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Know Your Rights: Navigating Air Passenger Rights in India

Updated: Jan 27

Embarking on a journey by air is often an exciting experience, filled with anticipation and adventure. However, the intricacies of air travel can sometimes lead to unforeseen challenges, such as flight delays, cancellations, denied boarding due to overbooking, and the distressing loss of luggage. In the vast expanse of the Indian aviation landscape, passengers are not merely travelers but individuals with rights safeguarded by regulations, including those laid out by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Join us on a legal exploration as we delve into the nuanced realm of Air Passenger Rights in India. From understanding your entitlements for compensation in the event of a flight delay to unraveling the complexities of boarding denials and luggage loss, our legal blog aims to empower you with knowledge and insights for a smoother journey through the skies.

  • Flight Delays: If you have checked in on time and the airline expects a delay of 2 to 5 hours then the airline must offer you free-of-charge meals and refreshments in relation to the waiting time.

  • Flight Cancellation: Sec 3.31 To minimize the inconvenience faced by passengers due to flight cancellations, airlines are required to notify passengers of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled departure time. The airline must then make arrangements for an alternative flight or provide a refund, based on the passenger's preference. If the cancellation notice is given within two weeks and up to 24 hours before the scheduled departure time, the airline is obligated to offer an alternative flight departing within two hours of the originally booked time or provide a refund, as per the passenger's choice.

  • Refunds: If you had paid the ticket fare by cash, the airline has to refund the money immediately. If the payment has been done by credit card it has to refunded within 7 days. For bookings via travel agent, one has to approach the agent. Amount refunded by airline should consist of Passenger Services Fee, Airport Development Fee(ADF) or User Development Fee(UDF) and Service Tax. One can either take the refund or opt utilize the same for future travel.

  • Over boarding: If you voulantatily vacate your seats, then the airline at its own discretion, would offer you any benefit, offer. If the boarding is denied to passengers against their will, the airline shall not be liable for any compensation in case alternate flight is arranged that is scheduled to depart within one hour of the original schedule departure time of the initial reservation.

  • Baggage Loss, Delay or Damage: A passenger can claim damages from the airlines for baggage only if the event which caused the loss, delay or damage took place on board the aircraft or during the period within which the checked baggage was in the charge of the carrier. In case of loss, delay or damage to baggage by domestic carriage the carrier liability is limited to ₹ 20,000 per passenger. For international carriage, the carrier liability is 1,231 Special Drawing Rights per passenger.

When the airline isn't liable to pay for compensation caused due to Flight Delay and Flight Cancellation:

No such compensation shall be payable to any of the affected passengers in

case the cancellations occur due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the

control of the airline such as political instability, natural disaster, civil war, insurrection or riot, flood, explosion, government regulation or order affecting the aircraft, strikes and abour disputes causing cessation, slowdown or interruption of work or any other factors that are beyond the control of the airline. Even if all reasonable measures had been taken by the airline.


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