by ‘Airborne Travels’. Hence, the computer automatically cancelled the first booking on account of the double booking system in place.
Upholding the district forum’s order, the State Consumer Commission observed that the airlines had “connived” with agent ‘Business Travels’ and cancelled Sheena’s booking. “(They) blackmailed her into paying an additional sum of Rs 59,391 taking advantage of her helpless situation and at the same (time), forfeiting the original confirmed ticket,” the commission said.
During interrogation, officials of the airlines admitted that there were 26 seats in business class and 265 seats in economy class in that particular aircraft. On the said day, 26 passengers were carried in business class and 263 in economy class.
“It is not understandable as to why the complainant, Ms Sheena Kashyap was asked to travel by business class when admittedly, there was a seat available in economy class on that day,” the commission ruled.
Referring to the airlines’ defence as “self-contradictory” and “devoid of merits”, the commission said that the booking done through Airborne Travels was not a confirmed one and therefore, there “is no logic in cancelling a confirmed booking in preference to an unconfirmed booking”.
Moreover, the ticket was a consolidated price for travel to all three sectors – New Delhi to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Detroit and Detroit to Dallas.
Dismissing the appeal by the airlines, the commission ordered an additional Rs 1 lakh to be paid to Sheena, taking the total amount of compensation to Rs 3 lakh.