Planning a trip? Here are five rights you should know before flying

Did you know that when a flight is delayed up to 24 hours, a passenger is entitled to basic refreshments and meals? Or that Airlines have to inform the passengers ideally two weeks in advance in case of cancellations? Here is all that you need to know as a passenger.

Have a look at some critical provisions from the charter to get an understanding of your rights as a flyer.

  1. General rights

All shops, restaurants and kiosks other than Foreign Exchange centres at the airports are regulated by the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India. Any violation of price lists, non-confirmation of consumer rights etc can be redressed by a complaint to this authority.

All airports have to mandatorily provide free drinking water and free first aid items that are available.

2. Check-in and boarding

Denied Boarding– Airlines can deny check-in and boarding privileges to consumers if they report to the airport beyond the time limit prescribed by the airlines and the passenger is without a valid ticket.

However, passengers with a valid ticket, who have reached on time need to be compensated for denial of boarding privileges.

For reasons such as overbooking, the airlines need not pay compensation if they arrange alternate flight journeys within one hour. In case, this doesn’t happen, passengers have to be compensated monetarily either in cash, digital payments or through travel vouchers.

Alternate flight scheduled within 24 hours of the original scheduled departure- 200% of Basic fare+ Fuel Charge (up to Rs 10,000),

Alternate flight scheduled to depart beyond 24 hours of the original scheduled departure- 400% of basic fare+ Fuel Charge (up to Rs 20,000)

Passenger does not opt for alternate flight- Refund of full value of ticket+ 400% of Basic fare+ Fuel Charge (up to Rs 20,000).

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3.Delays

In cases of delay up to 24 hours, passengers should be provided with basic refreshments and meals. If the delay is beyond 24 hours, airlines will also have to arrange for hotel accommodation and airport transfer. The choice of the hotel is left to the discretion of the airline.

However, airlines don’t need to compensate the fliers for reasons beyond their control which delay flights. Some of the reasons are civil war, political instability, natural disasters, wars etc.

4.Cancellations

Airlines have to inform the passengers well in advance in case of cancellations. Ideally two weeks in advance. However, passengers have to be informed at least three hours in advance before the departure time. If you haven’t been informed at least three hours before the departure of the cancellation, you are liable to be compensated.

Here is the compensation:

Flights up to 1 hr (block time)- Rs 5000 or booked one- way basic fare +airline fuel charge, whichever is less.

Flights more than 1 hour up to 2 hours (block time)- Rs 7500 or booked one-way fare+ fuel charge, whichever is less.

Flights more than 2 hours (block time)- Rs 10,000 or booked one- way fare+ fuel charge, whichever is less.

Block time here is referred to the time taken by a flight to travel from one point to another.

Airlines are bound to provide alternate travel opportunities at no additional cost and are bound to fully compensate the cost of the ticket, in case the passenger refuses to accept the alternate travel arrangement.

While waiting for the alternate flight, passengers need to be provided meals and refreshments by the airlines.

However, no compensation will be provided if the traveller does not accept the alternate travel arrangements made by the airlines and if flights are cancelled due to natural causes.

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5.Baggage damaged/delayed at transit

Goods and baggage delayed, damaged in transit are liable to the compensated. However, it needs to be proved that the baggage was damaged by the airline during the transit period.

What to do – Air Sewa app can be downloaded to register complaints and more information can be obtained from the app.

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