Flight Delays & Cancellations

If your domestic or international flight is delayed, you could get compensation up to Rs.10,000! Submit your claim for free via Resolver and start your case by searching for the airline's company in the box below.

A delayed flight is the most common issue that thousands of passengers face every year. Flight cancellations, overbooking, denial of boarding are some other common occurrences. Such issues may be unavoidable, unpredictable or take place due to technical errors. For the sake of protecting a passenger’s rights, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Airports Authority of India (AAI), and airline companies have set ticket refund policies in place.

This guide will help you understand your rights as a flight passenger, refund policies of your airline for delays, cancellations, boarding denial, loss or damage, or delayed the arrival of baggage. You’ll also know the correct complaint escalation procedure in following sections.

Your passenger rights

DGCA is the chief regulator of flights in the aviation industry. As per the directives, rules, and regulations laid down by DGCA, airlines are bound to set up passenger grievance cell through which consumer complaints should be resolved within 15 days. Also, every airline has to appoint a public grievance officer to effectively address flight complaints in India.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism

In case you face any issue with your airline, You may:

  • You must contact the customer care of your airline through the toll-free number provided on their website. You can also drop an email stating your issue along with relevant details and documents. Resolver can assist you with escalating your issue for free. 
  • Take up the matter with Nodal Officer of the concerned airline with regard to your flight issue. You can find the details of the Nodal Officer your airline’s website. Upon response, cite all relevant details related to your travel like the booking ID, date and time of booking, departure and arrival destinations, facilities offered, etc. Make sure you clearly state the issue.
  • If the issue is unresolved with Nodal Officer, then you may approach the Appellate Authority of the concerned airline operator for resolution. You will find the details on escalation on the airline website.
  • Airline or Airport operator is then required to redress the grievance within a period of one month.
  • In case of non-redressal of the matter within the stipulated time frame, you still have an option to take up the matter with DGCA by simply filling out a grievance redressal form or by contacting the authority through call or an email.
  • DGCA would hold an inquiry into the matter and may take a final decision based on facts and circumstances. The authority may direct the airlines to pay compensation to the flier.
  • DGCA has also set up a SUGAM portal for a speedy resolution of travellers’ complaints. With the new mechanism in place, consumer grievances are expected to be resolved within a fortnight.
  • You can also file a consumer case at an appropriate consumer forum to claim compensation against an issue related to flights.


How will Resolver help you?

If you have a bonafide complaint with the airline or airport operator, Resolver will help you to submit your issue for free. Any complaint from Resolver is an official complaint, and thus the concerned airlines are obliged to act upon it. Resolver acts as a link between you and the airlines you’re complaining to, making it easier for you to get your complaint to the right place at the right time. Resolver is free. No adverts, no hidden costs. Start by telling us the name of the airlines or airport operator you have an issue with, raise a case and leave feedback afterwards.

What are my rights as a passenger?

You have the right to receive full disclosure of your flight details regardless of whether you have booked via a travel agent, an online travel company, or through the airline directly. Upon booking a flight the following information should be provided to you immediately:

  • If your flight is non-stop
  • If there will be stops en-route but without a change of aircraft
  • If there are connecting flights to the destination
  • Computation of the fares as applicable
  • Airline company
  • Transfer between the airports during the journey

Other than this, airlines are bound to provide free assistance to specially abled persons, senior citizens and pregnant women.

If you face an issue, escalate your complaint via Resolve.r 

I am not an Indian Official can I still file a claim against the airlines?

Yes, even a foreign national can file a complaint with the concerned airlines he/she is facing an issue with.

What to do in case there is a delay in arrival/ departure?

In case of significant delay in the arrival or departure of your flight, you are generally entitled to compensation. However, you have different based on the situation you are in. 

  • If you have checked-in on time, but the airline expects a delay of:  
  1. 1 hour or more in case of flights having a block time* of 2½ hours
  2. 3 hours/ more  in case of flights which have a block time of more than 2 ½ hrs and 
  3. up to 5 hours 4 hours or more in case of other flights     

 You must be offered free-of-charge meals and refreshments in relation to waiting time.

*Block Time is the total amount of time a flight takes from pushing back from the departure gate to arriving at the destination gate.


  • If your domestic flight is expected to be delayed by more than 6 hours, the re-scheduled time of departure should be communicated to you more than 24 hours prior to the originally scheduled departure time. Also, the airlines shall offer you an option of either an alternate flight within a period of 6 hours or a full refund of the ticket to you.


  • In case the airlines expect a total delay of more than 24 hrs from the published scheduled time of departure or more than 6 hrs for flights scheduled to depart between 2000 and 0300 hrs: You must be entitled to free Hotel accommodation.



How will I know the baggage charges of my flight?

For information regarding the baggage charges of the airline, you are flying with. You must check the following:

  • Free baggage allowance
  • Charges for baggage beyond a free limit.
  • Charges for specific instruments like musical, sport, arms & ammunition, etc.


What to do in case my baggage gets delayed/damaged baggage by the airline?

You can claim damages from the airlines only when the event which caused the damage took place on board the aircraft or during any period within which the checked baggage was in charge of the carrier. 

Additionally, in the case of unchecked baggage, the carriage is liable if the damage resulted from its fault or that of its agents. 

  •  International Carriage:
  1. In case of damage to the baggage, the liability is limited to 1131 SDR* per passenger. 
  2. In case of damage to cargo, the liability is limited to 19 SDR per kg.


  • Domestic Carriage:


  1. In case of damage to baggage, the carrier liability is limited to Rs. 20,000 per passenger.
  2. In case of damage to cargo, the carrier liability is limited to Rs. 350 per kg.

*SDR- Special Drawing Rights, 1 SDR = 96.55 Indian Rupee


Can I cancel my flight in times of natural disaster?

In case the cancellations occur due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the airline, such as political instability, natural disaster, civil war, insurrection or riot, flood, etc. or due to cancellations and delays clearly attributable to air traffic control (ATC). No compensation shall be payable to any of the affected passengers even if all reasonable measures had been taken by the airline. 

I was offered a flight to/from the terminal other than the one I booked for!

If the airline offers a flight to/from an airport or terminal other than that for which you had booked:

  • The airline shall bear the cost of transferring you to/from that alternate airport or terminal from/to the one for which you booked.
  • If you have been informed of the change for at least 6 hours in advance, you shall be responsible for your own arrangements.

In case you face an issue, Resolver will help you find a solution.

Am I entitled to any privileges in the waiting time?

If you have already reported for the original flight and you are waiting for an alternate flight.

The airline must provide you with free-of-charge meals and refreshments in relation to the waiting time.

What to do if the airlines cancelled my journey?

The airline shall inform you of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure and arrange alternate flight/refund as acceptable to you. However, if you are informed of the flight cancellation less than two weeks before but, up to 24 hours of the scheduled departure time. Then the airlines must offer an alternate flight allowing you to depart or refund the ticket, as acceptable to you.

 I missed the connecting flight booked on the same ticket number!

 The airlines must offer an alternate flight, as acceptable to you or provide compensation, in addition to the full refund as follows:

  1. For flights having a block time of up to and including 1 hour, compensation of Rs. 5000 or booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, whichever is less.
  2. For flights having a block time of up to and including 2 hours, compensation of Rs. 7500 or booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, whichever is less.
  3. For flights having a block time of more than 2 hours, compensation of Rs. 10,000 or booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, whichever seems less.

You may escalate the cancellation issue via Resolver!


What is the procedure for Check-in?

  • Online check-in service is currently available only for flights out of India, between 4 and 36 hours prior to the flight departure.
  • It is mandatory to print the E-Check-in confirmation slip and it applies only to passengers who hold a confirmed reservation.
  • Make sure you have sufficient time at the airport to get through security, baggage check, etc.
  • All airport counters close 45 minutes before departure. First and Executive class passengers can check in up to 2 hours prior to departure, the economy class can check in up to 3 hours prior, and domestic passengers can check in up to two hours prior departure.
  • Ensure that your total luggage weight does not exceed the prescribed limit, otherwise you will have to pay extra for additional kilos.

Use Resolver to raise an issue with the flights' check-in.


What should I do if I am denied boarding the flight?

This may happen when the number of confirmed passengers travelling on the flight have reported for the flight well within the specified time ahead of the departure of the flight, but the number of seats available fall short. An alternate flight scheduled to depart within one hour of the originally scheduled departure time must be arranged. Upon its failure. You must be compensated by the airlines: An amount equal to:

  • 200% of booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, INR 10,000 (maximum), when airline manages to arrange an alternate flight that is scheduled to depart within the 24 hours of the booked scheduled departure.
  •  400% of booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, subject INR 20,000 (max), when airline manages to arrange an alternate flight that is scheduled to depart more than 24 hours of the booked scheduled departure.  
  • In case you do not opt for an alternate flight, refund of the full value of ticket and compensation equal to 400% of booked one-way basic fare plus airline fuel charge, INR 20,000. (max).

How long will I have to wait for the refund?

  1. Immediately, if the payment is made in cash.
  2. Within 7 days if payment was made by credit card.
  3. From the travel agent if payment is made through a travel agent.


What can I do if I face entertainment issues?

While you are travelling you need to stay connected is well taken care of. However, in case there are disruptions in the broadband connectivity, you can complain. In case of problems with an in-flight entertainment system including screen quality, the functioning of headsets, etc, you can contact the IT staff.


What should I do if I face a problem with the food/alcohol?

In case of an issue with food:

  • The airline is obliged to provide you with safe and hygienic food/drinks, so raise your issue with its representative or with the company itself as soon as possible.
  • You should pack items securely and store them at your feet, instead of in the overhead compartment. Self-heating lunch boxes are considered as dangerous goods and therefore not permitted to be checked in or carried on board.

In case of an issue with alcohol:

  • If you tend to consume a large quantity of alcohol during flight, your body may not be able to use oxygen efficiently, leading to histotoxic hypoxia.
  • Alcohol can dehydrate and may interfere with your ability to sleep.
  • You must have seen in print and electronic media cases of “air rage” incidents on account of alcohol consumption.
  • It is advisable to avoid or minimize the consumption of alcohol during air travel.

In case you find a foreign object in the food:

If it causes any injury to you, whether due to the fault of the manufacturer of ingredients or preparer of the meal, you may be able to sue for the following injuries:

  • Cuts in the mouth and throat and damaged teeth
  • Illness due to ingestion of the object
  • Allergic reactions by ingredients that were not supposed to be in the food
  • Injuries by sharp objects found in the food that was not expected by the customer

If you, dining in a flight, are injured chewing or choking on a foreign object in the airline, the airline can be held liable for the injury even if it did not know that the object is present in the food.


I was overcharged for the flight!

  • If you are overcharged for a flight, you should go straight to the ticket office and explain the situation. 
  • They should be willing to refund you the excess cost which you paid for the ticket. If you are not satisfied with their response, you can address your concerns to the airline’s Customer Services department (you can find details of this on their website). 
  • You can also write a formal letter setting out your complaint and asking that the airline to grant you a refund of the excess which you paid.

 Resolver will be able to assist you in submitting, recording and reminding you when to escalate your complaint. 

The complaint was not handled properly!

In case your issue has not been responded to or you are not satisfied with the response received, the most important thing to know is that your rights as a consumer are protected. However, you should be aware that you are not legally entitled to a refund or replacement if you have simply changed your mind about the flight. In the case of the poor offline complaint handling system, you may access the ‘Airsewa’ portal and escalate your complaint.

What can I do if there was a delay in the service provided?

The airline focuses on providing good customer service and they will strive to provide its customers with a pleasant in-flight experience. If you have encountered a delay in services, it may be a short-term problem, you should first ask to speak to their supervisor or manager or report the issue via Resolver.

What can I do if I don’t receive a ticket?

If you have not received pre-booked tickets then you should contact the airline company as quickly as possible. We recommend contacting them by phone using Resolver so that you can record your call. You must explain the situation, it is airline companies responsible for the tickets until they are received by you.

In Summary

  • Keep your travel-related documents safely.
  • If you face an issue try contacting the airlines or airport operator directly.
  • You may also contact the Nodal Officer of the concerned airlines.
  • You can also escalate your complaint via Resolver.

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