New Delhi: Cracking the whip on airlines that bait customers with low fares but retain the amount in case of cancellations, the country’s anti-monopoly watchdog has issued notices to six carriers, including the state-run, Indian.
Acting on a recommendation made by its investigative arm - Director General of Investigation and Registration (DGIR) - the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission has started proceedings against the airlines and asked them to file replies.
After serving the notices of enquiry, the commission started hearing the matter earlier this month, during which it was to frame issues for further judicial enquiry. However, it deferred the exercise as some of the respondents had sought more time to file replies.
According to sources, DGIR, in its report to the MRTPC, said that refund policies of Indian, Go Air, Air Sahara, Air Deccan, Spicejet and Alliance Air were unfair and prejudicial to the public interest.
These airlines allow their customers to travel by air at affordable rates but unjustified costs were imposed on them if they were to cancel their tickets, the sources added.
The DGIR observed that such a practice was an attempt by the airlines to enrich themselves by making gullible customers forfeit the ticket amount, the sources said.
Sources said the DGIR report lambasted the airlines stating that the method adopted by them through introduction of schemes of low rates of tickets to promote their sales amounted to an unfair trade practices under section 36A of the MRTP Act, 1969. Passengers who are unable to travel on the pre-determined date for which the tickets were purchased are put to loss.