“Not allowing a passenger to board and travel in a flight even after issuing a boarding pass amounts to unfair trade practice,” a city consumer forum here has ruled. It also ordered Air India to pay a compensation of Rs. 50,000 to a passenger.

Chinnadurai, a businessman from Chennai, had booked a ticket with Air India for his return journey from Singapore to Chennai on October 31, 2009 and he was issued with a confirmed ticket. He said he reached Singapore Airport well in time on the same day. Though he was issued a boarding pass, he was not allowed to travel on the flight.

In his complaint before the consumer forum, he said the boarding pass was snatched from him and he was advised to come the next day. He claimed that as he could not travel and he had to stay back in Singapore, his business was affected. Hence, he filed the complaint seeking compensation.

The airlines said the complainant being a frequent flyer, should be aware that the doors of the aircraft are closed 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The complainant feeling confident that he had got the boarding pass came late, by which time the doors of the flight were closed. So, the duty officer offered to send him by next available flight on the same day.

Rejecting the contention that the complainant failed to board the flight on time, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) comprising its president V. Gopal and member L. Deenadayalan said the airline failed to prove it by adducing evidence.

“The opposite party (the airline), having issued a boarding pass to the complainant, ought to have made necessary announcements to procure the complainant and call upon him immediately to board the flight.

The opposite party’s act in not allowing him to board and travel the flight even after issuing a boarding pass amounts to unfair trade practice and deficiency in service” said the forum.

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