Consumer Grievance in Airline Sector - Solutions

Dear Friends,

Listed below are the key Issues and Root Causes highlighted by you in the airline sector from a consumer grievance standpoint.

Please review them and add if anything is missing. Otherwise, let us identify Solutions to these Root Causes.

Once we identify the Solutions, we will submit a consolidated whitepaper for action related Ministries/Departments.

Thanks for your participation!
Rajendra Pratap Gupta

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Consumer grievance in airline sector – Issues
1. Airfares increase many folds during vacation season
2. Poor and arrogant services
3. Employees of some airlines and very inefficient
4. Airlines are ignoring safety standards for travelers
5. A lot of flights get delayed
6. Food stalls at the airport are very expensive
7. Missing baggage
8. Over-priced food and water inside the planes
9. Cramped seating in budget carriers
10. Over booking of flights on popular routes
11. Unfriendly attitude of the crew
12. Insufficient arrangement for physically challenged
13. The delays/cancellations and not notified well enough

Consumer Grievance in Airline sector – Root Causes
1. Increasing competition between airlines
2. Emergence of many Low Cost Carriers
3. Increase in air traffic resulting in busy airports and delayed flights
4. Employees of Air India have the lack-lustre attitude being in a Government job
5. Rent for the food stalls at the airports are very high and hence the cost flows into the final price of the food
6. Low Cost carriers are mostly ‘no frills’ carriers
7. Long and erratic work hours hamper the attitude of the crew
8. Many passengers get unruly
9. Lack of awareness on part of the consumer
10. The consumer protection and redressal is very poor
11. No recognition for the airlines who show On Time Performance for a long time more  

View all 24 comments Below 24 comments
Very recently the Railway Minister has announced that as soon as 10% of tickets under
the TATKAL scheme have been booked, the tatkal ticket charges on some long distance trains
will be increased. He should have thought why people go for tatkal tickets. It is not
possible for every one on every occasion to book tickets two monts in advance. I have
an experience on one occasion even 60 days in advance I could not get the reserved
tickets for travel from Bangalore to Mumbai by the Coimbatore-Kurla Terminus express.
Traffic over the years has increased multifold whereas the Railways have failed to
increase the number of trains. Passengers are unable to get accommodation in trains.

All these years there have been corruption, corruption and corruption in the Railway
management right from the minister downwards. As a consequence the Railways were
losing revenue and therefore could not increase the services based on demand. Under
the BJP regime people expect the Railways to extend better services. In this context
the Railway Minister's announcement runs contra to the expectation of people.

I would like to suggest that the Railway Ministr immediately withdraws his new
arrangement. Passengers should not be punished for Railways inefficency.

Demand for rail tickets are not uniform on all days through the year. Appropriate
studies should be undertaken to find out on which days the demand is more. If there
are more wait-listed tickets, one or two additional carriages should be attached to the
trains or alternatively an additional train should run. There is some such arrangement
is already existing but these are not acted upon quoting various difficulties.

Railways have increased fares by a little over 14% as soon as BJP came to power.
With this increase the Railways should be able to manage the services without
incurring any loss. Trying to tax more will make the people lose confidence in BJP. more  
Airport toilets are dirty & stinking. more  
Exploitation of hapless passengers during peak festival seasons is condemnable. Please fix a maximum and minimum fare limits for any route any time
Specially trained customer friendly executives be posted in travel desks and enquiry counters
On time performance be monitored and analysed for improvements.
Star Rating of Airlines on the basis of on time performance, safety parameters, customer complaints etc. be implemented more  
CONSUMER GRIEVANCE IN AIRLINE SECTOR – ISSUES
1. Airfares increase many folds during vacation season.

Comments: Airlines also operate flights with poor load factor in lean season. They have to make up for the losses during such period. Most of the Airlines are running at a loss.

2. Poor and arrogant services.

Comments: I am an ex-pilot and a regular flyer. Such observation is an exception. Keeping in view the safety considerations, the employee at any level has very limited discretion and is bound by the Rules.

3. Employees of some airlines and very inefficient.

Comments: Such Airlines except Air India will not be able to sustain in the competitive environment and close down.

4. Airlines are ignoring safety standards for travelers.

Comments: No pilot and copilot or crew member will risk his or her life even when they are not concerned about the life of the passengers

5. A lot of flights get delayed.

Comments: Flight Schedule is dependent on may variable including unpredictable weather. The Airlines which control such variable benefit in terms of higher market share. Travel by Airlines with better punctuality record.

6. Food stalls at the airport are very expensive.

Comments: The space in the airport is very expensive and every entry of materials and personnel has to be screened for security consideration. Further, food items allowed to be served are cooked using ingredients which have been deodorized. Level of cleanliness is also very high. Rates are comparable with prices in multiplexes and what consumer pays while viewing movie.
7. Missing baggage.
Comments: Incidence is very low in India. Have not experienced even once during last 35 years.

8. Over-priced food and water inside the planes.

Comments: Cost of security check and the fuel cost for transporting the eatables in air is added. (Number of passengers are reduced to accommodate food items and trolleys.). Items served are cooked using prescribed ingredients to check odor (strong smell of food) in the aircraft.

9. Cramped seating in budget carriers.

Comments: That explains the difference in the Airfare between a full service Airline.

10. Over booking of flights on popular routes.
11. Unfriendly attitude of the crew.
Comments: Such Airlines cannot sustain in the long run.

12. Insufficient arrangement for physically challenged.


13. The delays/cancellations and not notified well enough

CONSUMER GRIEVANCE IN AIRLINE SECTOR – ROOT CAUSES
1. Increasing competition between airlines.
Comments: Has resulted in improved service to customer and drastic reduction in Air Fares. Those identifying this as a root cause may not have travelled when Air India was the only carrier.

2. Emergence of many Low Cost Carriers.
Comments: More the merrier for the customers. Consumer has gained out of it and should have no reason to complain.

3. Increase in air traffic resulting in busy airports and delayed flights
4. Employees of Air India have the lack-lustre attitude being in a Government job.
Comments: ROOT CAUSE OF WHATEVER PROBLEMS WE HAVE IS THAT AIR INDIA IS BEING SUBSIDISED AND THEREFORE NO PRIVATE AIRLINE CAN SUSTAIN IN SUCH ENVIRONMENT. THIS HAS RESULTED IN AIRLINES SUFFERING HEAVY LOSSES AND FOLDING UP.

5. Rent for the food stalls at the airports are very high and hence the cost flows into the final price of the food.
Comments: Most of the unpackaged food stuff has to undergo security check and is cooked using specified ingredients to keep the odor under check. The prices are comparable with what consumer pays in a multiplex.

6. Low Cost carriers are mostly ‘no frills’ carriers.
Comments: You will get the service commensurate with price. The low priced carriers have been able to lower the air travel costs in India substantially. Indians are used to subsidies being provided by the Government and expect the same from private operators.

7. Long and erratic work hours hamper the attitude of the crew.
Comments: Crew of most of the Airlines except Air India is well behaved. There are some professional hazards and one may experience exceptional behavior at times.
8. Many passengers get unruly.

9. Lack of awareness on part of the consumer.

10. The consumer protection and redressal is very poor.

11. No recognition for the airlines who show On Time Performance for a long time.

Comments: They enjoy high load factor when compared with their competitors and do charge little extra fare. Business Travelers use such airlines for office hour flights. more  
Opening of skies to efficient airlines and penalising poor punctuality and service should be the norm.
Politicians and VIPs should not be allowed to delay aircraft. more  
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