In view of rapid expansion of air services within India and on international routes to/from India and with the increase in the volume of passenger traffic, it has been noticed that sometimes Airlines downgrade passengers (tickets). For example when a passenger who has booked his ticket on first class, business class or premium economy, is downgraded to a lower class at the time of check-in due to various reasons like unserviceable seats, change of aircraft, overbooking, etc. In order to cater to such situations, DGCA is in the process of amending its Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) “Facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights.” to protect the rights of air travellers affected by downgrading of their ticket.
The amendment will allow the passenger, who is downgraded involuntarily from his booked class of ticket, to receive the full value of ticket including taxes as refund from the airline and the airline will carry the passenger free of cost in the next available class. However, this proposal will go through stakeholder consultation and the final regulation shall be published and made applicable afterwards.