Passengers Face Flight Woes Amid Winter Weather – DGCA Report Reveals 712 Complaints in December 2023

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New Delhi, 16th January 2024: As winter fog disrupts flight schedules across the country, passengers have encountered significant challenges, leading to 712 complaints filed in December 2023, according to a report released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The complaints primarily focus on flight delays and refund-related concerns.

During December 2023, a total of 712 passengers lodged complaints about domestic flights, expressing grievances related to various issues, including flight delays and refund procedures. The complaints per 10,000 passengers stood at approximately 0.52, indicating a significant number of passengers facing issues during their air travel. Flight delays, particularly due to cold and fog, have been a major source of discontent among passengers. Of the 721 complaints received, 705, or about 99%, have reportedly been resolved by the airlines.

Flight-related problems constituted the highest percentage of complaints at 61.8%, showing the challenges airlines face in maintaining punctuality during adverse weather conditions. Refund-related issues accounted for 12.8% of the complaints, showcasing the ongoing challenges in the refund process. Baggage-related problems contributed to 11.9% of the complaints.

The DGCA noted an improvement in refund-related complaints compared to November. In December, flight-related complaints increased from 39.4% to 61.8%, while refund-related complaints decreased from 14.8% to 12.8%. Complaints related to employee behaviour also saw a slight increase from 3% in November to 3.4% in December.

SpiceJet received the highest number of complaints, with 422 grievances filed against the airline. Air India and IndiGo followed with 68 and 65 complaints, respectively. Out of the total 347 complaints against SpiceJet, all but 7 have reportedly been resolved.

DGCA Rules for Flight Delays:

– Airlines are required to provide food and drinks to passengers during delays.
– If a flight is delayed by more than 6 hours, passengers can choose between a full refund or a seat on another flight.
– For flights delayed by more than 6 hours and scheduled to take off between 8 pm and 3 am, airlines must provide free accommodation to passengers.
– Free accommodation is also mandated for flights delayed by more than 24 hours.

The DGCA continues to monitor and enforce regulations to safeguard passenger rights and address concerns related to flight operations.