Parliamentary panel seeks uniform cancellation charges for all airlines

DNA, February 02, 2022

A Parliamentary panel on Wednesday pitched for having uniform charges for cancellation of air tickets across airlines and expressed concerns that the charges are not regulated by the government. In its report tabled in the Rajya Sabha, the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture appreciated the civil aviation ministry’s guidelines to all airlines/ airports to extend facilities to passengers in case of cancellation or delay of flights. According to the panel, there is a need for rationalising the cancellation charges and prescribing an upper limit of cancellation charges that can be collected from the passengers.

It expressed concern over the ministry’s reply that cancellation charges are not regulated by the government, which has resulted in no uniformity in the charges levied by different airlines. “The committee feels that it defies logic that flights of different airlines on a particular sector having the same starting and destination points, and where the duration of the flight is also the same, should have different cancellation charges. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that there should be uniform cancellation charges across all airlines,” the report said.

In a separate report, the panel expressed serious concerns over the huge number of vacancies at the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and that the vacancies are bound to have a serious impact on the work efficiency of ATCOs (Air Traffic Controllers). “The committee while noting the steps taken by the ministry, recommends that a time schedule for completion of the procedural requirements should be adhered to, in view of the urgent need to fill up the vacancies of ATCOs,” the report said.

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