Airlines liable to pay passengers for denying boarding: DGCA tells Delhi HC
Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told the Delhi high court that it does not permit the practice of overbooking of flights and the airlines are liable to compensate passengers who are denied boarding despite having confirmed tickets.
Air India also conceded before the court that not permitting a passenger holding confirmed tickets to board a flight would amount to deficiency of service and the consumer has the right to seek compensation for it.
After noting the DGCA and Air India’s stand, justice Vibhu Bakhru said it was not necessary to examine the question whether the aviation regulator had the jurisdiction to issue the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) in this regard.
DGCA and Air India were responding to a petition that questioned a 2010 CAR issued by DGCA, that recognises the concept of overbooking by airlines.
The petitioner claimed that the CAR allows overbooking of flights which cannot be permitted.
The court said a plain reading of the CAR provision relating to denied boarding indicates that the DGCA has recognised that certain airlines follow the practice of overbooking. However, it cannot be read to mean that the aviation regulator permits the airlines to do so, it said.