Imagine you need to travel by flight for some urgent work and your flight gets cancelled. There is nothing more distressing than your flight being delayed for hours or getting cancelled at the last moment. The situation is worse when you are in a hurry to reach somewhere, be it for work or personal matters. At such times, instead of accusing your fate and getting all panic-stricken, it is important not to lose your cool. In case there is some problem with the flight timings, as a passenger you must be aware of your rights.
According to the Passenger Charter of the Aviation Ministry of India, you can demand compensation, refund or choose from alternative flights when your scheduled flight encounters a problem. Here are some of the passenger rights that you should know about.
If a flight that has a block time of 2.5 hours is delayed for 2 hours, passengers receive complimentary refreshments. A passenger would be eligible for refreshments if a flight’s block duration is between 2.5 and 5 hours and the delay exceeds 3 hours.
Customers would only be able to receive refreshments if the flight didn’t fall into either of these two categories and the delay was longer than four hours. Block time measures the amount of time it takes a flight to get from the departure gate to the destination gate.
The Passenger Charter states that in cases of a 6-hour delayed flight, the airline must notify the passengers of the new departure time at least 24 hours in advance of the original departure time. Additionally, the airline must provide 6 hours for a different flight option or a full reimbursement. If the delay lasts longer than 24 hours or longer than 6 hours for flights booked between 8 pm and 3 am, the traveller has the right to obtain complimentary hotel accommodations.
According to the Aviation Ministry’s charter, if passengers are informed about the flight cancellation less than two weeks or up to 24 hours before the stipulated time, the airline must provide an alternative trip or refund the ticket.
For flights with a block time of one hour or less, the airline will either arrange another flight or offer compensation of Rs 5,000 or one-way basic cost in addition to airline fuel charge, depending on which is less, provided the customer is not informed about the cancellation during the stipulated time.
Depending on the block time of the flight, the compensation increases. When a traveller misses the connecting flight scheduled on the same ticket number as a result of the cancellation, the exact similar rule is applied.