Rights of Air Passengers

Issue: 02-2019

The Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu and the Minister of State in his department Jayant Sinha, recently released the “Passenger Charter” which codifies the rights of air passengers when they travel with scheduled commercial airlines in India. The newly drafted Charter imposes certain demands and places certain responsibilities on airlines. However, it also provides significant exemptions that airlines may cite to deny air passengers compensation or offer alternatives. Some of the permitted reasons are weather, air traffic congestion, technical failures or force maejure. The Charter also does not specify time limits for action to be taken nor does it provide for penalties should airlines fail to live up to their obligation. Airlines must have nodal officers for filing of complaints. Details will be on their websites. One can also file complaints via the Ministry of Civil Aviation airsewa app, which is available on both Google and Apple.