Airline fined Rs. 50k for improper ticket cancelation

In the Indian air travel market, there are a number of low cost carriers (also known as discount airlines) that charge very low fares (or rather, they announce low fares, and then charge extra for fuel surcharge and taxes). If you have booked a ticket, and go through with you flight on the low fare, then you feel happy. However, from time to time, one gets to hear of people who had a bad time or who went through an experience that is not exactly consumer friendly; airlines consider this par for the course since they claim that the fare is low and one should not expect the same experience as one gets in full fare. However, one can expect that food and other such comforts may not be available in discount airlines, but basic consumer handling should be proper. In this case, a customer was told that his ticket had been canceled, and he had to pay extra for a regular ticket. As a result, he filed a complaint in the the consumer forum and got compensation:

NEW DELHI: The state consumer commission has pulled up private airline, Air Deccan, for cancelling the tickets of a passenger, booked six months in advance in a promotional fare scheme, just six days ahead of the departure date. The airline has been fined Rs 50,000 of which Rs 25,000 has been given as compensation to the consumer while the rest has been deposited in the state welfare consumer fund.
The airline had told the passenger that the flights on the Mumbai-Delhi route were not operational between May 1 and May 31, 2007 but contrary to claims, the passenger found out that the flights were not cancelled. As a result, he along with two of his relatives had to fly on a more costly flight that cost him an additional Rs 7,650.

From time to time, we find that airlines have been found to indulge in such customer unfriendly practices, and yet there is a feeling that they don’t care that this experience earns them bad remarks and reviews. Low cost carriers are supposed to do away with frills, but not basic customer experience, else they will keep on earning bad press like this.

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