India's domestic airline GoAir has been directed by a consumer forum in Delhi to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation to a passenger for not informing him about the early departure of his flight to Delhi from Patna, leaving him and his wife stranded at the airport.
The South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum also noted that the couple had to stay at the airport in Patna till the next day's flight and they were not provided any food or lodging during that period.
The forum observed that as the couple spent two days in journey from Patna to Delhi, "the very purpose of air travel was frustrated".
"We find the complainant had booked two air tickets of opposite party (GoAir) airlines much in advance and on the date of journey had reported in time, but the flight departed before the scheduled time of departure. No reason for early departure was told to the complainant.
"No lodging was provided and complainant and his wife were compelled to spend a night at the airport... Complainant spent two days in journey from Patna to Delhi. The very purpose of air travel was frustrated. We find gross deficiency in service provided by the airline and complainant is entitled to be reasonably compensated," a bench presided by Narendra Kumar said.
It directed the airline to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation, including litigation charges, to Delhi resident Khursheed Ahmed.
Ahmed in his complaint had alleged that his flight, scheduled to depart at 5:55 pm on December 1, 2010, took off at 3:10 pm, more than two hours before time and he had not been informed about the change in timing.
He and his wife were only accommodated on the next day's afternoon flight and the intervening hours had to be spent at the airport, as the airline did not provide them with any food or lodging, Mr Ahmed had alleged.
As no one appeared on behalf of the airline, the forum proceeded against them ex-parte.