Draft Air Passenger Charter proposes zero ticket cancellation fee

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has released the first draft of the passengers’ charter, spelling out rules for cancellation fee, compensation for missing connecting flight and plans to introduce wi-fi services in flights. The new regulations will come into effect after being approved by the Union Cabinet.

If the passenger is informed about the cancellation of flights less than two weeks before and up to 24 hours of the scheduled departure time, the airline must offer alternate flight allowing the passenger to depart within two hours of the booked scheduled departure time or refund the ticket, as acceptable to the passenger.

If a flight delay is communicated more than 24 hours prior to original scheduled time and the flight is delayed for more than four hours, the airline has to offer an option of full refund of ticket. According to the new rule, if a passenger misses a connecting flight due to over three-hour delay, the compensation would be Rs 5,000. For delays of 4-12 hours and more than 12 hours, it would be Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively.

Airline has to provide Lock-in option for 24 hours after booking ticket where ticket can be cancelled without any charges. This facility is available to passenger up to 96 hours prior to flight departure. Airline and their agents together should not levy cancellation charge more than the basic fare plus fuel surcharge.

Internet services can be provided from the moment a plane takes off and personal electronic devices have to be put on flight mode. Mobile services can be allowed only when an aircraft is over an altitude of 3,000 metres, as per the new rules. A revamp of the AirSewa mobile and web application is on the cards to make flight booking and cancellation easier for passengers. It will also enable users to login to AirSewa using their social media ids in a safe manner.