The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Air India for denying boarding to passengers with valid tickets.
The fine was imposed as part of its enforcement action. Furthermore, the airline has been advised to put in place the necessary systems to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
The action comes following numerous reports of passengers being denied boarding by a variety of airlines despite having valid tickets and arriving on time. Despite having guidelines in place, certain airlines were not following them, according to the DGCA after conducting a series of checks in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Delhi.
“In the case of Air India — where the regulation is not being followed — a show cause notice was issued to the Airline and also a personal hearing was afforded. It appears that the airline does not have a policy in this regard and is not paying any compensation to hapless passengers, whose numbers can be anybody’s guess,” the DGCA said.
The DGCA stated in its guidelines for denying boarding to a passenger who has a valid ticket that if an airline is able to arrange an alternate flight for the passenger within an hour, no compensation will be paid.
However, if the airline is able to provide the alternate arrangement within the next 24 hours, a compensation up to Rs 10,000 is prescribed, it said, adding that for anything beyond 24 hours, a compensation up to Rs 20,000 is laid down.