New Delhi A Delhi consumer court has asked Air Deccan to pay compensation of Rs1,00,000 each to a family of four for cancelling a Pune-Delhi flight at the last minute in January 2007.
The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission headed by Justice JD Kapoor pulled up Air Deccan Aviation Private Limited for not informing the passengers about the cancellation of the flight in advance and for not providing alternative arrangements.
“By no stretch of imagination, a passenger can be left stranded high and dry at the airport after reaching there without being informed of the cancellation of the flight,” Kapoor observed.
The complainant, Anil Bhandoola, a resident of Lodhi Colony in the capital, had booked four tickets from Pune to Delhi for January 2, 2007. The flight was scheduled to leave at 1430 hrs IST - the airlines sent him a message on his mobile when he had already left for the airport with his wife and children.
Bhandoola found himself stranded at the airport. He tried to get on to a flight of another airline but no seats were available. Left with no option, he travelled to Mumbai by taxi to catch the first available flight to Delhi. Besides having to incur additional expenditure on the taxi, he also had to stay in Mumbai for two days till January 4 when he got on to a Spicejet flight.
Deccan Air officials said they cancelled the flight because of bad weather.
"The harassment and inconvenience suffered by passengers in such a situation can be well imagined when neither an alternative flight is provided for nor are the queries for other arrangements for meals, transport or over night accommodation answered," the commission said while asking the airlines to pay the passengers.
“Even though the flight was cancelled on account of bad weather at Delhi, the non-provision of any alternate arrangements, which even as per its own terms and conditions it is bound to provide, itself amounts to gross deficiency in service for which the service provider is bound to pay due compensation,” it added.