Compensation Guidelines for Delayed flights in India

Read the below blog about the compensation guidelines for the delayed flights in India. The flight can be delayed due to bad weather, technical problems and other reasons as a traveler we have the right to get the compensation for the delay.

In India, it is not common for flights to be delayed beyond a few minutes. But whenever a flight to India is delayed beyond a few minutes there is most certainly a good reason for it. Delays are most often caused due to bad weather, delayed arrival of an incoming flight or a technical snag that makes an aircraft unworthy of flight.

In the rare case, delays could be because of the commotion caused by an unruly passenger or someone with clout or a drunk pilot.

All of this makes one wonder, whether airlines that operate in India compensate passengers for flight delays? What are the guidelines for compensation? Let's get you some facts.

All airlines in India are governed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), under the Central Government. The DGCA decides rules and regulations for airlines to follow. According to guidelines updated in 2016, airlines are supposed to compensate passengers for delays and cancellation of flights.

Revised Compensation Guidelines

The new compensation guideline for delayed flights, implemented in August 2016, has made it mandatory for airlines to pay passengers a compensation for flights delays and cancellations. Delays beyond two hours would mean a compensation of up to INR.10,000. Earlier, airlines would pay a maximum sum of INR.4,000.

However, the new rules are not all black and white, there are caveats. Airlines are not obligated to pay compensation in conditions not under their control –

  • Political volatility & civil strife

  • Delays caused by the air traffic control

  • Strikes

  • Extreme weather conditions

  • Natural disasters

  • Terror activities

Compensation for one-hour delays

Where a flight is delayed by an hour and a passenger has not been intimated of the delay, the airlines are obligated to pay compensation of either INR.5,000 or the cost of the booked basic fare in addition to the fuel cost, whichever is less.

Compensation for delays up to two-hours

For flight delays that exceed one-hour and extend up to two-hours, airlines are liable to pay passengers a sum of INR.7,500 or the cost of the booked basic fare in addition to the fuel cost, whichever is less, over and above the refund amount.

Compensation for delays of more than two-hours

Airlines will pay passengers a sum of INR.10,000 or the cost of the booked one-way basic fare along with the fuel charge, whichever is less, for flight delays that extend two-hours.

Compensation for 24-hour delays

In cases where flights are delayed for over 24-hours or where the alternate flight is scheduled 24-hours later than the booked scheduled flight an amount equivalent to 400% of the cost of the booked one-way basic fare and the airline fuel charge, to a maximum sum of INR.20,000 is to be paid as compensation.

In instances where a passenger declines to fly on an alternate flight, scheduled on a later date, the airline will have to refund the total amount paid for the ticket, along with a compensation of 400% of the booked one-way basic fare and the airline fuel charge to a maximum amount of INR.20,000.

The onus of passing information about delayed flights lies with the airlines. Passengers need to be intimated of any change in schedule, at least two weeks prior to the departure.

Airlines are obligated to offer passengers a booking on an alternative flight. However, passengers cannot be forced to take this offer and they can seek compensation in lieu.

How to claim compensation

According to the DGCA guidelines passengers need to forward the compensation claim to the airline's nodal office. The airlines must settle the claim/dispute within one month. Passengers can file for compensation on the official website of the airline concerned. In order to expedite the process, passengers are advised to provide the following details at the time of filing the claim –

  • Name as used in booking

  • Contact details as used in booking

  • Billing address

  • Phone number

  • Email Id

  • Credit card number or debit card number or net banking details used to pay for the ticket

  • Ticket number

  • Flight number

  • Date of travel

Upon filing the claim, the passenger will receive a confirmation and registration number, for further reference.

If a passenger finds the response from the nodal office to be the unsatisfactory response then they can escalate the matter with the carrier's appellate authority.

Does the airline provide food and accommodation during flight delays?

Airlines are supposed to provide free meals and snacks on a flight to passengers if a flight is delayed for a long duration. Airlines also provide accommodation to passengers, subject to a number of factors, such as the number of hours of delay, whether the passenger belongs to another city etc.

Our rights if you are denied to board a flight

Airlines can sometimes overbook flights, which means that not everyone with a valid ticket is allowed to board the flight. If you happen to be one of those unfortunate passengers who is denied the right to board the flight, despite having a valid ticket then you have the right to claim for compensation.

Airlines are liable to pay a compensation of INR. 20,000 plus refund the cost of the ticket, if they have overbooked.

What are your rights if you miss a connecting flight, because of a delay

Will you be compensated by an airline, if you miss a connecting flight because of a delay in their flight schedule? That would depend whether the connecting flight is booked with the same airline. The airline will compensate or provide an alternative booking if both flights are booked with them.

However, if the connecting flight is booked with another airline then the chances of getting a compensation from the airline that caused the delay is next to impossible and a refund from the airline that your connecting flight is booked with would be extremely slim. Airlines have their own refund policies, and last-minute cancellations rarely get refunds. If you miss your connecting flight, your status in such case would be a 'no show', and you would possibly be able to claim part of the cost of the ticket, depending on the airline's policy.

It is best to book connecting flights with the same airline, even if it works out costly, as it is better in the long run.

Travel Insurance

Travelers must opt for travel insurance. Apart from covering medical exigencies and loss of baggage, a travel insurance also covers flight delays and cancellations and can save you a lot of bothers.

Read more about the essential tips for first time business travelers


Guest Author: Tripti17 Dec 2018

Really I am impressed with this excellent information regarding the compensation guidelines for flight delays in India. In this article, I found excellent information

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