Passenger denied seat: SpiceJet asked to refund ticket money with interest
- The complainant reported 45 minutes before the flight departure time at the airport, but the ground staff denied her the boarding pass.
- She claimed that this caused her unnecessary expenditure.
- The reason given to her for the denial was that check-in is already closed and so boarding pass can't be issued.
In a rare case, the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum of Chennai (South) has ordered a SpiceJet to refund the cost of the ticket to the woman, who has denied boarding pass on a flight from Chennai to Pune four years back.
In the petition filed by Malar Karthikeyan of Velacherry, it was mentioned that, to attend a meeting she booked a SpiceJet ticket on May 27, 2012, from Chennai to Pune by paying ₹8,416.
On the day of the flight, Karthikeyan reported 45 minutes before the flight departure time at the airport, but the ground staff denied her the boarding pass. The reason given to her for the denial was that check-in is already closed and so boarding pass can't be issued.
Despite repeated requests, the ground staff refused to make alternative arrangement for her to get on the flight. She also alleged that the airline sold her ticket to someone else on a higher rate and wasted her time.
After this, she booked a flight ticket on Jet Airways to Pune, and she claimed that this caused her unnecessary expenditure.
In her contention, she said SpiceJet forfeited her ticket amount for no apparent fault of her.
In her petition, she sought a refund of the ₹8,416 for the SpiceJet ticket and another ₹8,416 for another the Jet Airways ticket that she had to buy. Also, she demanded a compensation of ₹3.25 lakh for mental agony and service deficiency.
On their defense, SpiceJet replied that the complainant reported at the flight counter after the door was closed and declared her ticket as 'no show'. As per the airline policy, the cost of 'no show' tickets are forfeited.
However, the airline did not appear before the forum to refute claims of the complainant and did not produce records to substantiate their own reply.
As a result, the bench of B. Ramalingam, members K. Amala and Dr. T. Paul Rajasekaran, took an ex parte decision in favour of Karthikeyan and accepted her claim that she reached the airport well in advance.
The bench further directed the SpiceJet to refund the cost of the ticket with an interest rate of 9% per annum since May 2014 which is ₹2,500.