Dist consumer court orders Rs 64k compensation for two passengers

Commission has directed an airline and an online travel company to pay a compensation of Rs 64,442 for not providing alternative facilities to two passengers after cancelling their air tickets.
Dist consumer court orders Rs 64k compensation for two passengers

KOCHI : The Ernakulam consumer disputes redressal commission has directed an airline and an online travel company to pay a compensation of Rs 64,442 for not providing alternative facilities to two passengers after cancelling their air tickets. The commission issued the order based on a complaint lodged by former Kollam consumer disputes redressal commission president E M Muhammed Ibrahaim and member Sandhya Rani.

The complainants booked two SpiceJet tickets on March 9, 2019, through the Cleartrip Pvt Ltd website for their April 12 journey from New Delhi to Kochi, via Bengaluru. They also paid Rs 11,582 for the tickets.

On March 30, however, SpiceJet sent a message saying the two tickets had been cancelled citing the “grounding of Boeing 737 Max” aircraft by regulators. It also said the tickets could be rebooked for an alternate flight or a full refund could be sought by visiting the airline’s website. Later, Cleartrip sent another message stating that Rs 8,884 would be credited to the complainants’ account by March 31. The complainants proceeded to book tickets for the very next day by paying Rs 19,743. Cleartrip sent another message saying Rs 8,884 would be refunded within five to seven working days. But even that amount was not returned.

The respondents submitted that the cancellation of the flight was the result of a DGCA directive, over which they had no control, and that they are not liable to pay any compensation to the complainants on any account. However, the commission found that the companies had committed serious deficiency of service by cancelling the scheduled flight long after the tickets were booked and by not arranging an alternate flight and also by not refunding the full amount of the fare paid by the complainants.

The commission directed the refund of Rs 4,442 along with an interest of 9% from March 9, 2019 on the amount of Rs 11,582, besides Rs 50,000 as compensation.

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