In response to a surge in complaints regarding flight delays and cancellations, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has taken a decisive step by releasing new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Monday. The guidelines, which emphasize protecting passengers’ interests, come as a welcome move for air travelers who have faced inconveniences due to sudden cancellations and prolonged delays.
The key highlight of the new SOPs is the provision that allows airlines to cancel flights well in advance if they are anticipated to be delayed beyond 3 hours. This proactive measure aims to address the growing dissatisfaction among passengers and minimize the impact of unexpected disruptions on their travel plans.
In an official release, the DGCA outlined specific facilities that airlines are now required to provide to passengers in cases of denied boardings, flight cancellations, and unexpected delays without prior notice. This move underscores the importance of transparency in communicating disruptions and ensures that passengers are informed promptly.
One significant addition to the guidelines is the mandatory inclusion of references to the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on flight tickets. This step is designed to make passengers aware of their rights and the responsibilities of airlines. The DGCA expects this reference to CAR to be prominently visible on all flight tickets, creating awareness about the regulations governing air travel.
While these guidelines offer a more passenger-centric approach, the DGCA also acknowledged the existence of exemptions to the CAR in cases of Force Majeure events. These events, considered extraordinary circumstances beyond an airline’s control, could exempt carriers from strict adherence to the new guidelines, adding a layer of flexibility to the regulatory framework.
The aviation industry is now gearing up to implement these changes, with airlines expected to recalibrate their operational strategies to align with the new SOPs. Passengers, hopeful that these measures will bring about a positive shift in the air travel experience, anticipate improved communication, increased transparency, and a more passenger-friendly approach from the airlines.
As the industry adapts to these regulatory changes, travelers can look forward to a smoother and more informed air travel experience, with the DGCA’s new SOPs laying the foundation for enhanced passenger protection and satisfaction.