On May 22, the Civil Aviation Ministry notified the draft passenger charter which aims to identify, list and institutionalise various rights and entitlements for the consumers. The ministry plans to implement it in few months and has now placed the draft in public domain for discussion. Minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, unveiled the passenger charter and said that the draft includes measures for ensuring security and safety of passengers. Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation, tweeted several important proposals from the draft charter.
The civil aviation ministry has also allowed the use of Wi-FI onboard flights. Passenger Charter and WI-FI connectivity have added value to the other progressive measures started by the ministry. Air Sewa app and website was launched in 2016 to allow flyers to file grievances and also act as a knowledge base. An initiative called DigiYatra aims for ‘paperless’ boarding and integration of technology related to enhancing the consumer experience.
Highlights of the proposed Passenger Charter
#PassengerCharter proposals – under no circumstances can the airline or its agents, including online booking agents charge cancellation charge more than the ticket amount. The taxes and levies have to be refunded.
There are also specific provisions to enhance the travel experience of persons with disability and/or reduced mobility. Airport-related provisions include the availability of trained medical professionals and ambulance present at all hours at all airports. The private airline companies are already implementing several of the above provisions. This move by the government aims to standardise and institutionalise the same across the board. Indigo and Vistara, as reported by Moneycontrol, came out in support of the Passenger Charter.
These proposals are still in the drafting stage. There are many more issues being suggested by citizens which can be added to the list. One such example is to clarify and include in the charter, the accountability of the airline when a person having a valid ticket is denied to board the plane.
What is a Passenger Charter?
Passenger charter or a citizen’s charter is a list of commitments made by an organisation to the consumers. It aims to set clear standards regarding the quality of service, choice of options, and overall enhance the customer experience.
It is part of the government’s move towards better governance. Citizen’s charter goes hand in hand with a robust grievance redressal framework, as without accountability, there can’t be transparency.