Now, Airlines To Pay For Denying Seats To Those With Confirmed Tickets
According to reports, 2017 witnessed 2,789 passengers being denied airline seats due to overbooking.
The Delhi High Court has remarked that the practice of airlines to ‘overbook’ flights, though recognized by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), cannot mean it has “the sanction of law”.
Airlines usually overbook a flight to prevent the flight to take place with unoccupied seats. As per GCA data, 2,879 passengers were denied boarding by various domestic airlines in December last year.
Now, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has taken a stand and clarified that airlines who deny seats to passengers due to overbooking will have to compensate for deficiency of services.
The response came after a petition filed by a lawyer questioning the 2010 DGCA rules that recognize the concept of over-booking by airlines.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru noted that according to the provisions DGCA has recognized that certain airlines follow the practice of over-booking flights. However, the same cannot be read to mean that the DGCA has permitted the airlines to do so.
DGCA said that its 2010 rules don’t put a cap on the compensation that can be demanded from the airline in cases of over-booking and a passenger has full right to approach a court for relief.
The petition stated that passengers have no redressal in cases where airlines conveniently close check-in counters early, simply as a means to facilitate the unfair ‘denied boarding’ practice
The new DGCA ruling is a welcome move to frequent fliers. The practice of a canceled flight even after possessing a confirmed ticket is frustrating and imposes a number of hassles on the traveler.
With no penalty on airlines, the practice was more rampant than ever. With the new ruling, airlines will do more to curb the habit.