Can you be denied boarding on a confirmed airline ticket?

Denied

The Untited Airlines incident that forcibly dragged a passenger, Dr David Dao, from its aircraft in Chicago has enraged most part of the world. His only fault was refusing the airline’s last minute request to give up his seat to make room for a crew member. The request came after he had buckled himself in United Airlines’ Kentucky-bound flight.

What are your rights in this case?

Unlike the United Airlines case, in India, passengers are denied boarding before they get on the plane.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s aviation regulator states: “Airlines overbook their scheduled flights to a limited extent in order to reduce the possibility of flights departing with unoccupied or empty seats because of ‘No Shows’ by booked passengers i.e. passengers who do not report for travel despite firm bookings before the time limit stipulated by the airline. Under the provisions of this CAR (Civil Aviation Requirements), airlines shall be liable to pay compensation to passengers who are denied boarding. Hence, in order to minimise ‘No Shows’, the airlines will be allowed to levy appropriate ‘No Show’ penalties in relation to the Fare as defined under rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules 1937. This penalty will be deducted from the Fare paid by the passenger.”

DGCA’s passenger rights report goes on to state that in case a flight is overbooked, the airline must first ask for volunteers to give up their seats for other booked passengers. In exchange, airlines may offer benefits/facilities at their discretion to the volunteers as mutually agreed upon by the passenger and airline.

If a passenger is denied boarding against her/his will, despite a confirmed ticket and checking in well within the specified timeframe, s/he must be compensated by the airline, in addition to full refund of the air ticket.

Compensation in accordance with the provisions of Para 3.5 by DGCA: 3.5.1 The financial compensation indicated below shall be given only if the amount of tickets costs is higher than the compensation amount:

a) Rs. 2,000/- or the value of the ticket whichever is less for flights having a block time* of up to and including one hour.

b) Rs. 3.000/- or the value of the ticket whichever is less for flights having block time of more than one hour and upto and including two hours.

c) Rs. 4,000/- or the value of the ticket whichever is less for flights having a block time of more than two hours.

If the cost of the ticket is less than the amount of compensation indicated above, the airline will be liable to compensate an amount equivalent to the ticket cost in addition to refund of air ticket.

3.5.2 The compensation referred to in Para 3.5.1 shall be paid in cash, by bank transfer or with the signed agreement of the passenger in the form of travel vouchers, in accordance with CAR Section 3, Series M, Part II.

3.5.3 Additionally, the passenger shall be offered the choice between the following:

a) Refund of air ticket at the price it was purchased.

b) A flight to the first point of departure.

c) Alternate transportation under comparable/alternate mode of transport (whenever applicable), to the final destination.

d) Alternate transportation under comparable/alternate mode of transport (whenever applicable), to their final destination at a later date at the passengers’ convenience, subject to availability of seats.

3.5.4 The affected passenger shall be offered compensation alternatives listed in Para 3.5.1 and Para 3.5.3 above and once the option has been selected the affected passenger will not have the option to switch to another form of compensation.

3.5.5 In case of foreign carriers, the amount of compensation paid to the passengers shall be as contained in the regulations of their country of origin or as given in para 3.5.1 of this CAR, whichever is higher.

3.6 Facilities to be offered to Passengers

3.6.1 Passengers shall be offered free of charge the following:

a) Meals and refreshments in relation to waiting time.

b) Hotel Accommodation when necessary (including transfers).

3.6.2 Airlines shall pay particular attention to the needs of persons with reduced mobility and any other person(s) accompanying them.

*Block time: the time calculated from the moment the aircraft pushes back from the departure gate until the moment it pulls into the arrival gate.

dgca.nic.in/Pass_Rights/pass-ind.htm 

Validity of Indian e-visas increased to two months

Indian aviation

E-visas issued to tourists travelling to India will have a 60-day validity period. Earlier, the e-visa permitted a stay of only up to 30 days at a time in the country. This extension has been effective from April 1.

The e-visa is sub dived into three categories: e-tourist, e-business and e-medical.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh says, “Duration of stay on e-visa has increased from 30 days to 60 days with double-entry on tourist and business e-visas and triple entry on medical visas.”

The e-medical visa allows triple entry into the country within 60 days, whereas the e-business and e-tourist visas allow double entry. Both e-business and e-medical visas can be granted within 48 hours of submitting the application. This however, is at the discretion of the Consulate General of India.

Further, two new visa categories that have been recently released by the Indian government: film (F) visa, which grants a one year multiple entry facility, and intern (I) visa that allows foreigners to pursue internships in India.

indianvisaonline.gov.in  

E-visas issued to tourists travelling to India will have a 60-day validity period. Earlier, the e-visa permitted a stay of only up to 30 days at a time in the country. This extension has been effective from April 1.

The e-visa is sub dived into three categories: e-tourist, e-business and e-medical.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh says, “Duration of stay on e-visa has increased from 30 days to 60 days with double-entry on tourist and business e-visas and triple entry on medical visas.”

The e-medical visa allows triple entry into the country within 60 days, whereas the e-business and e-tourist visas allow double entry. Both e-business and e-medical visas can be granted within 48 hours of submitting the application. This however, is at the discretion of the Consulate General of India.

Further, two new visa categories that have been recently released by the Indian government: film (F) visa, which grants a one year multiple entry facility, and intern (I) visa that allows foreigners to pursue internships in India.

indianvisaonline.gov.in 

Netra Venkateshwaran

India to receive a new airport by 2019

Navi Mumbai

On February 13, the GVK consortium bagged the contract for the development of the new airport at Navi Mumbai. It currently operates and manages Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, and Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport. 

Other qualified bidders for the Navi Mumbai project were GMR (operates Delhi International Airport and Hyderabad International Airport), Tata Realty-MIA Infrastructure, and Zurich Airport-Hiranandani Group. The proposal for the Navi Mumbai airport that falls under the authority of City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), was floated in 1997. It received government approval in 2007. Issues involving land acquisition, environmental clearance and other development permissions from various government bodies caused delays in the project’s launch. Eventually, except GMR and GVK, the others withdrew from the bid.

GVK Reddy, executive chairman of Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) said: “This award is further testimony to our commitment that was ably demonstrated in the making of the iconic Terminal 2 (at MIAL), along with the creation of efficient airside operations in a severely constrained Mumbai Airport. We shall remain committed towards creating, designing and managing yet another state-of-the-art airport and deliver a world-class gateway from Navi Mumbai to the world. We look forward to working with the state government, CIDCO, and all other stakeholders, for the successful implementation of this exciting and challenging project.” 

Hopefully, as planned, the first phase of the Navi Mumbai airport will be operational from 2019. It is expected to have a handling capacity for 10 million passengers annually. By 2030, this capacity will increase to 60 million passengers, when the airport will function to its full potential.

Launched as a public-private partnership, CIDCO will cover costs involved in the airport’s pre-development, which will be recovered from GVK in the coming years.

According to passenger traffic data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), India is the fastest growing aviation market in the world, and is expected to be the third largest in the world by 2016. Last year, the airports at Delhi and Mumbai, the busiest in the country, handled 5.5 crore and 4.4 crore passengers respectively. 

Andaz Delhi to open on December 20

Andaz Delhi

Andaz, a luxury boutique hotel by Hyatt will make its Indian debut in Delhi on December 20. This will be the third Andaz property in Asia, with two others in Shanghai, China and Tokyo Japan. A fourth one is scheduled to open in Singapore next year.

The boutique hotel with 401 rooms and suites and 129 apartments is located in Aerocity, within proximity to Indira Gandhi International Airport. Room sizes range from 33 sqm to 49 sqm, suite sizes range from 72 sqm to 209 sqm and the apartments are sized between 56 sqm and 192 sqm. Following the trend of its properties worldwide that capture the local culture, each accommodation category at Andaz Delhi will have one piece of art that “celebrates a reason to fall in love with Delhi”.

Wifi, local calls and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks from the minibar are free to all hotel guests. They can also access the 24-hour gym, two outdoor swimming pools and spa to unwind at.

Amongst its F&B offerings, AnnaMaya is a modern European food hall with flavours of India; Andaz Deli is the patisseries with an array of delectable treats; Juniper Bar is essentially for gin and tonic, spirits and cocktails; The Hong Kong Club is a multi-level bar, club and lounge.

delhi.andaz.hyatt.com 

Andaz, a luxury boutique hotel by Hyatt will make its Indian debut in Delhi on December 20. This will be the third Andaz property in Asia, with two others in Shanghai, China and Tokyo Japan. A fourth one is scheduled to open in Singapore next year.

The boutique hotel with 401 rooms and suites and 129 apartments is located in Aerocity, within proximity to Indira Gandhi International Airport. Room sizes range from 33 sqm to 49 sqm, suite sizes range from 72 sqm to 209 sqm and the apartments are sized between 56 sqm and 192 sqm. Following the trend of its properties worldwide that capture the local culture, each accommodation category at Andaz Delhi will have one piece of art that “celebrates a reason to fall in love with Delhi”.

Wifi, local calls and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks from the minibar are free to all hotel guests. They can also access the 24-hour gym, two outdoor swimming pools and spa to unwind at.

Amongst its F&B offerings, AnnaMaya is a modern European food hall with flavours of India; Andaz Deli is the patisseries with an array of delectable treats; Juniper Bar is essentially for gin and tonic, spirits and cocktails; The Hong Kong Club is a multi-level bar, club and lounge.

delhi.andaz.hyatt.com

DIAL launches e-shopping platform for flyers

Delhi Airport e-commerce

Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has launched an e-shopping platform that allows flyers to pre-order a product from retail stores at the domestic departure areas of Terminals 1 and 3.

To be able to shop, shopflydel.in asks flyers to register with their name, email address and mobile number. On doing so, they can browse and pay for items from 30 days up to 12 hours before their flight’s scheduled departure.

“Shopflydel.in creates a niche market for Delhi Airport in the e-commerce space,” said DIAL’s CEO, Prabhakara Rao. “Today more than 70 per cent of passengers travelling through Delhi Airport use smart phones. We will soon add more traveller-friendly features and value added services to this first-of-its kind interactive airport shopping portal for travellers.”

The e-commerce site divides items under fashion, pens and toys that is further divided under what is available at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. To be able to check-out, flyers must select items from a since terminal.

shopflydel.in 

Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has launched an e-shopping platform that allows flyers to pre-order a product from retail stores at the domestic departure areas of Terminals 1 and 3.

To be able to shop, shopflydel.in asks flyers to register with their name, email address and mobile number. On doing so, they can browse and pay for items from 30 days up to 12 hours before their flight’s scheduled departure.

“Shopflydel.in creates a niche market for Delhi Airport in the e-commerce space,” said DIAL’s CEO, Prabhakara Rao. “Today more than 70 per cent of passengers travelling through Delhi Airport use smart phones. We will soon add more traveller-friendly features and value added services to this first-of-its kind interactive airport shopping portal for travellers.”

The e-commerce site divides items under fashion, pens and toys that is further divided under what is available at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. To be able to check-out, flyers must select items from a since terminal.

shopflydel.in

Bhavnagar receives its first Sarovar property

Efcee Sarovar Portico Bhavnagar

Sarovar Hotels launches Efcee Sarovar Portico Bhavnagar in Gujarat. It is the fourth Sarovar property in the state. The others are in Ahmedabad, Gandhidham and Rajkot.

“We are delighted to be opening our fourth hotel in Gujarat. Bhavnagar being one of the major business destinations in the state, it is an important addition to our portfolio,” says Mansoor Adil, executive vice president of Sarovar Hotels.

The 99-key property is located in the city centre. All Deluxe and Premium rooms and Executive and Leela suites have access to free wifi, tea/coffee making facilities, free water bottles, LED television, minibar, work desk and a shower. The suites have an additional bathtub.

Guests of the premium rooms have daily free two-hour access to the boardroom.

Adil adds, “Our superior banqueting facilities will make meetings and events easier; [they are] complemented with our signature Sarovar hospitality, whether it is a business get-together or a social occasion.”

On the ground floor of Efcee Sarovar Portico Bhavnagar is Amaltas that can hold 200 people and Gulmohar lawns that can hold 1,600 people. Parijat on the second floor can hold 220 people and can be divided into two for a smaller group.

Amongst its dining options are Spice Story for Indian food, an all-day coffee shop — Victoria 23, and Bake and Brew lounge for bakery products.

Recreational facilities include a swimming pool, gym and Bhavnagar’s first spa.

efceesarovar.com

Delhi’s international airport installs a body scanner

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has installed a full-body scanner for a trial period of three months tentatively.

The airport will make it a permanent feature — as part of its efforts to tighten security — only if it is satisfied with the results produced. It will arrive at a decision after evaluating 10,000 body scans.

The machine sweeps the entire body within seconds when the subject stands still inside its box connected to a monitor where the results are displayed for an officer to analyse. It can identify liquid explosives, composite weapons, guns, narcotics, sharp objects, ceramic and plastic casing, metals and recording devices.

In case of suspicion, the next step in security includes being further frisked by an officer.

As of now travellers are given a choice to be scanned in the trial machine. However, if made a permanent security fixture, it will be mandatory for all passengers to go through it.

The current machine has been imported from the US and a second one, for comparison, is on its way from Germany.

India’s Central Industrial Security Force that provides security at airports refused to share additional information on the scanners, but has confirmed the above. 

newdelhiairport.in

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has installed a full-body scanner for a trial period of three months tentatively.

The airport will make it a permanent feature — as part of its efforts to tighten security — only if it is satisfied with the results produced. It will arrive at a decision after evaluating 10,000 body scans.

The machine sweeps the entire body within seconds when the subject stands still inside its box connected to a monitor where the results are displayed for an officer to analyse. It can identify liquid explosives, composite weapons, guns, narcotics, sharp objects, ceramic and plastic casing, metals and recording devices.

In case of suspicion, the next step in security includes being further frisked by an officer.

As of now travellers are given a choice to be scanned in the trial machine. However, if made a permanent security fixture, it will be mandatory for all passengers to go through it.

The current machine has been imported from the US and a second one, for comparison, is on its way from Germany.

India’s Central Industrial Security Force that provides security at airports refused to share additional information on the scanners, but has confirmed the above. 

newdelhiairport.in

Emirates offers special air fares

Emirates A380 double-decker

This year (on December 2) the UAE will celebrate its 45th National Day since the unification of its seven emirates and its consequent birth in 1971. Commemorating this, Dubai’s flagship carrier, Emirates has special ongoing fares. 

Booking period for the discounted fares ends on December 10, for travel between December 3, 2016 and June 19, 2017. 

Below are the lowest fares (subject to availability) for a return economy ticket between Mumbai and 

Dubai — ₹14,699 

Nairobi — ₹33,850 

Istanbul — ₹34,593 

London — ₹37,252 

New York — ₹56,357 

emirates.com 

MEGA Maldives Airlines to launch first direct Male’-Delhi service

Maldives

Booking for MEGA Maldives’ flight tickets between Maldivian capital, Male’ and Indian capital, Delhi are available on the airline’s website.

The service on B737-800 will commence from November 14.

Flight LV 304 departs from Male’ at 1515 and arrives in Delhi at 1925 on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

There are two flight options from Delhi:

Flight LV 305 departs from Delhi at 0850 and reaches Male’ at 1235 on Tuesday and Friday.

Flight LV 305 departs from Delhi at 1000 and reaches Male’ at 1350 on Sunday.

This is the first direct service between the two capital cities.

Amongst the Indian airlines that have direct flights to Male’ are:

Air India from Bengaluru on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

SpiceJet from Kochi, daily.

megamaldivesair.com 

Booking for MEGA Maldives’ flight tickets between Maldivian capital, Male’ and Indian capital, Delhi are available on the airline’s website.

The service on B737-800 will commence from November 14.

Flight LV 304 departs from Male’ at 1515 and arrives in Delhi at 1925 on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

There are two flight options from Delhi:

Flight LV 305 departs from Delhi at 0850 and reaches Male’ at 1235 on Tuesday and Friday.

Flight LV 305 departs from Delhi at 1000 and reaches Male’ at 1350 on Sunday.

This is the first direct service between the two capital cities.

Amongst the Indian airlines that have direct flights to Male’ are:

Air India from Bengaluru on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

SpiceJet from Kochi, daily.

megamaldivesair.com 

Booking for MEGA Maldives’ flight tickets between Maldivian capital, Male’ and Indian capital, Delhi are available on the airline’s website.

The service on B737-800 will commence from November 14.

Flight LV 304 departs from Male’ at 1515 and arrives in Delhi at 1925 on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

There are two flight options from Delhi:

Flight LV 305 departs from Delhi at 0850 and reaches Male’ at 1235 on Tuesday and Friday.

Flight LV 305 departs from Delhi at 1000 and reaches Male’ at 1350 on Sunday.

This is the first direct service between the two capital cities.

Amongst the Indian airlines that have direct flights to Male’ are:

Air India from Bengaluru on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

SpiceJet from Kochi, daily.

megamaldivesair.com