Passengers who book air tickets through agents will not have to fork out extra money with the Supreme Court (SC) restraining airlines from levying transaction fee in any form on them.
A Bench of justices, D K Jain and Madan B Lokur told that “The transaction fee shall not be collected from any passenger in any form or under any other name.”
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation also have been directed by the apex court to examine the tariff structure of the airlines in view of their wide range of base prices for air tickets.
“There are several bands for fixing the base price which in certain cases range from Rs 1,120 to Rs 36,000…We are of prima facie view that regarding wide range of basic fair, it would be necessary for the DGCA to examine the tariff structure of the airlines,” According to the Bench.
The Bench rapped the DGCA for not enforcing its own direction dated December 17 last when it had restrained the airlines from charging transaction fee from passengers.
“We regret to note that despite a provision not to charge transaction fee, the DGCA failed to enforce its own direction,” the Bench said, adding “It needs our immediate intervention for non-compliance of direction issued by the DGCA. The airlines cannot charge transaction fee from customers.”
“We are of the view that circular of DGCA dates December 17, 2012 is still in vogue and transaction fee cannot be charged by the airlines,” the Bench said.
Transaction fee was introduced by the airlines after they adopted a zero commission policy for their agents. Under transaction fee, agents charge customers any amount of their choice and there is no uniformity in it.