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Airlines asked to inform open ticket holders in advance

The Delhi State Consumer Commission asks airline to apprise customers about the confirmation of their tickets at least a fortnight in advance.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2007 10:55 IST

In an order that could help open air ticket-holders in planning their itinerary, the Delhi State Consumer Commission has asked airlines to apprise them about the confirmation of their tickets at least a fortnight in advance.

"Whenever open tickets are issued, the minimum expectation of the consumer is that at least he should get the seat by informing 15 days or 20 days or one month in advance," Justice JD Kapoor, president of the Commission, said.

Open tickets, valid for six months, are sold under a particular scheme to travellers and the confirmation of the seats depends on availability.

The Commission's direction came in response to an appeal by Air India Limited against an order of a district consumer forum that had asked it to compensate a couple who had to upgrade their open ticket by paying an additional Rs 20,000 in Toronto while on their way to India.

Upholding the forum's verdict, the Commission asked the government-owned airline to pay Rs 30,000 as compensation within a month to Tarsem Singh Soch and his wife, both residents of Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

In 2003, Soch and his wife had gone to Canada after purchasing open pre-paid return tickets from the airline.

Hours before embarking on their return journey, they were informed that they would have to get the tickets upgraded by paying Rs 20,000 more, their complaint alleged.

"The concept of open ticket does not mean that if it is valid for six months, the person should be asked to wait for six months on the pretext that seats are not available," it said, adding that such acts amounted to "unfair trade practices".

ht epaper

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