New Delhi: Air India’s unexplained cancellation of a flight to Dubai has led to the Delhi Consumer Commission ordering it to compensate the affected passenger `1,07,000 for not making alternate arrangements for 11 days.
Commission President Barkat Ali Zaidi and Member Salma Noor accepted the plea of Deepak Kumar Chaudhary, a Delhi resident employed in Abu Dhabi, that the airline’s failure to fly him to his destination cost him his 11 days’ wages.
“Once a ticket has been booked by a consumer, it is the duty of the airline to provide the transit unless it is inhibited for reasons beyond its control,” Zaidi said.
“The airline has to realise the inconvenience the passenger suffers on the cancellation of the flight, and it becomes the duty of the airline to provide alternative arrangements which the airline in this case failed to do,” Zaidi said.
The commission told the airline to pay damages of `97,628 towards Chaudhary’s wage loss and `10,000 as compensation.
The commission rejected Air India’s bid to blame Chaudhary for the problem. The airline contended that he had not got his return journey confirmed 72 hours in advance but he claimed the flight was cancelled due to non-availability of aircraft.
Pulling up Air India for the sudden cancellation of the flight, Zaidi said: “Chaudhary had come on leave from Dubai to India along with his return journey confirmed ticket for November 23, 2007, the flight time being at 8.55p.m.”
“Chaudhary contacted the airline on phone on November 23, at about 4pm and the airline after enquiring his name and the ticket number, informed him that the flight will take off at 8.30pm in place of 8.55pm, but when he reached the airport, the airline informed him that the flight was cancelled,” the commission noted in its order.
Chaudhary said in his complaint that his employer cut his wages for 11 days (`97,628) as he could not rejoin duty on time on the morning of November 24, 2007. He was also not offered a seat on any other flight.IANS