Airlines cannot share reasons behind flight delays, says forum

Airlines cannot share with the public the reasons behind technical problems that result in delay of flights as that could spread panic among passengers, a consumer forum has said.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum made the observation while dismissing as frivolous a complaint against Air India and slapped a fine of Rs 3,000 on the complainant for seeking details of the technical reasons for delay in his flight from Bangkok to Delhi.

“Both, neither the staff nor the general public travelling/ waiting at the airport are supposed to know the actual reason for the technical problem. The higher officers cannot share the technical information for various reasons with the public” a bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.

“Many reasons maybe such which, if shared, may spread panic among the passengers. We do not find any good reason for complainant to file this complaint against the airline only for the reason that the reasons for delay were not shared with him. In not sharing the technical reason opposite party (Air India) did not commit any deficiency. We hold this complaint as frivolous,” a bench added.

The forum also imposed cost of Rs 3,000 on complainant Anurag Jain, a resident of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

In his complaint, Jain had contended that there was delay of several hours in his flight scheduled to take off from Bangkok to Delhi on May 3, 2007 and he was only told that there was a technical snag, but despite his repeated requests, the details of the problems were not given to him.

Air India, in its reply, had contended that the flight in which he was scheduled to travel was delayed, due to technical difficulties and the airline also submitted an affidavit of the pilot concerned in support of its contention.

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