Ludhiana: Not allowing woman, son to board costs airline dear, asked to pay ₹1L - Hindustan Times
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Ludhiana: Not allowing woman, son to board costs airline dear, asked to pay 1L

By, Ludhiana
Jun 15, 2024 10:09 PM IST

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ordered SpiceJet to pay ₹1 lakh to the Ludhiana-based complainants

Not allowing a mother-son duo to board a flight has cost an airline dear as the consumer forum has ordered a compensation of 1 lakh.

Upon notice, the airline submitted that it acted according to the rules and regulations stipulated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and the central and state governments regarding Covid protocols (HT Photo)
Upon notice, the airline submitted that it acted according to the rules and regulations stipulated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and the central and state governments regarding Covid protocols (HT Photo)

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ordered SpiceJet to pay 1 lakh to the Ludhiana-based complainants.

The woman, Shallu Chawla of Dugri, filed a complaint on April 29, 2022, stating that she is settled in Dubai and is working as a class teacher in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Her 14-year-old son Gurpartap Singh Anand is also pursuing education in Dubai.

In the complaint, she said she booked two air tickets on October 21, 2021, from Amritsar to Dubai for January 1, 2022. The complainant added that they (the woman and her son) came to India on December 11, 2021, via a SpiceJet flight from Dubai to Amritsar. She added that as per the pre-requisites of the airline company, the travellers underwent a Covid real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on December 31 of the same year from a reputed and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)- approved lab at the SPS Apollo Hospital in Ludhiana. The tests showed them to be Covid negative. The complainants got a second RT-PCR done at Amritsar airport through the airline on January 1, 2022. However, this test returned a Covid-positive result for her. Her son’s test returned a negative result this time as well. As a result, the duo were not allowed to board and their luggage was off-loaded from the flight.

The complainant alleged they faced a lot of harassment by SpiceJet staff at the Amritsar airport. Even after repeated requests for a re-test, the airline did not pay heed, she said, adding that they then returned to Ludhiana. The woman said that she took a Covid test again on the next day (January 2), which returned a negative result.

The complainant added that she had to join her school on January 2, 2022. Her son, who is a student of Class 9, had to join classes as well, but could not do so and had missed important classes. This caused huge financial loss and mental stress for them, she added in the complaint.

Upon notice, the airline submitted that it acted according to the rules and regulations stipulated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and the central and state governments regarding Covid protocols, which were applicable at the time. The airline further submitted that it acted as per the terms of carriage and there was no deficiency in service and negligence on its part.

The complainants had claimed compensation of 2 lakh, including 18,000 as difference in airfare, 8,000 as RT-PCR test fee, 900 as taxi fare, 25,000 as loss on account of mental tension etc,, 25,000 as loss of salary and 10,000 as education losses for her son.

The commission ordered a composite cost of 1 lakh to the complainants within 30 days from the date of receipt of a copy of the order, failing which the complainant shall be held entitled to interest of 8% per annum on the said amount from the date of filing of complaint till date of actual payment.

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