Air India Updates Its Citizen Charter To Include Provisions of Denied Boarding And Flight Delays

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According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Air India, the flag carrier airline of India currently owned by Tata Sons has updated its ‘Citizen Charter’ to include the provisions of denied boarding, flight delays and others.

This comes after the airline was fined ₹10 lakh by the aviation regulator for denying boarding to customers with valid tickets and then failing to provide them with the appropriate compensation.

According to the DGCA, earlier, Air India did not have a policy in place and did not compensate passengers. The DGCA further advised that a system must be put in place immediately to resolve the issue, failing which may further attract penalties.

Now, according to a senior DGCA official “Air India (AI) has uploaded provisions of denied boarding, flight delays in its Citizen charter.”

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Denied Boarding

On denied boarding, AI charter says: “When the number of passengers, who have been given confirmed bookings for travel on the flight and who has reported for the flight well within the specified time ahead of the departure of the flight, are more than the number of seats available, an airline must first ask for volunteers to give up their seats so as to make seats available for other booked passengers to travel on the flight, in exchange of such benefits/facilities as the airline, at its own discretion, may wish to offer, provided airports concerned have dedicated check-in facilities/gate areas which make it practical for the airline to do so.”

If the boarding is denied due to the condition stated below points to passengers against their will, the airline shall not be liable for any compensation in case an alternate flight is arranged that is scheduled to depart within one hour of the originally scheduled departure time of the initial reservation. Failing to do so, the airline shall compensate the passengers as per the following provisions:

  • An amount equal to 200% of booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, subject to maximum of INR 10,000, in case the airline arranges an alternate flight that is scheduled to depart within the 24 hours of the booked scheduled departure
  • An amount equal to 400% of booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, subject to maximum of INR 20,000, in case the airline arranges an alternate flight that is scheduled to depart more than 24 hours after the booked scheduled departure.
  • In case the passenger does not opt for an alternate flight, refund of the full value of the ticket and compensation equal to 400% of booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, subject to a maximum of INR 20,000.

A passenger booked on connecting flights of the same airline or of the other airline shall be compensated by the airline of the first flight for the first leg in accordance with the provisions of Para 3.2.2 of this CAR when he has been delayed at the departure station on account of denied boarding, but has arrived at the final destination at least three hours later than the scheduled arrival time.

Flight Cancellation & Delays

Regarding flight cancellations communicated to customers up to 24 hours before departure, AI states that it will arrange an alternate flight/refund as acceptable to the passenger.

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Flyers who were not informed of flight cancellations would be reimbursed between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000.

The charter, however, states that  “no financial compensation shall be payable to passengers who have not provided adequate contact information (email id or a phone number) at the time of booking,”

Similarly, it specifies the procedures for compensating passengers in the event of flight delays or baggage loss.

The updated Citizen Charter of Air India can be found at this link: Updated-Citizen-Charter.pdf (airindia.in)

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