In a positive update for frequent fliers, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has published its draft passenger charter with the option of cancelling flight tickets free of cost. Do note, however, that the ticket must be cancelled within 24 hours of booking and at least four days before the scheduled departure.
Under no circumstances can the airline or its agents, including online booking agents, charge cancellation charges more than the ticket amount. The taxes and levies must be refunded.
The Ministry has published this charter on its website for public consultation and offered consumers a 30-day window to send their recommendations. According to The Hindu, this consumer charter is expected to be finally notified within two months.
Another proposal in the draft charter allows passengers to make corrections in the name on the ticket, at no cost. These errors must be pointed out within 24 hours of reservation, “provided the rectification is required for no more than three characters”.
On the issue of compensation, the charter suggests that if an airline informs you of a flight cancellation between two weeks and 24 hours before departure, it will have to offer you an alternative flight. Moreover, the alternative will have to depart within two hours of the earlier departure time at which you had booked your ticket or give you a refund.
If the airline fails to inform you about a flight cancellation at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure, you will be entitled to a complete refund. Passengers will be compensated up to Rs 20,000 (depending on the delay) for flight delays which lead to onward flights being missed.
Meanwhile, the minimum compensation for lost baggage will be Rs 3,000 per kg and stands at Rs 1,000 per kg for delayed and damaged baggage. Finally, all airports are expected to provide at least 30 minutes of free wi-fi service for passengers.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)