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Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 1:31 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 1:31 AM (IST)

Return tour charges to couple, Qatar Airways told

Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, February 13

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Qatar Airways to return Rs 2.3 lakh tour charges with 9 per cent interest for not getting boarding passes issued to a Phillaur-based couple. It also ordered to give Rs 25,000 as compensation.

In their complaint, Chaman Lal (34), a resident of Apra in Phillaur, and his wife Ramandeep Kaur alleged that they got seats booked for a flight from Delhi to Paris vide Qatar Airways departing from the New Delhi airport on October 13, 2016, at 3.30 am. Air tickets along with other travel arrangements were purchased from Sai Travel Experts of Phagwara who had also sold the complete tour package to the complainants. The confirmed air tickets in question were issued by the Phagwara-based travel agency, the complainant said.

The plaintiff said they had paid an amount of Rs. 2.3 lakh in cash. The confirmed air tickets was delivered in advance of schedule journey to the complainants on October 11, 2016, after charging airfare inclusive of taxes, along with other travel charges, including boarding and lodging, for comfortable and convenient travel to the complainants.

Chaman Lal said: “At the time of booking and payment of freight charges, all relevant documentation was duly verified and scrutinised to their full and complete satisfaction in all respects and no shortcoming, inadequacy, defect or deficiency was pointed out at that point of time.”

The complainants as per the schedule provided for travelling reached the New Delhi airport at about 00.15 am about three hours before schedule departure time of the flight and waited for their turns for getting necessary boarding passes in front of the Qatar Airways counter. As the complainants reached the counter, they were extremely shocked when they were declined the request to hand over boarding passes by the staff of the Airways on duty over the counter at that point of time. To utter surprise of the complainants, the staff even refused to give any response for the same. The complainants rebooked their air tickets afresh vide Oman Airways. They said that their rescheduled trip was carried on the basis of same travel documents.

The complainants had to shell out additional sum of Rs 95,000 for the rebooking of the ticket, apart from the amount earlier paid which was not refunded on the pretext “No Show” because of the remarks “off load”.

The Qatar Airways contested the case by taking a plea that there is no deficiency in service on its behalf because as per rules of Code of Conduct for Immigration Liaison Officers.

“The Liaison Officers can advise airline staff on whether passengers have the right travel documents and visas for their proposed journey and further Liaison Officers can advise airline staff or whether travel documents and visas are genuine, forged or fraudulently obtained”, its representatives said.

The forum established that there is no negligence and deficiency in service on the part of Sai Travel Experts because it had no role to issue the boarding pass. The forum established the negligence on part of Qatar Airways from the evidence produced on the file by the complainant in the shape of affidavits as well as other documents and said that it is liable to pay the damages caused to the complainants due to non issuance of boarding pass by the officials.

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