Private airline IndiGo is the “worst performing” carrier for consumers, while national carrier Air India has the best luggage policy, said a parliamentary panel chairman Derek O’ Brien.
TMC MP O’Brien, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, Thursday said the panel had taken strong note that during the festive season some airlines were charging 8-10 times more than the normal fares. The Civil Aviation Ministry comes under the purview of this panel.
Addressing a press conference on the panel’s latest report, he said, ”Our committee is very clear that the worst performing airline for consumers is IndiGo. All 30 members agreed on this. IndiGo has not responded despite many complaints. The way they behave with consumers and charge for just one kg or two kg overweight of air baggage…”
“Every single member (of the panel) is disgusted with the way some private airlines are operating but more so with IndiGo, it is discourteous. The airline is very rigid, IndiGo even charges for one-two kg overweight, this has not been taken very well and the committee is looking into the matter seriously,” he said.
O’Brien asserted these were not only his views but of all members of the panel who were from different parties.
Meanwhile, IndiGo in a statement said, “As an airline, our endeavour is to minimise extra hassle right from the airport entry, check-in to boarding and create a more convenient experience for our customers.” “We, therefore, evaluate every complaint/feedback rigorously and develop training modules keeping the customer sentiment very much in mind,” it said.
The airline further said it ensured that the staff was not only given regular coaching to handle situations but also laid emphasis on individual empowerment so that the staff was equipped to make the customer experience more courteous and hassle-free.
Underlining that there were many problems in the aviation sector, the TMC leader said, “The committee has recommended that cancellation charges can’t be more than 50 per cent of basic fare. Tax and fuel surcharge collected should be refunded to passengers. Airlines are charging too much.”
On the luggage policy, Brien said the national carrier had the best luggage policy and the other private airlines should also enhance the baggage limit. “Air India has best luggage policy…the maximum luggage limit prescribed by the airlines, except Air India, should be enhanced,” he said, adding that baggage charges are also on higher side.
Brien said there are five ministries under the purview of the standing committee unlike other panels, where there is only one ministry.
He also applauded Nitin Gadkari, who is heading the Shipping Ministry for improvement in cargo handling in India