The Supreme Court has ruled that airlines cannot be blamed for the failure of passengers to show up timely on the boarding gate.
A Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari in a judgment delivered on January 27 said that it was the primary responsibility of the passengers to reach the boarding gate well before the departure time.
The airlines have no obligation to wait for the passengers if they do not arrive in time, the top court observed.
“Concededly, it is the primary obligation of the passenger, who has been issued a boarding pass to undergo the security check procedure and reach at the boarding gate well before (at least 25 minutes before) the scheduled departure time,” the judgment stated.
“No doubt, it is said that the consumer is the king and the legislation is intended to safeguard and protect the rights and interests of the consumer, but that does not mean that he is extricated from the obligations under the contract in question much less to observe prudence and due care,” it added.
The court’s verdict came on an appeal of Indigo Airlines against the September 12, 2018 order passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which upheld District Forum order holding Indigo at fault for taking off the flight without informing four passengers and ordered the airline to pay compensation.
The top court has allowed the appeal filed by Indigo and dismissed the original complaint.
The top court in its verdict said that there is “no obligation on the airlines to escort every passenger after issuing him/her a boarding pass at the checkin counter until he/she reaches the boarding gate”.
(With ANI Inputs)