In a significant ruling that’s being considered as a win for consumers, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has directed Spicejet to pay Rs 25,125 each to the two complainants Sujata Chaudhary and Sanjay Rahar, who are natives of Rajasthan. The complaint was regarding the instance of charging transaction fees, which has been banned, as per a DGCA circular and a Supreme Court order.
The complaint states that Chaudhary and Rahar booked flight tickets on Spicejet for their journey from Delhi to Coimbatore. However, when they read the details, they noticed that a transaction charge of Rs 125 per ticket has been levied. This was in contravention of the order issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on December 17, 2012, effectively banning such levies. Subsequently, a legal notice was sent to Spicejet, but the airline refused to refund the amount and junked the claims of the flyers.
The NCDRC has upheld the order of the district consumer forum that had directed Spicejet to pay Rs 25,125 to each complainant – Rs 20,000 as compensation, Rs 5,000 as litigation costs and Rs 125 as refund of the transaction charges. “We find both the forums below have returned a concurrent finding of fact that by charging transaction fees, the petitioner (Spicejet) had violated the directions issued by the DGCA, a statutory body, whose directions are binding on all the airline operators,” the Commission said.