NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a slew of directions to airlines on Friday in bid to reduce the grievances of air passengers.
In a communique sent to all the airlines, the aviation regulator directed them to resolve passenger complaints promptly and keep them updated on delays and cancellations.
“The airlines should make all efforts to send SMS in case there is a delay in flight beyond 30 minutes or a boarding gate change has taken place at the airport,” the DGCA said.
It has asked the travel agents to share the mobile number of passengers with the airlines for flight information updates.
“Airlines must send repeated SMS after every 30 minutes to keep the passengers updated for the flight delay/cancellation/ boarding gate change,” the communique further said.
The airlines have been instructed to give all necessary assistance to the passengers for connecting flights.
In case of delay, they should make appropriate arrangement to provide water, refreshment, meals as per the provisions, said the DGCA.
The carriers have been told to ensure the refund of tickets through travel agent or portal in a timely manner. All help should be provided to senior citizens and passengers with reduced mobility.
Officials said the directions were issued due to frequent passenger complaints on social media platforms that the airlines do not inform them in time about flight delays, cancellations or boarding gate changes.
All the airlines have been told that complaints on platforms like Twitter and Facebook should be attended to promptly and resolved to the extent possible.
Director General (Civil Aviation) Arun Kumar held a meeting with appellate authority and nodal officers of all domestic airlines on Thursday, where operators were asked to take actions to avoid inconvenience to flyers.
The airlines have been asked to periodically update the details of their nodal officers on their website.