Air passengers will soon have a reason to smile with the government proposing a cap on ticket cancellation charges, increased compensation for denied boarding and steep reduction in excess baggage fee levied by airlines.
Union Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju proposed a slew of new concessions for air passengers.
Here are the 10 big announcements:
- Flyers will not have to pay more than Rs. 100 per kg for the first 5 kg of excess baggage.
- In case of flight cancellations announced within 24 hours of departure, compensation amount should be increased to up to Rs. 10,000.
- If an airline overbooks a flight and denies boarding to passenger, it will have to have to arrange an alternate flight within an hour or pay compensation.
- If the replacement flight is within 24 hours, the airline will have to pay a compensation of 200 per cent of the base fare or Rs. 10,000 whichever is less. If the alternative flight is beyond 24 hours, then the compensation will be 400 per cent of the base fare or Rs. 20,000 whichever is less.
- Ticket cancellation amount cannot exceed basic fare and there shall be no additional charge to process the refund.
- Refunds to be applicable on all fares including promotional and special fares.
- On cancellation of tickets, passenger will be allowed to choose whether to take cash refund or hold the amount in credit.
- All taxes, levies and fees shall be refunded in case of no-show and ticket cancellations.
- Even when booked through travel agents or online portals, airlines shall have to ensure refunds within 15 days to domestic passengers and 30 days for international flyers.
- Rules will be amended to ensure improved facilities to people with disabilities such as making it easier to book special seats.
The sops will be published on the website of the aviation ministry to invite feedback and suggestion before being implemented.