Governance: Airlines to provide food if flight delayed

Given today’s chaotic scenes at airports, and especially during the winter months, long delays for flights is more the norm rather than an occasional happening. You can see passengers of all types, including elderly people and women carrying young children, struggling in the departure lounge, waiting for the delayed flight to leave. It becomes the responsibility of airlines to cater to their meal requirements, and that seems to the thrust of a Government order to all airlines and to the Delhi Airport consortium.

This winter, there is some consolation in store for passengers stranded in airports due to delayed flights. The government has asked all airlines to provide food and refreshments in case of a flight delay. It has also asked the airport operator — Delhi International Airport (DIAL) — to serve snacks and soft drinks to passengers in case airlines fail to provide it. The airport operator would be allowed to recover the expenses from the airlines concerned later.
In case the flight is delayed for two hours, the airlines would have to provide only soft drinks and some light food. If the delay is beyond two hours, then passengers will have to be served full meals, the source added.

This is a very welcome measure, and will provide some solace to passengers who are waiting for no fault of theirs. It will also help avoid ugly situations that happen when passengers would go the airline counter and demand to get some food when waiting for a long time, and the personnel over there would deny such a facility or not be empowered to take such decisions. Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and one will have to wait and see how this decision is being implemented.
The biggest beneficiary for such a treatment will be the elderly and young ones who need to get their sustenance at regular intervals, and to whom a prolonged delay hurts the most.

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