SpiceJet to pay Rs 25K for "wrongly" charging passenger

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SpiceJet flight
New Delhi, Aug 6: Low-cost airline SpiceJet has been directed by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 25,000 to a woman as compensation for "wrongly" charging her daughter an extra Rs 700 for purportedly carrying excess hand-baggage in a flight from Pune to Delhi.

The South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that act of the airline's staff was "unjustified" as nowhere in the terms and conditions of the e-ticket was it mentioned that, on carrying excess baggage, the passenger is liable to pay any extra amount and asked the airline to refund the money taken from the daughter of complainant, Mrs Shukla.

"Nowhere in the terms and conditions of the e-ticket was it mentioned that on carrying excess baggage the opposite party (SpiceJet) is entitled to charge any amount. We are of the opinion that the airline has wrongly charged the amount of Rs 700 from complainant's (Mrs Shukla) daughter...this action was quite unjustified and arbitrary by which undoubtedly she (the daughter) suffered from a sense of insecurity, harassment and mental agony for which she is entitled to be reasonably compensated," said the bench headed by Narendra Kumar.

In her complaint, Shukla had submitted that she had purchased a ticket from SpiceJet for her daughter’s journey on May 25, 2010 from Pune to Delhi. She had alleged that, on the day of the journey, the airline's staff at the check-in counter harassed her daughter and made her pay Rs 100 per kg for her 7 kg hand bag.

In its defence, SpiceJet had contended that having booked the e-ticket, she should have known the terms and conditions as per which the guests were only allowed hand baggage of 7 kg and excess baggage would be charged as per prescribed fee of Rs 100 per kg.

The airline had further sought to justify its action. The airline had further sought to justify its action, stating that Rs 700 for excess baggage was charged as per the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) guidelines.

The forum rejected the airline's contentions saying that as per BCAS guidelines certain items were excluded from being considered as hand baggage, including a ladies hand bag "which is applicable in the instant case".

"Opposite party is directed to pay a sum of Rs 700 to the complainant (as a refund of the extra amount charged from her daughter) along with Rs 20,000 towards compensation and Rs 5,000 towards cost of litigation," the bench added.

PTI

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