Railways can get away, not the airlines

A quick comment on a recent judgment issued by our State Consumer Commission. How legal is this instruction that airlines must pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 each to domestic travelers if the delay exceeded two hours?

Thank god for:

The Commission, however, observed that the delays caused due to inclement weather, tyre bursts, which are beyond control of the service providers, did not entitle passengers to get compensation

But even then, why is it that a government body has to impose these compensations? Isn’t the competition amongst airlines going to take care of the ‘situation’? Isn’t the “cost” of these compensations eventually going to get passed over to the consumers thus taking air fares higher?

Now, on to a bigger question.

Why is Indian Railways being spared for the delays and misadventures they put us through? Will the Consumer Commission order something to compensate the train travelers who have been suffering these delays forever now?

Sounds strange, isn’t it? Railways have a monopoly, but they don’t get pushed by the Consumer Commission. But the Commission opts to interfere in a sector where there literally is a war for customers.

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2 Responses

  1. This is the exact thought that came to my mind when i read this judgement. Happy to see there are other people who had this line of thinking too.

    Also consider: Rs 10 K Compensation for a ticket u probably bought for Rs 6K or less ? Thats a joke. Now airlines will be forced to raise their fares to account for this. Just as they have been force to raise their fares because politicians/unions prevented modernization of airports, hence they have to waste fuel circling airports and await their turn to land.

    Why should Indian Railways, State Bus Transport Corporations, Postal Services not be penalized for delaying their services. Especially given the fact as u too state – these hardly have alternatives.

    Even media hardly ever has any news when trains are delayed – its like – thats ok – but C grade channels like AAJ TAK will call up passengers sitting inside aircrafts and ask them how long have u been delayed – give us a running commentary.

    Sorry abt the longing comment….

  2. True AKD, public monopolies need to be pushed so that they provide better services. Though the argument against that will be that whatever quality related compensation they will be forced to pay could come out of the tax rupees you and me paid up.

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