Delhi’s IGI Terminal-3 saw chaos on Wednesday, when more than 20 passengers travelling on an Air India Delhi-Guwahati flight were denied boarding passes as the plane was overbooked, news any ANI quoted passengers as saying.
According to initial reports, many passengers were off-loaded from the flight. Later, the passengers started shouting slogans against the national carrier.
Many reports suggst most airlines intentionally overbook flights, selling more tickets than available seats for a journey. They do this in anticipation of people "no-showing" on the day of the journey. Travel experts have warned that as many as 150 tickets are sold for every 100 seats available.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), in case of overbooking when more number of confirmed passengers check-in for a flight, the “airline may deny boarding to you while you may be holding confirmed bookings for travel on the flight and reported for the flight well within the specified time ahead of the departure of the flight.”
In this case, passengers are left with two options: voluntarily vacating seats, which gives you some relief like booking on a later flight, or vacating against your wish in which case airline is liable to pay the passenger compensation.
The incident took place a day after a passenger traveling on an Air India flight, AI967, from Trivandrum to Sharjah in the UAE was declared dead on landing after the plane was diverted back to the Kerala capital due to the medical emergency on board on Tuesday.
In a similar incident, on May 20, an Air India flight from Delhi to Muscat was diverted to Jamnagar Air Force base after a 33-year-old passenger suffered a cardiac arrest onboard. After landing at the Indian Air Force base, the patient was rushed to the Jamnagar civil hospital accompanied by an IAF doctor.
"AI 973 Delhi Muscat flt diverted to Jamnagar Air Force Base at 2230 with an Indian passenger aged 33 sufferng cardiac arrest in flight. IAF responded promptly. Diversion to civil airfield wd hv taken more time. Patient shifted to the hospital accompanied by IAF doc(SIC)," PRO Defence Gujarat Puneet Chadha said in a tweet.
He later said patient was taken to Guru Govind Singh Hospital for treatment.
It is rare when commercial flights are allowed to land on IAF bases.
However, Chadha said in the tweet that IAF responded quickly as the flight diversion to civil air field would have taken more time.