Flights are one of the most commonly used travel options. It is an exponentially growing industry. While flights are a convenient and quick mode of travel, they can also very quickly derail all your plans.
There has been a rapid increase in flight delays in India in recent times. Flight delays are an absolute hassle to go through. Many issues like bad weather, technical issues, or any unforeseen events can cause flight delays or even cancellations. Such delays can end up in you having to completely change your itinerary and thus spending a lot of money. This can turn out to be a very bothersome feat. It so happens, very often, that consumers end up paying for the mistakes made by airlines. Thus all consumers should know how to file a Flight Delay Complaint.
Filing an airline complaint and claiming monetary compensation for your loss is the way to go in situations like these. Read on to know the procedure to file a complaint against flight delay and how you can make this whole process easier with Voxya!
Reasons for Flight Delay or Flight Delay Complaint
Hundreds of flights are delayed or cancelled each year, leaving passengers with no choice but to wait in vain for the next flight.
In most cases, the cancellation is justified, but when there is no obvious reason for the cancellation, it can irritate even the most patient person. So, here are some of the reasons why flights are cancelled more frequently than you might think.
Extreme Weather Condition
The reason for flight cancellation or delay that is most common is unpredictable weather conditions. Flights are often delayed during extremely harsh weather like thunderstorms.
So, the next time you suspect bad weather, check the weather reports for your departure and arrival cities, followed by your flight status.
Another reason for a flight delay could be a mechanical problem. It is usually caused by a hydraulic leak or a faulty engine, among other things. Passenger safety is the utmost priority for airlines, as it should be, flight delays can occur in such situations till the faulty parts are fixed or replaced.
In such cases, airlines usually rebook passengers on another flight or issue a refund.
Many flights are considerably delayed for security checks or even cancelled when there is a security threat at the airport from which you are flying. Even the slightest security threat is never taken lightly since it can put the lives of numerous passengers at risk. Therefore, any alleged threat will lead to flights being grounded.
Airlines, like any other organisation, can also face a staffing shortage. This occurs more frequently than expected, resulting in delays or cancellation.
Such situations take place when a large number of people call in sick and no replacements are available when crew members are deemed unfit to fly by airline, or sometimes even due to staff strikes. It is usually a good idea to look for an alternate flight or travel arrangement in a situation like this since getting booked on another airline can turn out to be a very long wait. You can also seek assistance from the airport’s sales desk.
Air traffic can become congested during rush hour in the same way that it does on land. A crowded or exceptionally busy airport may have planes waiting to take off lined up on the runway. Thus, many planes end up just circling the airport, waiting for clearance to land. This not only causes other flights to arrive late but also has a rippling effect on other flights. Late takeoffs and landings have a domino effect until the schedule is restored.
There can be a variety of other complex reasons for flight delays and cancellations. But, in which of these scenarios are you eligible to apply for a refund or compensation? Continue reading to find out!
Rights you should know about in case your flight gets delayed or cancelled by Airline Company
Delayed flight scenarios can manifest in a variety of ways, and your rights are determined by the circumstances. The DGCA has provided the following passenger rights guidelines. However, it is important that all passengers confirm with their agents or the specific airline the policies and timelines followed by them. This is because such policies can differ from airline to airline.
- A flight delay of two or more hours entitles you to free meals or refreshments, depending on the length of your delay.
- In a situation where your domestic flight is delayed for upwards of 6 hours, it is mandatory for the airline to inform you about the reschedule time a minimum of 24 hours before your original time of departure. They must also either fully refund your ticket or book you on an alternate flight within 6 hours.
- If your flight has been pushed by 24 hours or more, the airline must provide you with free hotel accommodations. The same is the case if a flight between 20:00 and 3:00 hours is delayed by more than 6 hours.
Since cancelled flights can disrupt your travel plans to a large extent, it is mandatory for airlines to notify you of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled departure time. Along with notifying you, the airlines must also book you on another flight or refund your ticket. Since several airlines have different policies in different circumstances, this may not always be the case. Therefore, you should check with your travel agent or the airlines.
If you are notified of a cancellation less than two weeks before your scheduled departure time but within 24 hours of it, the airline should either refund your ticket or book you on an alternate flight.
- If the airline failed to inform you of all due procedures or missed a connecting flight booked on the same ticket number, the airline must provide you with an alternative flight or compensate you with a full refund.
- Policies may differ if you booked your trip through an OTA. Since every agency has different policies, it would be best for you to contact them for information on how to seek a refund.
Not sure how to file a complaint? Visit Voxya’s page to find out how to easily file a complaint.
How Much Compensation Are You Entitled To?
You are entitled to a certain amount of flight delay compensation in case of not only flight delays, flight cancellation, and even denied boarding, depending on the genuinity of your situation. If the ticket price exceeds the compensation amount, the passenger will receive the following:
- If the flight block-up time is less than or equal to one hour, the fee is Rs. 2000/- or the ticket price, whichever is less.
- If the flight’s block-up time exceeds one hour and is less than two hours; 3000/- or the ticket price, whichever is less;
- If the flight is delayed for more than 2 hours, the fee is Rs. 4000/- or the ticket price, whichever is lower.
- If the ticket price is less than the compensation amount, the amount will be equal to the ticket price.
Can You File A Legal Complaint?
It is not uncommon in such situations of flight delay or cancellation that the airlines or the booking agent deny any kind of refund or compensation. There are cases where they do not even bother responding to the consumer, hoping that the consumer will not pursue the compensation. However, if this happens to you, it is important that you take strong action by sending a legal notice and make sure to get the compensation amount you are entitled to.
What is a legal notice and when should you send one?
A legal notice is a letter written in clear and direct language to a person or organisation directing them to do or not do certain acts, failing which the sender may file a lawsuit against the receiver. It is a formal communication between two or more parties indicating that the sender intends to take legal action against the receiver/s.
You, as a consumer, can send a legal notice for deficiency of service or non-payment of a compensation claim.
Given all this information, how can you send a legal notice to claim your compensation for a flight delay?
Here’s how you can send a legal notice!
A legal notice is typically sent on behalf of a client by an advocate. Although sending a legal notice through an advocate is not required, it is always preferable because they have the best knowledge to draft the best legal notice possible.
Most airlines and booking agents would have a legal team dealing with such issues therefore it is important that you find a good lawyer to put your case forward. The lawyer will consult with you and gather all necessary information. The notice should be addressed to the brand or person with whom you are dissatisfied. Any Indian language can be used to write the legal notice, but English is the most commonly used.
After gathering all of the information necessary, the lawyer will begin drafting the legal letter. The notice is typically printed on the lawyer’s letterhead and signed by the lawyer. The legal notice always includes a time limit or an ultimatum to expedite the work. Typically, a period of 15 to 30 days is set aside to resolve the issue, either through negotiation or by agreeing to the other party’s demands.
The legal notice is signed by the advocate, and it is delivered to the registered AD post. Both the advocate and the client usually keep a copy of the legal notice.
A skilled lawyer can be expensive, with fees ranging from Rs.3500 to Rs.8000 for drafting and submitting a legal notice on his letterhead. However, if you are unable to find a professional lawyer within your budget, Voxya is available to assist you.
How does Voxya resolve flight delay complaints online?
Voxya is a company that is set on becoming the voice of consumers. It makes it very easy for consumers to file a complaint, take legal action and even consult with a lawyer as to what would be the right course of action in case of filing flight delay complaints.
Voxya is a consumer complaint forum that operates online. It enables the user to quickly file consumer complaints against brands. It assists the user in combating fraud and unresponsive customer service.
All you have to do is go to Voxya’s site and file a complaint, fill in all the required information, and make sure that you have evidence of deficiency or lack of service. Voxya will take it from there!
Voxya will assist you in sending a legal notice from the comfort of your own home without the hassle of finding a lawyer who is also within your budget!
It is known for providing high-quality services at the most reasonable prices. Voxya charges a fixed fee of Rs. 1299 for sending a legal notice drafted by an experienced advocate, as well as hard copies to the company and the consumer.
So the next time you think of sending a legal notice as a hassle, visit Voxya’s website and take the first step to resolve your complaints and claims in the easiest way!