Airliners-India Forum Index Airliners-India
Flickr Group & Facebook
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Thai fined Rs 1.25 lakh for denying boarding

 
Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Airliners-India Forum Index -> Aviation Law
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
karatecatman
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject: Thai fined Rs 1.25 lakh for denying boarding Reply with quote

Thai Airways has been fined Rs 1.25 lakh for denying boarding to a traveller, who, with his three family members, was prevented from boarding a return flight from Bangkok on the pretext that the tickets bought from an agent were not confirmed. A report in UNI says that the judge said when a person goes on an excursion trip, he always plans the itinerary in such a manner that he does not face any inconvenience and thus makes sure that the tickets are confirmed. Justice J.D.Kapoor President of the State Consumer Commission, also held the airlines responsible for causing hardship to its passengers in an alien land.
The Commission rejected the Thai Airways’ contention that it could not be held liable as the tickets were wrongly termed as ‘‘confirmed’’ by its sub-agent and that the travellers had no direct dealings with it.
Whenever Airlines evolve the system of sale of tickets through their agents..., the endorsement made by them on tickets as ’OK’ or ’confirmed’, is an endorsement made on behalf of the Airlines and the Airlines is liable directly as well as vicariously for every act of omission or commission of its agent or sub agent, it said.
Shyam Sunder, a resident of Naraina Vihar in southwest Delhi along with his three family members had gone on a holiday trip to Bangkok in 1997.
He booked the to and fro ‘‘confirmed’’ tickets from Delhi to Bangkok through a Delhi-based sub agent M/s Peagasus Travels Ltd after paying Rs one lakh as price.
But at the time of boarding on their return, they were told by Airways’ officials that their return tickets were not confirmed, forcing them to buy fresh tickets after taking a loan from a friend.
Back to top
D-ABTH
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 837
Location: VABB :: BOM

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uh oh... i think this judgement is a bit twisted and has serious implications across the board for airlines concerned.. i would also like to know the jurisdiction of the ruling and doubt it is enforceable on Thai airways. A disclaimer would surely exist wherein all disagreements and challenges would be subject to Thai laws and regulations.

Frankly im not too happy with the ruling.. simply because i know first hand the shit that travel agents are capable of.. and quite frankly a lot of them screw up big time... and on an average you will often get a passenger or 2 on every flight with some screwup either in the PNR or in the ticketing/booking details. In such cases the passengers always look at the airline as the people responsible for their problems when quite frankly an airline will never directly deal with a passenger or have anything to do with a reservation and ticketing directly.. its agents who sell capacity (of which the airline is a provider) and they are the mediators and the ones with specific information and dealings with the passenger concerned directly.

unless its the airlines own reservation arm or direct sales involved then i dont think that you can fine an airline to the tune that Thai has been fined for every single passenger with such problems.. coz if thats the case and what India will enforce... then i dont see any airline who will be able to dish out these kind of payments nor any who would like to fly to India..
_________________
If it aint Boeing.. I aint going.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JumboJet
Member


Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 492
Location: Mind Over Matter

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should'nt airlines deal directly with ppl Confused
_________________
I love the smell of Jet Fuel in the morning.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
D-ABTH
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 837
Location: VABB :: BOM

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JumboJet wrote:
Should'nt airlines deal directly with ppl Confused


that sir is an easy way to do it.. but in any service industry or for that matter any company that is beyond a particular size cannot deal directly with passengers for every single flight and every single person who flies..

its comparable to any industry or company where the manufacturers or providers offer a product which is a mass product and to extend reach and availability of the product you have the delivery channels, in this case you have ticketing agents/agencies etc. The consumer buys a product and is the end recipient. However the difference steps in here where unlike other industries, if the end product (in this case the ticket or flight details etc) are not provided as per the customers expectations the airline cannot be held responsible from the point of view of a screw up in reservations, unless as i said in rare cases it is indeed a result of the airlines action OR automatic action by airline systems in error

take for example this situation that unfolded today... the intermediate being an airline refered to as Airline X.. (you could put a travel agency instead of Airline X too if you prefer..)

1)we had 2 passengers who were issued a ticket in paper (the old coupon tickets not E-ticket)
2)The tickets were issued and sold on a Lufthansa flight by Airline X (On their ticket stock/IATA sale quota.. basically sold on a Airline X Document) prior to departure of the passengers from their start point (before they came to India)
3)Now for the return flight.. the passengers duly showed up at our counters for our flight ***BUT*** their booking no longer existed on our systems for the flight!
4)On retrieving the PNR (Passenger Name Record).. we discovered the reason for their booking being cancelled... No Ticket Number or details were entered into the PNR.

This part is a crucial part that passengers do not understand.. but us as airline people do. Im not EXACTLY sure of other airlines.. but for us it is extremely important that (and in particular requirements/cases) the ticket details be entered before a certain time limit of a seat being sold and a reservation being made. If the person who has sold the booking (in this case Turkish Airlines) fails to do so before the specified time limit.. our system will AUTOCANCEL the passengers due to INACTION.. what we also sometimes call a NON TICKETED RESERVATION/PNR where only a reservation has been made.. but no sale has been recorded.

This system is in place so as not to have any useless bookings blocking our flight for that day.. a blocked seat with no sale is no good for the airline since there is no guarantee the passenger will fly or if there has even been a sale... hence its an OBVIOUS loss for the airline...this is important where you have a high demand and an overbooked load on a flight.. you cannot afford to have bookings for seat based on a guess or no real record of a sale.. when you can easily sell that to someone else.

So.. in this case... Airline X forgot or somehow the ticket details were never entered into the passengers PNR and nor were any other details given apart from a PNR existing with basic details.

5) Normally.. had this flight been open and the load ok with free seats... we could have taken them even if there was no details in the PNR (since it's what we call OK IN TICKET but no bookings).. since obviously the sale had occured and the ticket was issued... BUT!!! this can be ONLY done provided you have seats (bookings) free.

6) Unfortunately the flight today was oversold, a few staff travelled on JUMP seats and we also had a few voluteers who stayed back. so obviously we had no seats free.

7) When this was told to these 2 passengers, all hell broke loose and they were downright aggressive accusing Lufthansa of everything possible.. when we tried explaining it to them that there was nothing we could do because of the obvious screw up with their reservation and the lack of availability of seats. We advised them to contact Airline X who also happen to operate out of BOM since they had issued the document and by regulation, they should have NO ISSUES what so ever in accepting their OWN tickets.

Also even if at all the next days flights on LH had seats and we could take them... depending on the fare base.. if there was a penalty for the date change.. wether intentional by the passenger or not (in this case it would be force majeure as Airline X goofed) they would have to pay it if applicable and claim it from Airline X later.... BUT since Airline X itself operates out of BOM.. they can easily accept their own document on their flight and take these passengers as go show.. even if the coupon said BOM-FRA on LH..


so what do you do in this case? penalise LH?... that is what i seek to know in this ruling against THAI.

substitute Airline X with a travel agent... and you will have a situation that is seen on practically every flight by airline ground staff/ticketing agents..

its the same problem with seating... travel agents will issue tickets and confirm a particular seat to a passenger on his ETKT printout.. but what they have actually done is reserve a seat as a seat request... if available.. the seat gets confirmed..thats how passengers have seats reserved... but in many cases the request may not get confirmed and is on hold subject to availability... for n number of reasons if it does not get confirmed.. the passengers show up at the counters expecting a pre reserved seat... but when in reality their agent has never bothered to tell them the reality.

why? because travel agencies deal with sooo many that they really dont arse with individual bookings unless ofcourse you are booked either by a company or likewise institutions who are their regular customers..

its a similar situation with peoples constant demand for aisle seats.. many a times agencies promise something and book something else..

these result in severe tantrums and harsh languages between the passenger and the staff.. at such times we simply rely on the PNR information and booking details which we print out and hand it over to the passenger highlighting the seat reservation... since anything that has been done at the time of the reservation or henceforth is always recorded.. only then do these kind of passengers relent... ofcourse some dont and use threats.. i've got threats of every possible kind almost.. with names being dropped right from the PM to the Civil Aviation Minister.


these are the points i wish to put across when i question the ruling against Thai. I wonder if at all the court was briefed about such situations and if there was proof that Thai itself was responsible.

If indeed it was Thai's action... then yes i'd say the ruling was fair.. but i dont understand why the airline is held responsible for a middlemans screwup if the ticketing agency was at fault..

just imagine... how many cases would you have like this worldwide any given day for an airline.. and if every country had a thinking that the airline was to be at fault..

sorry for the long post... but i have put it across as how we (the airline) see things having an understanding of how these things come to be rather than that of the passengers p.o.v//

ofcourse i do also understand the passenger's feeling of being a victim and robbed of a pleasurable travel experience... which no matter which way they look... its always the airline who earns a bad name and a bad reputation.. i would prolly really be pissed too..

ocassionally you do get passengers who truly understand the situation and are calm composed and willing to work with you to solve their issues.
_________________
If it aint Boeing.. I aint going.


Last edited by D-ABTH on Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:48 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
D-ABTH
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 837
Location: VABB :: BOM

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

btw im not a ticketing agent and do not have specific knowledge on how EXACTLY this works.. even with LH's own systems or in general.. someone who is a travel agent or has done IATA etc may well know more and exact details... but this is how i personally have understood how reservation systems work by on-the-job experience and by learning from what has been explained to me by many people. the procedures and systems will obviously differ between airlines and from case to case.

also there will be several related factors that affect a particular situation and varies from case to case... the above being just a representation of one problem.. i urge people reading this topic to take it in context of the original topic of thai. Smile
_________________
If it aint Boeing.. I aint going.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AKLDELNonstop
Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1066
Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D-ABTH, after reading your case, I guess we can both agree that the passenger was not at fault. Am I right? So the passenger shouldn't be harrassed. Also it was not LH's fault either. But I think because LH is the service provider and LH realises that it isnt the passenger's fault, IMO it should have made arrangements for the pax concerned and later dealt with the airline/travel agent who made the mistake. That IMO is good customer service. Treat the pax as if he bought the ticket from an LH office and then deal with the travel agent. I do not in any circumstance believe that the pax should have to do anything at all if they arent at fault.

Cheers
_________________
Geniuses are always misunderstood in their lifetimes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
D-ABTH
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 837
Location: VABB :: BOM

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKLDELNonstop wrote:
D-ABTH, after reading your case, I guess we can both agree that the passenger was not at fault. Am I right? So the passenger shouldn't be harrassed. Also it was not LH's fault either. But I think because LH is the service provider and LH realises that it isnt the passenger's fault, IMO it should have made arrangements for the pax concerned and later dealt with the airline/travel agent who made the mistake. That IMO is good customer service. Treat the pax as if he bought the ticket from an LH office and then deal with the travel agent. I do not in any circumstance believe that the pax should have to do anything at all if they arent at fault.

Cheers


but that exactly is the point.. we cannot do anything about such cases because we are not concerned with it... simply because the passenger is not valid on our airline as there is no valid booking. This has more to do with rules.. the fundamentals being a valid passenger with a valid booking.

It is not possible nor is it our perogative to deal with those responsible for the screw up because we are not involved in the relation between the passenger and those responsible. If the passenger dealt with us directly then i agree.. however here the liability does not fall nor obligates us to interefere in the matter.

its like A deals with B and has a problem so how does C even figure in the direct relation between A and B? It is easy to say take the passenger and deal with Airline X over the hassle... but that is not how things work or are done. Specifically with airlines... if thats the case.. you would have airlines accepting passengers with any sort of ticket and no booking just like that.. there would be no needs for endorsements and no need for issuing FIMs (flight interupption manifest) they are what airlines give you when sending you to another airline/rerouting you due to an interruption/disruption of your routing due to their fault..

No airline can accept any document first and deal with the cause of the problem later. Its pure and simple logic and boils down to money. That said, the airline or agent X will simply respond that any dispute in the matter is solely between them and the passenger. what then? who loses out? us obviously.

Its like any trade mate... if you have no proof of a sale as per your records nor any confirmation for a passenger... how do or can you honour a promise made to those passengers by a third party where there exists no data?
_________________
If it aint Boeing.. I aint going.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
D-ABTH
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 837
Location: VABB :: BOM

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the only way these matters work is if there were seats available.. then they could have been accepted as Go-show.. a passenger who is OK in Ticket but without a confirmed booking. In such a case the coupon collected by us would have to be honoured by the airline who's stock it was issued on and the revenue would have to be paid to us by that airline/agent.. HOWEVER like i said... strictly if we can provide for the capacity.

If however the passenger doesnt exist in the system due to no reservation/confirmation... the Go Show status is automatically subject to load... we cannot guarantee them a seat or the flight... as simple as that.. its in a way.. like a wait list.. except you get last priority depending on the status of the flight and other factors... subject to each airlines own list of priorities.. which for the most part.. passengers with a proper ticket and confirmed bookings will always get priority over staff tickets (non revs) and waitlisted passengers (bare in mind.. proper waitlisted passengers who are listed on the flight already with a proper booking.. but the booking is waitlisted in the exact sense of the term..) and finally cases where passengers show up with no bookings... but there are exceptions to this.. as i said depends on the priorities that the airline follows..when it comes to certain staff codes and status

the fundamental rule is always..

1) VALID CONFIRMED BOOKING highest priority
2) NO VALID CONFIRMED BOOKING... subject to load and availability of seats and class on that flight..

there are status's of certain staff where they cannot be offloaded/downgraded/travel as jump seat EVEN if they are non rev.. provided they are assigned that status in ticket or we have specific authorisation for such.. these codes exist with every airline.. though i cant reveal the ones we use here..
_________________
If it aint Boeing.. I aint going.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AKLDELNonstop
Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1066
Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D-ABTH, I know where you are coming from and am already aware of all the rules, regulations and priorities that you are referring to. I know this as my dad has worked for various airlines in all positions starting his career at the check- in counter and then rising through the years. And he has had to deal with the same issues that you are referring to.

The point I am trying to make is the problem you have highlighted is not an isolated case but similar cases happen quite often. And more often than not the customer is caught in between for no fault of his/her.

I just feel that it is unfair for the customers and rules favouring the customer should exist in situations like this.

I am not referring to you or LH or any other career in particular as I am well aware that the rules you mentioned exist throughout the industry.

In your case since the airline concerned was located at BOM as well, would it not have been possible for an LH staff to consult with Airline X staff to sort out the issue.

Cheers
_________________
Geniuses are always misunderstood in their lifetimes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
D-ABTH
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 837
Location: VABB :: BOM

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKLDELNonstop wrote:
D-ABTH, I know where you are coming from and am already aware of all the rules, regulations and priorities that you are referring to. I know this as my dad has worked for various airlines in all positions starting his career at the check- in counter and then rising through the years. And he has had to deal with the same issues that you are referring to.

The point I am trying to make is the problem you have highlighted is not an isolated case but similar cases happen quite often. And more often than not the customer is caught in between for no fault of his/her.

I just feel that it is unfair for the customers and rules favouring the customer should exist in situations like this.

I am not referring to you or LH or any other career in particular as I am well aware that the rules you mentioned exist throughout the industry.

In your case since the airline concerned was located at BOM as well, would it not have been possible for an LH staff to consult with Airline X staff to sort out the issue.

Cheers



aah.. ok yes.. we did that... but at that point of time they were not willing to listen.. inspite of us telling them that the airline in question would shortly open their counters after a lil while to operate their flight and that we would show them where their office was... but at the time all they were in the mood of doing was yell and insist that they take our flight which was there was no possibility of doing and the flight was to depart in a short while..

although we understand their problems... its extremely difficult when they refuse to listen to us and insist we are at fault.. anyways finally all we could do was make a waitlist booking for the next few days till the airline in question opened their counters and staff were available.. after which we took them to the airline and let them sort out the problem... the last i was told is apparently they were accepted for that flight.

but in this case it was an airline which could help... what if it was a local travel agent who just switched off his cell and left them?.. our hands as were surely tied... all we could do then would be to give them the central reservation number and ask them to get a confirmed listing or a reasonably good waitlist booking till they waited it out a few more days in the country and maybe get intouch with the agent... or just buy a fresh ticket .. travel and then reclaim all dues from the agent they dealt with before departure..

we often try in such cases to give them as many options as they can.. provide they listen..

but in anycase coming back to the original topic... i'd really like to know the basis of that judgement and hope it wasnt done ad-hoc.. i wonder if at all Thai posed a defence and highlighted these explanations or if the judgement was ruled ex-parte
_________________
If it aint Boeing.. I aint going.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AKLDELNonstop
Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1066
Location: Auckland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

D-ABTH, if you did take them to the concerned airline, then yes, your side of the responsibility was taken care of I agree.

Thanks for clearing. No further questions your honour.

Cheers
_________________
Geniuses are always misunderstood in their lifetimes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
C-GHKR
Member


Joined: 26 Dec 2006
Posts: 624
Location: yyz

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for my ignorance, but why they had to pay for return ticket. They already had a ticket, not confimed means that they could use it on a subsequent flight or is it that they took a different airline altogether.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Airliners-India Forum Index -> Aviation Law All times are GMT + 5.5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group. Hosted by phpBB.BizHat.com