In case of unforeseen circumstances during flight, a common query of the travellers is to know their rights as a passenger. With the increasing popularity of air travel all over the world, it is very important for every flyer to know their basic rights when flying. In this post, we’ll have a look at some of the most important air passenger rights.
Air travel just like any other mode of transport can be affected by a number of unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, it is very important for the passengers to know their basic rights. There are aviation ministries and associations which oversee the passenger rights and ensure safe and comfortable flying experience.
No matter whether you rarely fly or are a frequent flyer, it is very important to know your rights as a passenger. Some of the most important passenger rights are mentioned below-
- Flight Delays
If you have booked a Jet Airways, SriLankan Airlines flight or flight of any other popular carrier, and it is delayed by more than 24 hours, then the air carrier is required to provide accommodation, with transfers from and to the airport free of cost. In case if a flight is delayed for two hours or more, the airline should offer complimentary refreshments and meals to the flyers. While the rights related to flight delays can slightly vary, almost every country offers similar rights to the air travellers.
- Flight cancellation
In case of a flight is cancelled, the air carrier is required to inform the same to the passenger at least two weeks before the scheduled departure and also offer alternate flight or a refund. If the passenger is informed with less than 14 days of the scheduled departure up to 24 hours before the departure, then the air carrier is supposed to offer an alternative flight which is within 2 hours from the scheduled departure of the cancelled flight.
If the passengers only find out about the cancelled status of flight after they reach the airport, the carrier has to offer a refund as well as refreshments and meals as per the wait time. If you online flight tickets booking but provide inadequate contact details, and the flight is cancelled, you are not entitled to any financial compensation. The carrier will refund the fare or make alternative arrangements for you.
- Overbooked flights
If a flight is overbooked, the passengers would be asked to give up their seats voluntarily and get facilities or services in return. If at all the carrier denies boarding to a passenger without his/her compliance, the passenger is entitled to receive compensation on the basis of the time difference between the scheduled departure of original flight and the alternative flight.
- Loss/damage/delay of luggage
If your luggage is damaged, lost or delayed by the airline, you need to collect a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) before you leave the airport. If the luggage is damaged, the airline would replace the luggage or pay for the damages. If the luggage is lost or delayed, the airline should pay compensation to the passenger. Ensure that you go through the luggage delay/loss policy when booking flight tickets as they can vary between carriers and countries.
- Facilities for expectant mothers and senior citizens
If you are an expectant mother or a senior citizen, you have the right to ask for small trolleys or automated buggies to help you cover the distance to the boarding gate. This facility is offered at airports that have an annual aircraft movement of more than 50,000. Even for disabled passengers, the airline is supposed to make all the necessary arrangements requested by the passenger at least 48 hours before the scheduled departure.
With the falling airfare and a large number of low-cost carriers now available, air travel is now an affordable mode of transport. But as an air passenger, it is essential to know your rights as you never know when you might have to exercise them to ensure a safe and comfortable journey.