November 23, 2023 – In an unexpected incident, six passengers aboard an IndiGo flight bound for Chennai via Bengaluru found themselves asked to disembark in Bengaluru. The passengers allege that the airline refused to operate the flight due to their being the sole occupants. They claim to have been enticed off the flight with the assurance of an alternative flight to Chennai from Bengaluru, only to be left waiting overnight for their rescheduled journey.
According to the passengers, IndiGo officials at Bengaluru airport made phone calls to each passenger, pledging to arrange an alternative flight to Chennai simultaneously. However, upon disembarking, they discovered that the airline had no intention of operating the original Bengaluru flight due to insufficient passenger numbers. Passengers accuse the airline of deceptive practices, alleging they were tricked into leaving the flight with the false promise of an immediate alternative.
Passengers further claim that IndiGo provided no assistance at Bengaluru airport. Despite ground staff acknowledging the error, passengers were reportedly denied accommodations at the airport hotel. Four of the six passengers spent the night in the airport lounge, while two opted to book a nearby hotel at their own expense.
As of now, IndiGo has not released an official statement on the matter, confirming only that all passengers were eventually accommodated on a flight to Chennai the following Monday.
The incident raises questions about airline responsibilities in the event of flight cancellations. While airlines can cancel flights for various reasons, including weather conditions and technical issues, they are obligated to effectively communicate these changes to passengers holding booked and confirmed tickets, in compliance with DGCA regulations. In cases of flight cancellations notified less than two weeks but at least 24 hours before departure, airlines are required to offer full ticket fare refunds or arrange alternate flights for affected passengers.