Flight Cancellation Compensation: Know Your Rights and Rules for Refunds

As Delhi grapples with harsh weather conditions, flight disruptions are becoming a common concern for travelers. From health hazards to financial setbacks, the challenges are manifold.

Amidst the chaos, understanding your rights regarding flight cancellations and delays becomes crucial.

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Let’s break down the rules set by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in simple terms.

The Culprit: Dense Fog in Delhi-NCR

Persistent dense fog in Delhi-NCR is wreaking havoc on flight operations, causing low visibility and disruptions from departure to landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

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The airport authorities urge passengers to contact their airlines before heading to the airport to stay informed about their flights.

Recent Incidents Highlight the Impact

The recent incident involving IndiGo on January 15, where a passenger assaulted a pilot due to flight delay, underscores the escalating challenges.

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Flight cancellations during winter have become a prevalent issue across India, leading to passenger frustration and, in extreme cases, unruly behavior.

DGCA Rules for Flight Delays

In the event of flight delays, DGCA rules stipulate that airlines must provide food to passengers based on the “block time” of the flight. In essence, if a flight is delayed by specific durations, food provisions kick in.

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Additionally, if a flight departs six hours later than scheduled, the airline must inform passengers 24 hours before departure or face demands for full refunds or seat reservations on alternative flights.

Compensation for Flight Cancellations: Know the Terms

When a flight is canceled, the airline must inform passengers at least two weeks in advance or at least 24 hours before departure.


Failing this, passengers can request a seat on another flight or demand a full refund. If the airline fails to provide timely information, compensation ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 applies, depending on the duration of the flight.

This rule also extends to connecting flights canceled due to the cancellation of the first flight on the same ticket.


Exclusions to Compensation

While compensation rules exist, airlines are not obligated to compensate passengers in cases of cancellations or delays due to natural disasters, civil war, political instability, security risks, strikes, labor disputes, adverse weather conditions, or issues related to Air Traffic Control (ATC) and operational interruptions.

Stay informed to assert your rights and navigate the complexities of flight disruptions during challenging times.

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