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  India   All India  05 Apr 2017  Supreme Court to look into refund for flight delay

Supreme Court to look into refund for flight delay

Published : Apr 5, 2017, 2:06 am IST
Updated : Apr 5, 2017, 6:37 am IST

Petition claims aviation regulator’s guidelines only for benefit of airlines.

Passenger’s plea questions DGCA’s rules that provide for refund only if delay is nine hours and above.
 Passenger’s plea questions DGCA’s rules that provide for refund only if delay is nine hours and above.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will examine whether airlines can be compelled to refund fares and compensate passengers for delayed flight departure.

A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta issued notice to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on a petition from a passenger, Nanita Sharma, questioning the DGCA’s August 1, 2016 guidelines which provide for refund of ticket only if the delay is nine hours and above.  

“The present rule that passengers would be entitled to refund only if there is a nine-hour delay does not test the stand of logic and reason, is arbitrary,” it was argued.

The court sought the DGCA’s response within four weeks on the woman’s plea for considering some sops to harried passengers, such as fare refund, adjustment in an alternate flight, or compensation for delay beyond an hour.

Ms Nanita filed the appeal in the apex court, challenging the concurrent findings of the Delhi district consumer forum and the state consumer commission, which declined to entertain her plea for an award of compensation of Rs 20,000 toward mental and physical agony, Rs 3,975 refund of airfare from Mumbai to Delhi, and Rs 11,000 legal expense.

The passenger had booked a ticket on a GoAir flight from Mumbai to Delhi on January 30, 2007. The scheduled departure from the flight from Mumbai was at 2.15 pm and was scheduled to land in Delhi at 5.50 pm.

However, the flight took off at 6.50 pm in Mumbai and landed in Delhi at 11.15 pm. In her appeal, Ms Nanita challenged the DGCA’s civil aviation requirements guidelines which came into effect on August 1, 2016 as being at the very “outset, a farce, lopsided and issued only in the interest of the airlines (operators) and not the passenger/consumer”.

She said the rules far from helping passengers was only giving immunity to airlines from any liability.

Tags: supreme court, goair flight, director general of civil aviation