The Standing Committee of Parliament attached to the Ministry of Transport and Tourism has taken cognizance of arbitrary airfare hikes by airlines during festival seasons and recommended to the government to set the maximum limit for the airfares.
The committee on Thursday presented its report in Parliament and expressed resentment over the arbitrage of airline companies regarding the price of tickets in its report.
According to the committee, due to the festive season or the booking of tickets near the date of travel, airline companies often charge ten times more freight than normal fares, which are arbitrary and unacceptable. The airline companies cannot be allowed to exploit customers like this, therefore, the maximum limit on rent should be fixed.
The committee has also criticized the Civil Aviation Ministry in this case and said that even though knowing everything, the ministry did not take any active step in this regard.
In the past, there have been instances of employees of airline companies behaving in a rude manner and beating passengers
The committee has also shown its concern and resentment on this.
By taking the name of Indigo, the leading airline company of the aviation sector, the committee has made a strong comment in its report and has instructed its ground staff and cabin crew to change their behavior.
During the meetings of the committee, many members, while expressing their hopes, claimed that airline staffs think travelers to be uneducated and even like animals.
The committee has warned that such behavior of employees should end.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation present in a meeting of the Committee assured the members that immediate steps are being taken in such cases. The Secretary said that the airline employees who are found to be involved in such activities will not be allowed to enter any airport in the country as an employee.
The committee has suggested that airline companies should arrange such training for all their employees so that they can be more sensitive to the passengers.
During the review of this subject, many other examples of the arbitrariness of airline companies have come to the fore in front of the committee. Delay on check-in counters is one of them. The committee has made some strong comments about it.
According to the report, the check-in process on many airports is long and annoying. Unlike the claims of airline companies, it has been found that these companies, especially the low-cost air carrier such as Indigo, the condition of their check-in counter were in bad shape.
The committee claimed that these long counter are deliberately placed so that the passengers take a lot of time to check the luggage so that they can miss their flight and then they will be forced to take expensive tickets for the next flight.
In this case, the committee has instructed all airline companies and government to make such arrangements, so that a passenger does not have to wait for more than 10 minutes in check-in counters.
For this, the airline companies have been asked to keep an adequate number of employees.
In its report, the committee has expressed surprise over the fact that the cancellation of air tickets has become so expensive in the absence of traveling.
According to the committee, airline companies have specially fixed arbitrary charges for canceling the tickets by private airline companies.
The committee has recommended fixing the price for the cancellation of tickets to 50 per cent of base fares and also suggested that tax and oil surcharges included in ticket rent should be returned to the passengers.
The Committee, which is headed by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Derek O'Brien, has given several other suggestions like facilitating the security check of the passengers, making more air travel for passengers in aircrafts and cleaning of airports.