AI begins to compensate for flyers 49 hours late
MUMBAI: After initially expressing regret and refusing to accept any responsibility, Indian air He has yielded and paid compensation of € 600 (approximately Rs 47,700) each to several passengers for the delay in his flight from London to Mumbai on May 28. Engineering problems were attributed to the delay of more than two days.
Compensation was paid according to European Union Regulations It is a significant development since in India, only a small percentage of injured passengers seek compensation. According to the regulations of the Indian aviation regulator, airlines are obliged to compensate passengers for flight cancellations or denied boarding. But most passengers do not claim relief, and the Indian airline industry saves around $ 100 million in unpaid compensation annually, experts in the aviation sector said.
In the Indian air case, the first response by the debtridden national carrier to passengers’ mails seeking compensation under European Union regulations was “regret”, stating that the airline will be unable to accept liability. Indian air ’s May 28 on AI-130 was delayed by 49 hours due to technical problems of its B777 aircraft.
According to EU regulation 261/2004, passengers on board any flight originating in Europe are entitled to compensation of up to € 600 if their flight lands at the scheduled destination more than three hours late. AI gave each passenger a letter stating that the flight was delayed due to technical reasons and was aware of its obligation under the EU regulation mentioned above. But later, in a final response to some passengers, AI offered his apologies and nothing else, attributing the delay to extraordinary circumstances. However, the technical defect with the aircraft does not qualify as an extraordinary circumstance.
Ankur Jain, co-founder of Instalocate, the company that helped several AI-130 passengers get the compensation, said, “We went through multiple cycles of follows and then finally engaged our legal partners in the UK to help our clients/ passengers get compensation. A total of 55 received compensation, 30 others are in process. We’re still working on about 45 cases wherein AI has denied liability.” These 45 passengers had boarded Indian air flights from US airports and not from Europe. London was their transit stop, but since their flight didn’t originate in Europe, AI has argued that the EU regulations don’t apply to them.
Then there are passengers like Heather Gupta, who wrote directly to Indian air . She has also received compensation. “I decided that I wanted to go directly to the airline as they were legally liable to pay me compensation. I didn’t want to go through a third party. Two more British passengers who wrote directly to the airline were also paid compensation,” Gupta said. An Indian air spokesperson said the compensations were paid as per UK norms.
Many passengers believe that they cannot claim compensation, since the airline in question has already provided them with an alternative hotel/meal/flight, etc. Others do not know their rights or are simply lazy or busy to seek compensation, Jain said, adding. that only about 7-8% of passengers really claim their compensation.