Catalyst

No more a flight risk

Ashwini Phadnis | Updated on December 04, 2019 Published on September 25, 2014

The DGCA has launched a Know Your Rights section on its portal for travellers



Worried as to how your aged and wheelchair-bound parents will manage check-in and security at Chennai airport and then collect their bags when they reach Delhi after their flight? All you have to do is call up the airline they are flying 48 hours before the journey and ask it to make arrangements for special assistance to be provided to them.

Concerned that you are not being refunded the entire amount due to you because you decided to cancel your ticket?

Don’t worry. This useful information and much more is only a click of a button away on your Internet-connected mobile phone, tablet, laptop or personal computer. All you have to do is log on to the newly started Know Your Rights site >(http://www.dgca.nic.in/kyrdgca/KYR_portal.html) a new initiative of the airline watchdog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The site tells you exactly how much of a refund you will get if you have booked a ticket and now want to cancel it. The components of an air ticket that an airline has to refund in case you cancel your ticket include passenger services fee, airport development fee/user development fee and service tax. And in case you are a passenger with a disability and you are off-loaded even if you have a confirmed ticket, a remote possibility but a possibility nonetheless, then you and your escorts, if you have any, are given the highest priority for transportation.

For those who want to know how much of what they pay for flying goes to whom, the website also lists various components that constitute the fare that you pay for travelling from one city to another (this has the airline component which has the basic fare, airline fuel charge, Common User Equipment Fee, if applicable, and a convenience fee if the booking was made through credit or debit card, and also a passenger service fee which is charged by the Airports Authority of India for the airports that it manages and by private sector airport operators for the airports that they maintain. Private sector players also charge a user development fee.

The Government also gets a share of the ticket price as the service tax on the fare goes to it).

In case you are not satisfied following up on any of these useful pointers provided on the website or if your case is not solved within the stipulated time frame you also have the option of taking up the matter with DGCA by logging on to >sugam.dgca@nic.in or even complain to other statutory bodies as set up under relevant laws.

Sugam promises to acknowledge and follow up your complaint and direct the concerned airline or airport operator for redress of the complaint by directly dealing with the aggrieved customer.

Further, the Passenger Grievance Cell (PGC) which has been set up in the office of the DGCA is meant to ensure that an aggrieved passenger gets a satisfactory response in a timely manner. However, a word of caution here: While the intention behind these measures meant to inform and empower flyers is good, you should be prepared to spend time and energy on following up on your complaint. In theory the website provides very comprehensive basic information and also guides users to relevant sites and details about civil aviation requirements in case they want more details or clarity. How this will actually work in practice is something that remains to be seen. For the time being it provides another consolation that help may be at hand in case you are offloaded when you have a valid ticket or that you get all the money due to you in case you cancel your flight booking.

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Published on September 25, 2014
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