MANGALORE: Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Jet Airways India Limited to pay a compensation of Rs. 40,000 to a couple for cancelling a flight without making alternative arrangements. Bhujanga V Shetty from Bhatrakere booked two Jet Airways tickets - one for him and another for his wife - from Bangalore to Mangalore on August 26, 2010, and paid Rs 4,094 for each.
However, the flight was cancelled and the airlines staff showed no courtesy of informing the couple of any alternative arrangements. Ignoring protests from the Shetty couple, the airlines staff refunded the ticket money.
However, Shetty later realised that the refund was a shrewd ploy to avoid the responsibility of making suitable arrangements on its next flight compelling them to buy tickets costing double the original price. Shetty was forced to pay Rs 9,934 for each ticket in the next available flight.
Shetty filed a complaint with the district consumer forum, seeking a compensation of Rs 28,288 for being forced to incur additional costs like cab charges, accommodation for overnight stay in a hotel and additional charges on flight tickets.
Jet Airways India Limited said that flight number 9W 2737 was rerouted to Bangalore due to bad weather. It claimed that the staff informed Shetty of alternative arrangements but he opted for a refund. Once a passenger opted for a refund, the airlines was not responsible for arranging accommodation or transfer facilities, Jet Airways contended.
Forum president Asha Shetty, quoting National commission’s order in Dr Arun Jain versus Thai Airways International limited case, said the airlines had failed to make alternative arrangements for the couple. It directed Jet Airways to pay a higher compensation of Rs. 40,000 to the complainant.