With the on-going crisis at Kingfisher Airlines, we share with you the official Government of India Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) for facilities to be provided to passengers, by airlines, in the event of denied boarding (read over-booking), cancellation of flights, or delayed flights.
The Civil Aviation Requirements, Section 3 – Air Transport, Series M, Part IV, Issue I, dated August 6, 2010 came in to effect on August 15, 2010.
Some simple rules to follow when dealing with the airline representative, and always keep in mind, be polite, be soft, be firm.
- Remember the person across is a human being. They are just about as stressed as you due to the flight delay or cancellation, and they are dealing with a 150 irate passengers, not just you. Screaming, name dropping, or generally being aggressive does not help.
- Empathise with the agent, be polite, be soft-spoken, and chances are you will get your request attended to faster.
- Through your conversation, let the agent you are familiar with the CAR of the DGCA (carry a copy of the CAR with you).
- Do keep in mind that the DGCA has given the airlines an escape clause; “circumstances beyond an airline’s control”. This is a catch-all clause that airlines use to escape liability. Despite this, remain polite but be firm, yet reasonable in your requests.
- Airlines are also sneaky in the case of excess / over booking. They will close their counters early and claim you were late. So read your ticket rules and be at the airport on time. If the queue is excessively long and your are running late, try and go to the supervisor’s station and report there, so that your presence is recorded.
Last but not the least, if things do not go to your satisfaction, be polite, note down all the details, employee names, times, dates, etc. Photography is allowed at the terminals of all civilian airports, and in the civil conclave of defence airports.
If at one of the privately run airports (Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai), go to the information counter and ask for the terminal manager or supervisor. Try and get their help.
Worst case, keep your head down. Get home, and unleash your lawyer on the airline.