In Focus

Bengaluru teen misses trip to Nasa, gets Rs 1.6 lakh after suing airline

Bengaluru's Kevin Martin was to head to the United States on 10 August 2019. He was to board an IndiGo flight to Delhi to take off at 6.30 am and was excited since he would be visiting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Sadly, that just didn't happen. The IndiGo ground staff reportedly declined to let Martin board, even though he possessed a valid ticket, stating that the flight was overbooked.

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The Indigo staff offered him an alternative flight in the evening, but that would have meant the youth would have missed his connecting flight to the US.

Martin is the 2019 Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) topper in Karnataka and was second nationwide. He won the Technothlon competition at IIT-Guwahati and was to head to NASA for a trip. Then IndiGo threw a wrench into his happy plans.

With his NASA dream crushed, Martin was disappointed. Irate, he took up the matter with the Bangalore 1st Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on December 17, 2019, with a charge against Inter Globe Aviation Limited, Directors of IndiGo.

On 3 April 2021, the court ruled in that IndiGo needs to pay Kevin Martin Rs 1 lakh as compensation for dropping out on the journey and Rs 50,000 as costs for causing him mental pain by interrupting his plans. The airline was also required to pay Rs 10,000 towards his trial accounts and Rs 8,605 with interest towards a refund of his Delhi tickets.

Indigo in a statement said, "IndiGo is in receipt of an order issued by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC), Bengaluru, in relation to a matter filed by a customer concerning an overbooked ticket on flight 6E 2976 from Chennai to New Delhi on August 10, 2019. With due regard to the findings of the Hon’ble DCDRC, IndiGo believes that the matter was handled in full compliance with applicable guidelines concerning overbooking, including by offering appropriate compensation to the customer, which was declined by the customer. IndiGo will now follow due process in taking necessary steps in accordance with law on this matter."