A consumer court in Chandigarh recently ordered Air India to pay a sum of Rs 50,000 to a couple for causing inconvenience and mental anguish to a couple by providing defective business class seats on a long flight from New York to Delhi. The court noted that one of the complainants was disabled and the couple suffered inconvenience despite paying Rs 8 lakhs to the airlines.
The Chandigarh District Consumer Dispute Settlement Commission also recorded that the complainants had purchased two business class air tickets from New York to Delhi for Rs 8,24,964. The couple sat on broken seats as they were unable to slide or move forward. The court order also said that despite complaints, Air India had failed to remedy the situation.
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The court's order stated that the broken seat caused physical pain and discomfort to the complainants and one of them even experienced swelling in his legs and feet while driving.
The order further states that due to the broken plane seats, the aggrieved couple had to prop their feet on stools during the 14-hour journey.
To support their case, the couple presented ticket receipts, medical records, photos of the defective seats and correspondence with the airline to the court. The court condemned the airlines for their inability to address the lack of seats throughout the trip.
“The said act of OP (Air India) constitutes lack of service and unfair trade practice on its part, particularly when the entire case presented by the complainant in the consumer complaint as well as the evidence on record is not refuted by the OP.” Therefore, the immediate consumer complaint must be upheld,” the order noted.
The consumer court took the evidence and ordered Air India to pay compensation of Rs 50,000 for mental anguish and harassment. The court also directed the airlines to pay an additional Rs 10,000 to the couple as legal costs.
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