Chennai: The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) has directed two international airlines to pay a compensation of Rs 1.07 lakh to a person for not permitting him to board a flight to Pittsburgh, USA, from Chennai. He was returning to USA along with his wife and brother in 2009.
In the petition, S. Karthik from Pittsburgh submitted that he planned to spend a month with his family members in Chennai. He purchased round trip tickets for travel from Pittsburgh to Chennai for himself and his pregnant wife and his brother Ravinder. They left Pittsburgh by Continental Airlines on January 23, 2009 and reached Chennai on January 26, 2009.
He said “while returning to Pittsburgh only his brother was allowed to board the flight on February 23, 2009”. Karthik and his wife were not given boarding passes on a British Airways flight. When he enquired, Karthik found that their confirmed tickets were cancelled.
His original travel schedule was disrupted. He was forced to book tickets again and travelled in Qatar Airlines on March 11, 2009. He said the act of Continental Airlines and British Airways amounts to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice, which caused him mental agony and hardship. He sought direction to the airlines to pay a compensation of Rs 8 lakh.
In the reply, Manager, Continental Airlines, Nandanam, submitted that Karthik purchased confirmed round trip ticket from Pittsburgh through agent Hotwire.com. His onward journey was smooth on Continental tickets from Pittsburgh to Newark without any trouble. He was scheduled to fly on a British Airways from Chennai to London on February 23, 2009. The British Airways cancelled two out of three tickets and Continental Airlines had no role in the cancellation.
Stating the complaint was based on mere allegations, the Manager, of British Airways on Radhakrishnan Salai, said that the petition was unsustainable in law. Karthik and his wife were denied boarding as their e-ticket did not show the status as “Open” and it was showing as “P” (Paper Ticket only). Ravinder was allowed since his ticket had an “Open” status.
The staff informed him to get in touch with the Continental Airlines which issued the tickets. The airlines had not committed any deficiency in service and unfair trade practice. Hence, the complaint was liable to be dismissed. Holding the airlines guilty of committing deficiency in service, the bench comprising president M. Mony, members K. Amala and Dr T. Paul Rajasekaran, directed the airlines jointly and severally to pay a compensation of Rs 1.07 lakh to Karthik....