DGCA warns airlines strictly against selling unusable seats to passengers

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday, May 24 warned airlines against offering unserviceable seats to passengers on their domestic and international flights.

Earlier this year, the DGCA had conducted an audit of seats and other cabin fittings in aircraft of airlines and found that many had broken or unserviceable seats.

In a communique sent to all Indian carriers, the DGCA said that some of the carriers are offering unserviceable seats to passengers on their scheduled international and domestic operations.

DGCA warns airlines strictly against selling unusable seats to passengers

“This practice is not only causing inconvenience to the travellers but also inviting a serious safety concern as well,” the regulator said.

As per Rule 53 of The Aircraft Rule, 1937, all materials including the aircraft seat shall conform to approved design specifications. The installation of any part failing to meet the intended design requirements degrades the requirements of airworthiness, it said.

“Given the above, it is hereby advised to ensure that airlines shall not book passengers beyond the serviceable seats meeting the approved design specification available in the aircraft, released for scheduled services. Any non-compliance in this regard shall be viewed seriously,” it noted.

A passenger booked on the flight (AI 161) said that business class passengers were downgraded due to the chaos, and some could not even fly as “their seats were not working.”

On May 24th, passengers booked on a London-bound Air India flight from New Delhi were inconvenienced by several hours of delay and chaos over seat allocation on account of some seats not “working.”

A passenger booked on the flight (AI 161) said that business class passengers were downgraded due to the chaos, and some could not even fly as “their seats were not working.”

ALSO READ – DGCA asks Air India to repair its aircraft’s shabby interiors

Last month, the DGCA had asked Air India to repair its aircraft after a passenger complained of shabby interiors. The passenger had posted on social media a couple of pictures of shabby interiors including a broken armrest of Air India’s Airbus A320 aircraft.

ALSO READ – SpiceJet grounds its B737 aircraft after passenger complains about the cabin’s poor condition

DGCA had conducted an audit of seats and other cabin fittings in aircraft of airlines and found that many had broken or unserviceable seats.

In April, the DGCA had also grounded a SpiceJet aircraft over a passenger’s complaint of dirty seats and malfunctioning cabin panels. The SpiceJet plane took to the skies a day later after all the suggested repairs were effected.

The aviation regulator earlier in May warned aviation companies to follow the rules regarding passenger boarding or face penalties, after receiving multiple complaints of overbooking.

The DGCA in a statement said, “It has come to the notice of this office that various airlines are denying boarding to passengers holding confirmed tickets on a flight, although they have presented themselves for boarding within the time specified by the airline. This practice is extremely unfair to the passengers and brings a bad name to the aviation industry.”

The aviation regulator earlier in May warned aviation companies to follow the rules regarding passenger boarding or face penalties

The aviation companies overbook to make sure most of the seats are sold just before the flight takes off. The airline has to face losses due to cancellations and the passengers not turning up, so they started overbooking the flights to make up for the loss.

However, if all the passengers do arrive, some have to be turned down resulting in denying boarding to passengers having a valid ticket and have arrived on time.  

ALSO READ – DGCA finds several deficiencies in 280 aircraft during night inspection

ALSO READ – DGCA to begin conducting night inspections of the cabins of older planes

Responses

Feed
Jobs
News
Magazine