Bengaluru Consumer Court Orders Air India to Compensate Passenger for Missed International Flight

Bengaluru Consumer Court Orders Air India to Compensate Passenger for Missed International Flight

Bengaluru Consumer Court Orders Air India to Compensate Passenger for Missed International Flight

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Jitender Kumar, a resident of ITI Layout in Bengaluru, was awarded Rs 2.08 lakh in compensation by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission after he missed his international flight to Zurich due to a delay in an Air India domestic flight. The incident occurred on September 15, 2023, when Kumar missed his connecting flight from Mumbai to Zurich because of a delay in his Bengaluru-Mumbai flight.

The court’s decision, issued on May 22, held Air India responsible for “deficiency in service and unfair trade practice.” The commission noted that as a reputed airline, Air India should have proactively arranged an alternative flight for Kumar.

Kumar’s ordeal began on September 14, 2023, when he was scheduled to board a Bengaluru-Mumbai flight at 9:24 pm. The departure was delayed to 10:50 pm. Kumar, concerned about missing his Zurich flight, sought help from Air India staff, who assured him that the flight would proceed on time. However, Flight AI 641 only landed in Bengaluru at 1:58 am on September 15, and boarding for AI 642 did not begin immediately. The extended delay resulted in Kumar missing his 6:40 am Zurich flight.

Despite Kumar’s six-hour plea for assistance, Air India did not offer an alternative international flight, providing only domestic options. After 12 hours, Kumar accepted a flight to Delhi, from where he booked another flight to Zurich at a cost of approximately Rs 1.67 lakh. Additionally, he lost Rs 11,426 on pre-booked accommodation in Zurich due to the delay.

In the order, commission president M Shobha highlighted Air India’s admission of the delay but refusal to offer compensation, despite rescheduling Kumar to a Delhi flight. The commission ruled that Air India should have arranged an alternative flight to Mumbai to avoid the inconvenience faced by Kumar and other passengers.

Air India has been ordered to pay Rs 1,78,503 with 6% annual interest from the ticket booking date, Rs 25,000 for service deficiency, and Rs 5,000 for litigation costs. The compensation must be paid within 45 days, or Air India will face an 8% annual interest penalty until the payment is made.