The Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Air India to pay a compensation of Rs 40,000 to a Mohali-based couple as a penalty for serving non-vegetarian food instead of a veg meal they had opted for.
The airline had earlier been asked to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 by the district consumer forum. The state consumer commission, however, increased the penalty by four times and added Rs 7,000 as legal expenses to the consumer.
What was the complaint?
In his complaint, Chandra Mohan Pathak of Mohali’s Sector 121 said he booked two tickets for June 17, 2016 from New Delhi to Chicago and a return ticket for November 14, 2016 from Chicago to New Delhi. Pathak said he had specifically mentioned that he and his wife were vegetarians.
While there was no issue with the onward journey to Chicago, the couple was served non-vegetarian meal during their return journey, he alleged.
The Pathak couple said they immediately raised the matter with the cabin crew as there was no symbol on packets to differentiate between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
Pathak alleged that he immediately wanted to register a written complaint, but he was not given the complaint book following which he filed a complaint with the consumer forum.
Acting on the complaint, the district consumer forum slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on Air India besides awarding Rs 7,000 as compensation and legal expenses.
The decision was, however, challenged by the airline at state consumer disputes redressal commission.
‘Airlines committed sin in the eyes of God’
Reprimanding the airline, the state consumer commission said serving non-vegetarian food to vegetarian passengers was not only showed a deficiency in its services but was also a sin in the eyes of God. “The airliner, by doing so, also hurt the religious feelings of the passenger,” the consumer commission said.
The airline has, meanwhile, been asked to deposit the fine amount within 30 days after receiving a copy of the orders, the commission has said.
Source By India Today