Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday released a "passenger charter" that lays out the rights of air travellers in the country.
The new charter amended the norms for charges incurred by travellers on cancellation and rescheduling of air travel, among others.
But the new compensation structure will apply only if it is found that the flight delay or cancellation was caused by the airline concerned.
According to the charter, if a flight is expected to be delayed by more than four hours, the airline would have to arrange for a free meal and refreshments, aand if a flight is delayed for more than 6 hours, a passenger has a right to receive a full refund of the ticket.
If a flight that was scheduled between 20:00 and 3:00 hours is delayed for more than 6 hours or cancelled, passengers should be given free hotel accommodation.
In case of over six-hour delay, the airline would have to inform passengers 24 hours in advance of the original departure time, it said.
"The airlines must inform about flight cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure and arrange alternate flights or refund," said the charter, released at the Aviation Conclave 2019. Moreover, if a passenger misses a connecting flight on the same ticket, the passenger should then be given a compensation of up to Rs 10,000 subject to conditions.
The rules also say that if a passenger arrives for the original flight, which has now been delayed, the airline will have to give the passenger a free meal and refreshments during the wait time.
In case of overbooking, the airline must provide an alternate flight scheduled to depart within one hour of the original flight's departure time. If the airline is unable to do so, it would have to pay compensation, the charter said.
The rules also state that in case a passenger cancels a ticket, he has the right to receive refund of statutory taxes, user development and passenger services fees that is levied by an airline. However, for a foreign flight, the right to refund will be subject to the airline’s internal policy.
If a person suffers an injury or death only due the fault of the airline, the airline is then liable to pay Rs 20 lakh.