Air Deccan fined Rs.50,000 for misleading passenger

May 19th, 2008 - 10:51 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Air Deccan has been asked to pay compensation of Rs.25,000 to a customer who had booked three low-cost air tickets nearly six months in advance but was informed later that the flight had been cancelled. The Delhi state Consumer Commission has also asked Air Deccan to deposit an equal amount with it as part of the Legal Aid fund.

Justice J.D. Kapoor held the airlines guilty of falsely informing the consumer that his flight booked six months in advance under a promotional fare scheme has been cancelled as the Bombay-Delhi flights were not operational from May 1-31, 2007. The airlines had also claimed that the consumer himself cancelled the tickets and asked them for compensation.

The complainant, Ajay Goel, said on April 27, 2007, that he verified Air Deccan’s flight cancellation and found it to be untrue. He claimed the lower value tickets of Rs.300 he had purchased were cancelled on the flight in lieu of the more expensive tickets costing Rs.7,650.

The court turned down the Air Deccan plea that it has the right to cancel flights under circumstances beyond its control like meteorological conditions, mechanical failure, staff or employee strikes, wars, disturbances, labour difficulties or others as in the present case not a single circumstance existed for cancelling the flight.

Justice Kapoor observed that whenever a service provider wants to take advantage of the circumstances permitting it to delay, cancel or change the schedule of the flight, the onus is heavily upon it. Otherwise, it is bound to compensate the consumer for wrongful cancellation or wrongful delay.

He observed that service providers like airlines little realise that their inefficiency, casual or cavalier attitude towards passengers causes immense mental agony, harassment, emotional suffering and physical discomfort to passengers as they are left stranded for hours and when the consumers ask for refund, the airlines make them run from pillar to post and offer them half the price of the ticket.

Ajay Goel had booked a return ticket for himself and his two relatives under a promotional fare scheme Nov 12, 2006, in which the basic fare was less than Rs.300. On April 26, 2007, the day of his flight, he received a call from Bangalore saying that their flight had been cancelled.

On enquiry, he came to know that the flight was operational.

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