The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has asked IndiGo to pay Rs 20,000 in compensation to a family of four who were left behind by the airline at the Kolkata airport last year, PTI reported on Monday. The commission said the airline should have provided meals and overnight accommodation to the passengers.
Kalpana Rani Debbarma and her family were travelling from Kolkata to Agartala on an Indigo flight in 2017. Debbarma claimed that the flight left the airport without informing them even though they were issued boarding passes and were present in the airport.
The passenger also claimed that airport staff snatched her tickets when she sought to file a complaint. She said her family had to stay in a hotel overnight and purchase new tickets the next day.
“The basic duty of care for a passenger who has been left behind despite issuance of the boarding passes, when admittedly boarding passes were issued well ahead of the boarding time and the baggage was also boarded on to the airlines, is to provide meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation in cases where stay of one more night is necessary and the operating carrier should also pay particular attention to the needs of the accompanying family,” the commission said.
The commission said even when the complainants chose to fly again with the airlines following the incident, they were not provided any concession. “It is not in dispute that the complainants were put to lot of mental agony and inconvenience as they had to stay in a hotel for two days and once again travelled by Indigo Airlines after two days after having had to purchase fresh tickets by spending an amount of Rs 16,432,” it added.
The airline claimed that the passengers had failed to report at the boarding gate on time despite announcements at regular intervals. The bench comprising Justice R K Agrawal and presiding member Justice M Shreesha said the airline’s assertion “does not hold any water” as the movements of passengers, once they check in, is restricted to a limited sensitised area.