Etihad Airways Head Office, New Delhi, has been penalised by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for serving non-vegetarian food to a vegetarian person.
The court has directed the airways to pay Rs 50,000 to complainant Ramandeep Kaur, a resident of Hoshiarpur, for causing her mental agony, tension and trauma by serving her non-vegetarian food. The airways had also been directed to pay litigation cost of Rs 15,000 to her.
In her complaint, Ramandeep stated that she had booked airline tickets through American Travel and Tours Private Limited for onward and return journey from New Delhi to Sydney. The flight departed on November 24, 2011, from New Delhi to its first destination Abu Dhabi and seat number 21-A was allotted to her. After her stay in Abu Dhabi, the plane was changed for the rest of journey to Sydney and she was allotted seat number 38-K in that flight.
On the way to Sydney, she was served non-vegetarian meal, comprising meat, despite the mention of vegetarian meal on her ticket.
The complainant asked the airhostess twice "Is this meal vegetarian", to which the airhostess replied "yes".
The complainant consumed the meal and, thereafter, when she again enquired from the air staff about the contents of the meal served, she was shocked on their reply that it was non-vegetarian.
Due to the negligence on part of the opposite party, the complainant's religious sentiments were hurt. She suffered mental agony, tension and harassment.
The airways did not appear in response to the notice of the complaint which proved that it did not have to say anything in its defence. Therefore, the allegations of the complainant were correct. The forum ordered the Etihad Airways to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation and Rs 15,000 as litigation cost.