Overbooking seats: Govt for transparent mechanism
The government is considering steps to ensure transparency in the practice of overbooking seats by airlines amid public outrage over a US carrier forcefully offloading a passenger from a packed flight.
Overbooking of a flight has been a long-standing practice in the airline industry as seats are considered as a "time sensitive and perishable" product once the flight takes off.
While the practice is aimed at ensuring all seats are occupied in a flight, there have been concerns over the possibility of a passenger with a valid ticket unable to travel in case of seats being oversold.
The civil aviation ministry is looking at ways to bring in transparency in the practice of overbooking by airlines, according to a senior official.
Right now, there is no particular framework or system to have a clear understanding about the practice of overbooking.
Various ideas, including measures that can be put in place for cases where the ticket of a passenger who does not show up at the airport can be given to another passenger, are being discussed, the official said.
Another idea could be the possibility of auctioning the overbooked tickets in a transparent manner within a specified timeframe before take-off of the particular flight, the official added.
Preliminary discussions on ways to bring in transparency in the practice of overbooking air tickets have been held among the ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials.