Air India has been asked to pay a compensation of Rs 47,000 to a Mohali-based Brahmin couple after the airline served them non-vegetarian food instead of a vegetarian meal, as opted by the couple, during their journey from Chicago to New Delhi on November 14, 2016.
The directions to pay the penalty were given by Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
The airline had earlier been asked to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 by the district consumer forum. The state consumer commission, however, increased the penalty by four times and added Rs 7,000 as legal expenses to the consumer.
According to the complaint, Chandra Mohan Pathak of Mohali’s Sector 121 had booked two tickets for June 17, 2016, from New Delhi to Chicago and a return ticket for November 14, 2016, from Chicago to New Delhi.
Pathak said he had specifically mentioned that he and his wife were vegetarians and so had opted for veg food.
While there was no issue with the onward journey to Chicago, the couple was served a non-vegetarian meal during their return journey, he alleged.
The couple said they immediately raised the matter with the cabin crew as there was no symbol on packets to differentiate between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
Pathak wanted to file a written a complaint in the airline’s complaint book right away but it was not provided to him. However, he went ahead and filed a complaint with the consumer forum.
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in April this year slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the national carrier along with Rs 7,000 towards compensation and legal expenses. But, Air India challenged the decision at state consumer disputes redressal commission which also found it guilty of deficiency in services and favoured Pathak.
The airline has, meanwhile, been asked to deposit the fine amount within 30 days after receiving a copy of the orders, the commission has said.