The IndiGo airlines has been singled out in the report for its staff's misbehaviour on many occasions.
New Delhi: In a stinging indictment of the aviation sector in the country, a parliamentary standing committee has hit out strongly at both the government and airlines such as IndiGo and Jet. Consumers are at the mercy of the private airlines for any kind of services, the panel headed by Trinamool Congress' Derek O'Brien said, and went on to fault the government adopting the open sky policy without laying down the necessary guidelines. "The civil aviation sector is fraught with unprofessional behaviour at all levels of customer interaction and management," it said. The report comes against the backdrop of several instances of rude behaviour by airline staffers including one where a passenger was pinned down on the tarmac at Delhi airport by an IndiGo ground staff member.
Here are 10 points from the special report:
The panel took note of the incidents of manhandling and rude behaviour by airlines staff. "The attitude of airlines staff is condescending, often non-cooperative and on many occasions, downright rude," it observed.
IndiGo airlines has been repeatedly criticised in the report. It said that IndiGo needs to look inward and that the "arrogant behaviour of its employees need to stop".
However, IndiGo's Wholetime Director, Aditya Ghosh, attributed the airlines' deficiencies in this department to the "quality of manpower available".
According to Mr Ghosh, "We have lot of young people with so many degrees but the talent we require is not there. We hire people from Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Those who have studied in government schools can't be trained to speak fluent English within a period of four to five weeks." The panel, however, disagrees with their defence.
In IndiGo, the passengers have to pre-book their food and on board, if someone places an order, the staff refuses to serve even to those who are diabetic and suffering from any medical conditions, the panel noted.
In its 26-page report, "Issues Related to Improving Consumers' Satisfaction of Airlines", the panel also observed that "some private airlines were creating long queues at the check-in counters to delay the process of check-in so that passengers miss their scheduled flights. This compels them to buy tickets at exorbitant prices to travel in the next available flight."
As ticket prices skyrocket around festivals and for bookings made closer to the date of travel, the panel found that some airlines charge more than 10 times of the advance booking fare and called it "arbitrary" and "unlimited freedom of exploitation".
But Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that the domestic airline industry was following the "global practice of dynamic pricing".
He said, "There are less than one 1 per cent of all the prices that actually go above the average... We have agencies such as Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Competition Commission of India (CCI)... If anyone feels something wrong is happening, they can approach these agencies and action will be taken."
The report also mentioned that the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, who are in charge of security at customs and immigration desks, "have no right to be rude and discourteous".