CHENNAI: Airlines can't go scot-free if a passenger misses a flight because the boarding gate number is not mentioned on the ticket, a consumer body ruled on Thursday.
Rapping a private airline for the oversight, the district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chennai (South), directed it to pay compensation of Rs 12,500 to the passenger and refund him the ticket cost.
Thomas Findo of Mylapore, an accountant and managing director of a private company , had to attend a meeting at the union ministry of defence, New Delhi, and booked a to-and-fro ticket worth `12,293 with SpiceJet on January 8, 2012.
Findo said he reached the airport well before departure at 7.45pm and checked in. Airline staff issued him a boarding pass with seat number but not the gate number. They was asked him to wait near gate 6. While waiting, he twice asked staff about the departure gate and was told to wait.
Finally , he was not allowed to board the flight as the airline had used a different gate for boarding. When he requested for an alternate flight, the airline staff demanded Rs 21,000. Because of the missed flight, Findo said he suffered "tremendous mental agony and professional loss" so much so that his "reputation was spoilt."
Saying it was an unfair trade practice on the part of the airline, he then moved the district forum seeking compensation along with refund of the ticket amount.
A bench of president B Ramalingam and members Paul Rajasekaran and K Amala noted that the tick et, produced as evidence to the forum, was without a gate number. So the plea that he suffered professional loss because of missing the flight was acceptable, it said. Despite being summoned, the airline did not appear before the forum, nor did it provide evidence to counter Findo's charges.
The bench then directed the airline to pay Rs 10,000 for deficiency in services along with `2,500 as litigation expenses and a refund of `6,146 as the ticket charge from Chennai to Delhi.
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