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Govt to clamp down on airlines for overbooking, high cancellation fees

business Updated: Jun 02, 2016 06:18 IST

NEW DELHI: The aviation ministry is set to announce a slew of measures to ensure that passengers are fairly treated by airlines.

The ministry is likely to impose a stiff penalty on airlines denying boarding to passengers due to overbooking of flights. Government is also set to intervene and bring down the high ticket cancellation charges being imposed by domestic carriers.

The ministry is also looking at capping air fares in special emergency conditions and may look at allowing passengers carry a few extra kilos of baggage at no extra or nominal charges.

To reduce the possibility of flight departing with empty seats, airlines generally overbook flights to a limited extent. At present, passengers are entitled for a compensation of Rs 2,000-4,000 in case denied boarding by airlines, which ministry officials believe is too less.

“If one has to buy a ticket on the spot, it would cost much more. We are proposing a much higher compensation for passengers,” said an official.

A total of 1,149 passengers were denied boarding by airlines in April and were paid a compensation of Rs 40.74 lakh.

The government is also looking at reducing cancellation charges, which can vary from Rs 1,500 to 100% of the ticket fare depending upon the class, price level and time before departure.

“We have received numerous complaints regarding high cancellation charges,” the official said.