A senior citizen couple from the city will never forget the day when PM-designate Narendra Modi landed at national capital for the first time after Lok Sabha elections.
They were just returning from a pilgrimage in Himachal Pradesh, on May 17, 2014, when they were put through a harrowing experience at the airport, partly due to the airline’s insensitive approach and partly from the traffic curbs imposed enroute to the airport. Though they arrived 50 minutes before the departure of their flight to Bengaluru, Air India refused a boarding pass and the two forfeited their ticket. They had to buy the ticket again and wait till evening to take a flight home.
A consumer court in the city has given them some relief by partly allowing their petition questioning the forfeiture of the ticket fare. The Bengaluru 4th Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum comprising President J N Havanur, Members D Suresh and N R Roopa, directed the M/s Air India Limited to repay the return ticket fare along with interest and litigation cost.
The petition was filed by 73-years-old S Prabhakara Rao, a resident of Basavanagudi in city.
The forum directed the Managing Director, M/s Air India Limited, Delhi, to pay Rs 16,350 along with 6 per cent interest per annum on the said amount from the date of complaint and Rs 2,000 as litigation cost to Rao. The order should be complied with in 30 days from the date of the judgment, failing which, the company should pay the said amount to the complainant along with 7 per cent interest per annum on the said amount till the date of realisation.
“The complainant has become successful in proving that the Air India is negligent and there is deficiency of service on its part in giving service on the date of their travel from Delhi to Bengaluru”, the forum said.
According to the order passed by the forum recently, 73-years-old S Prabhakara Rao and 62-year-old his wife, residents of Basavanagudi, had purchased two sets of air tickets for them — Bengaluru - Delhi onward journey by AI-505 on May 4, 2014 and Delhi-Bengaluru return journey by AI-502 on May 17, 2014. It cost them a sum of Rs 32,700, paid using a credit card.
The couple reached Delhi on May 16, after concluding their Himachal Pradesh pilgrimage, and stayed in a friend’s place in Mayur Vihar Area. On May 17 morning, there was news that PM designate Narendra Modi will be coming to Delhi for the first time after the election result and landing at the Delhi domestic terminal around noon on that day. So that there was to be heavy traffic restrictions en-route from the terminal to the city.
The couple hired a taxi and moved towards the airport but were slowed down by the traffic restrictions and diversions. On their way, they heard that Modi had landed in the Delhi airport and was moving towards the city centre. They managed to reach the airport by 12.50 hours for their flight departing 13.10 hours, 50 minutes in advance. Few minutes were spent at the entry gate and for further guidance by the mobile squad of the airport administration in directing them to the check-in counter.
Finally, they reached the check-in counter only to see it closed. They were denied a boarding pass, after it was given to a person who was in queue before them. Though, the couple explained the traffic situation, the staff did not pay any heed it. So, the couple lost their flight’s fares and bought fresh tickets.
The couple forfeited the entire amount of Rs 16,350. The company issued another set of tickets on the same day by collecting an extra Rs 21,600 and issued boarding passes to travel from Delhi to Bengaluru on the same day at 7.40 pm.
Interest too levied
The forum directed the Managing Director, M/s Air India Limited, Delhi, to pay Rs 16,350 along with 6 per cent interest per annum on the said amount from the date of complaint and Rs 2,000 as litigation cost to Rao. The order should be complied with in 30 days from the date of the judgmen