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Delayed flights information board.
Photo by Michael Duxbury. Licensed under CC by 2.0.

New Charter on rights of air passengers in case of flight cancellations or delays

The Ministers for Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu and Jayant Sinha, recently released the “Passenger Charter” which codifies the rights of air passengers when they travel with scheduled commercial airlines in India.

The official document can be downloaded and read from here

We recommend you read the Charter carefully. It imposes certain demands and places certain responsibilities on airlines. However, it also provides significant exemptions that airlines may cite to deny you compensation or offer alternatives. Some of the permitted reasons weather, ATC congestion, technical failures, or force maejure. The charter also does not specify time limits for actions to be taken, nor does it provide for penalties should airlines fail to live up to their obligation.

How to file complaints

Airlines must have nodal officers for filing of complaints. Details will be on their websites. You can also file complaints via the Ministry of Civil Aviation airsewa app, which is available on both Google and Apple.

EU 261

If you are travelling on-board an European Union flag carrier to Europe, or departing any airport in the European Union on-board any airline, you have rights under The Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 in EU law. This regulation is commonly called EU261.

You can read up on EU 261 at the Elliott Advocacy website. You can also connect with organisations like FlightRight who will defend your claims under EU 261.

Insurance

For travel from or within India, we recommend you consider buying travel insurance instead of relying on others. Airlines offer low-cost packages, as do insurance companies. Most of the times you can buy the insurance online.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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