DGCA Mandates Compensation and Assistance for Flight Disruptions
To enhance passenger rights and streamline procedures for flight disruptions, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has reaffirmed existing guidelines, emphasizing the responsibilities of airline companies in mitigating passenger inconvenience caused by cancellations and delays.
Minister of State of Civil Aviation, Gen (Ret.) VK Singh recently apprised the parliament of these regulations to mandate airlines meet specific requirements. These guidelines, outlined in the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) issued by DGCA, aim to ensure that passengers facing disruptions receive adequate support and compensation.
Compensation for Cancellations
One of the critical provisions mandates that in the event of flight cancellations, airlines are obligated to provide passengers with either an alternative flight or compensation in addition to a full refund of the air ticket. Passengers awaiting an alternate flight at the airport are entitled to meals and refreshments during the wait.
Assistance for Flight Delays
For flight delays, the guidelines dictate that airlines must offer meals and refreshments to affected passengers. Depending on the total delay, the airline must provide an alternate flight, a full ticket refund, or hotel accommodation, including transfers.
Exception for Force Majeure
To account for unforeseen circumstances beyond the airline’s control, the guidelines acknowledge the concept of force majeure. In cases where cancellations or delays result from extraordinary events, compensation is not mandatory.
The DGCA underscores that these regulations are part of the Passenger Charter, accessible on the Ministry’s website, as well as CARs on the DGCA website and respective airline platforms. By making these guidelines publicly available, passengers can be better informed about their rights and the assistance they can expect in case of flight inconveniences.
The emphasis on passenger protection during disruptions is a proactive measure by the DGCA to instil confidence among travellers. The aviation industry’s commitment to providing essential support during unexpected events is evident, contributing to a more passenger-friendly travel experience.
With these guidelines in place, passengers can navigate disruptions with assurance, knowing that the aviation sector is dedicated to safeguarding their interests and providing the necessary support, ultimately fostering a more resilient and responsive air travel environment.