Attention Frequent Flyers! Know All Your Rights Before You Travel Next From full refund to free accommodation and meal, here are basic rights every flyer should be aware of

By Priyadarshini Patwa

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Many of us travel regularly but how many of us are aware of our rights? How many times have you waited for hours at the airport after a flight has got delayed or paid sky-high cancellation charges?

Many of us have lost a lot of our hard-earned money and time due to rules that airlines follow. However, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has its rule for air passenger that comes as a rescue for various problems we often face.

You will be surprised to see how these critical provisions from the charter can give us a clear understanding of our basic rights. While you might think you know it all, here are some rights that can help frequent flyers save money and time both.

Delay in Flight

  • Free meal and refreshment – Flight delayed for more than six hours (only for passengers who wait at the airport).
  • Full Refund or Alternate Flight – Flight delayed for more than six hours.
  • Information a day in advance and free accommodation - Flights between 8pm-3am, more than six hours, the airlines.

Full Refund Criteria

Remember the time when you had to pay amount even for cancellation of your tickets? Worry no more, you can claim the whole amount if the cancellation is made within 24 hours of booking. However, there are few rules when it comes to zero cancellation charge.

  • Traveling with seven days of booking? This rule doesn't apply.
  • Airlines will charge a fee to the total of the base fare and fuel surcharge. But keep in mind that you will get a full refund of charges like user development fee, tax, passenger service, and airport development fee have to be refunded.
  • When it comes to foreign airlines, the rules differ and are applicable as per their internal policies.

Flight/ Ticket Cancellation

  • Up to one-hour long flight – Passenger will get INR 5000 or one-way basic fare + fuel charge.
  • Over two hours flight - Passenger will get INR 10000 or one-way basic fare + fuel charge. However, this is based on whichever cost is less.
  • According to the new rules, airlines can't cancel a flight in the last 24 hours. They must give you an alternate flight option or refund the entire amount.

Denied Boarding Due to Overbooking

Have you ever been denied to get into a flight due to overbooking? Dare someone does that again and not be apologetic about their act. If this ever happens you are supposed to get either of the two things:

  • An alternate flight within an hour of the original flight
  • Or the carrier is supposed to compensate up to 400 percent of booking price (one way) subject to few terms and conditions

Change of Name

Several times we have done this mistake and have been asked to either pay a price or name change or cancel and rebook the ticket. But here comes a sigh of relief, you can simply change the name within 24 hours without paying a penny for it.

Injury/Loss of Life or Baggage

  • Passenger suffers an injury or dies onboard - the airline has to pay INR 20 Lakh as compensation for the same.
  • Lost or damaged luggage – Compensation of INR 350 per kg which can go up to INR 20000.
Priyadarshini Patwa

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur India

Priyadarshini Patwa is the Former Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosted an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handled the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and was also responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle. 

She’s @Priyanka_Patwa on Twitter and @priyadarshinipatwa on Instagram.

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