2008, from Delhi. While the Doiphode family had spent Rs 21,162 on the tickets, the Alwanis had paid Rs 9,669.
According to the complaint, when they reached Delhi airport they were informed that the flight had been cancelled due to technical reasons. When they requested Jetlite staff for another accommodation, the airline refused.
“As we were left in a lurch, we were forced to purchase a ticket on the same day on another flight which cost Rs 51,492," the complaint states.
The airlines argued that the flight was cancelled due to technical reasons and since the reasons for cancellation were beyond their control, it was not liable to refund. The forum did not accept this argument.