The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Air-India told to pay damages

New Delhi, Nov. 17 (PTI): Five years after Air-India disallowed a Canada-based NRI from boarding a flight despite his having a confirmed ticket, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered the international carrier to pay him Rs 15,000 as compensation and Rs 5,000 as litigation costs.

“Admittedly, no amount of compensation till date has been awarded to the complainant,” commission president D.P. Wadhwa and members J.K. Mehra and B.K. Taimini said in a recent order.

“There was no justification for Air-India to withhold payment of denied-board compensation to the complainant,” the commission added.

Rajinder Pal Jaura, who had to attend an important business meeting at Toronto, had a confirmed ticket for August 30, 1997, from New Delhi, according to the complaint.

However, the airline did not accommodate him, saying the flight was full and denied him any compensation.

“Since it is the practice to give denied-board compensation, Air-India should have offered the $300 on August 30, 1997, itself,” the commission said.

Holding that the airline had taken shelter behind the international practice of overbooking, the redressal commission said: “Air-India should also follow the international practice of paying denied-board compensation.”

However, the commission turned down the complainant’s claim for damages to the tune of Rs 60 lakh, saying Jaura had not informed Air-India at the time of purchasing the ticket of his likely losses in case he was denied boarding.

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