Late refunds to paid seats: Airlines summoned over spike in complaints | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Late refunds to paid seats: Airlines summoned over spike in complaints

Oct 27, 2023 05:36 AM IST

According to data, around 10,000 complaints were made against airlines for a variety of reasons, including no refunds after travel bookings cancellation

The consumer affairs ministry has summoned all major airlines for a meeting on November 4 following a spike in complaints registered by customers, from unpaid refunds to lack of services, on the national consumer helpline, Union consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said on Thursday.

All major airlines summoned by the consumer affairs ministry over a spike in complaints registered by consumers. (PTI)
All major airlines summoned by the consumer affairs ministry over a spike in complaints registered by consumers. (PTI)

Data from the helpline showed that in the past one year, 10,000 complaints were made against airlines for a variety of reasons. A majority — 40.8% — of the grievances had to do with fares not being refunded after travel bookings had been cancelled.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

A bulk of the complaints, about 14%, were about deficiency or lack of promised services, the data showed. Another 14% were of passengers who complained objected to delayed or no compensation made for lost or damaged baggage, according to the data. Any consumer can make a complaint on the national consumer helpline 1915 regarding purchases or transactions, which are legally followed up by a three-tier consumer court system in the country. The central consumer protection authority, set up under the Consumer Protection Act 2019, acts as the regulator, with powers to take legal action and order compensation.

Several complainants alleged that airlines often forced passengers to opt for a paid seat despite promising “free mandatory web check-ins”, the top official said, declining to name the airlines because the charges are yet unproven.

“We are not getting into fare structures. That is not our mandate. But we are concerned with any violation of consumer rights or deficiency in service. If an airline promises free web check-in, it cannot force a passenger to choose a paid seat,” Singh said.

In another instance, an airline “forced” a group of passengers to choose a different flight due to overbooking but the complainants said they were not given enough time to make a decision.

About 5% of the issues raised in the helpline related to lack of information on rescheduled or cancelled flights, which caused substantial monetary losses, according to the allegations made by passengers.

Airline customers can also register complaints on www.consumerhelpline.gov.in, or directly to aviation regulator directorate general of civil aviation. Flyers can also use the SUGAM website run by the regulator.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok sabha election Live , Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Zia Haq reports on public policy, economy and agriculture. Particularly interested in development economics and growth theories.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 19, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On