An Airbus SAS A320 aircraft operated by IndiGo taxies at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

IndiGo Is Discourteous, Rigid And The Worst-Performing Airline: Panel

InterGlobe Aviation Ltd.-operated IndiGo is the “worst performing” carrier for consumers, while national carrier Air India has the best luggage policy, according to Derek O’ Brien.

O’Brien, a Trinamool Congress MP and head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, on Thursday said the panel had taken a strong note of some airlines charging eight to 10 times more than the normal fares during the festival season. The Civil Aviation Ministry comes under the purview of the panel.

“Every single member (of the panel) is disgusted with the way some private airlines are operating but more so with IndiGo; it is discourteous,” he said at a press conference on the panel’s latest report. “The airline is very rigid, IndiGo even charges for one-two kg overweight. This has not been taken very well and the committee is looking into the matter seriously.”

“Our committee is very clear that the worst-performing airline for consumers is IndiGo,” he said. “All 30 members agreed on this. IndiGo has not responded despite many complaints.”

O’Brien said these were not only his views but of all members of the panel who were from different parties.

IndiGo in a statement, said, “As an airline, our endeavour is to minimise extra hassle right from the airport entry, check-in to boarding and to create more convenient experience for our customers.” The airline, it said, evaluates every complaint and feedback rigorously and develops training modules keeping the customer sentiment in mind.

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It ensured that the staff was not only given regular coaching to handle situations but also laid emphasis on individual empowerment so that the staff was equipped to make the customer experience more courteous and hassle-free, IndiGo said.

O’Brien also highlighted what he called “many problems” with the aviation sector. “The committee has recommended that cancellation charges can’t be more than 50 percent of the basic fare. Tax and fuel surcharge collected should be refunded to passengers. Airlines are charging too much.”

O’Brien said the national carrier had the best luggage policy and private airlines should also enhance their free baggage limit. Their baggage charges are also on the higher side, he said.

There are five ministries under the purview of the standing committee unlike other panels that cover only one, according to O’Brien. He applauded Nitin Gadkari, who is in charge of the Shipping Ministry, for improvement in cargo handling in India.

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