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India Proposes Flight Delay Compensation on Par With Global Peers

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the mediabankThe shadow of a flying plane. (File)
The shadow of a flying plane. (File) - Sputnik International
The draft passenger charter envisages a full ticket refund in the event of flight cancellation, relaxation in ticket cancellation penalties, compensation to passengers missing connecting flights, free and adequate food and beverages and hotel accommodation to passengers of delayed flights.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — Taking a cue from global practices, India's aviation regulator has proposed heavy compensation to air passengers who face flight delays or cancellations due to the shortcoming on the airlines' part. In a draft passenger charter, India's Ministry of Civil Aviation has also proposed relaxing cancellation penalties for air travelers who wish to cancel their ticket within 24 hours of booking but four days ahead of departure.

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"If the airline is found to be at fault, passengers will be entitled to full refund if the delay is more than four hours while airline has to offer free of charge hotel accommodation in case the flight is to fly on the next day," the draft charter, that is to be implemented in the next two months reads.  

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Airlines will also have to pay up to INR 20,000 ($295) to passengers who miss their connecting flights. When the flight is stationed on the tarmac for more than 60 minutes, sufficient and free-of-charge hot snacks and beverages are to be provided to the passengers. However, this compensation is minuscule in comparison to similar tarmac delay in the US wherein airlines have to pay $27,500 per passenger on board.

"In case of flight cancellation and when a passenger is informed of the flight cancellation less than two weeks before and up to 24 hrs of the scheduled departure time, the airline must offer an alternate flight allowing the passenger to depart within two hours of the booked scheduled departure time or refund the ticket, as acceptable to the passenger," according to the draft charter.

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The ministry has also ensured that passengers are not discriminated on the basis of their nationality (domestic or international) in case of death or injuries onboard an aircraft. As per the draft, in both the cases, liability to be paid by the airline must be same for both international and domestic passengers.

Indian passengers will also enjoy Internet facilities soon after the planes take off, but mobile service will only be allowed when aircraft is over an altitude of 3,000 meters.

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According to a recent report published by India's aviation regulator, the average on-time performance of the best-performing airlines, IndiGo and Vistara, was 83.4%, while Air India's stood at 71.9%.

Earlier this month, a person stabbed himself following an argument with airline officials over the delay of an Air India flight for more than three hours.

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