Overbooking – a situation in which airlines sell more tickets for a flight than there are seats on the plane – is legally permitted in the Russian Federation. At the same time, it is impossible today to somehow insure against becoming “superfluous” on a departing aircraft. Almost anyone can be left behind at the airport due to overcrowding. However, in this case, unlucky passengers are entitled to a number of compensations. About it Public News Service told Honored Lawyer of Russia, former expert of the International Civil Aviation Organization Pavel Gerasimov.
Earlier it became known that the court fined the Pobeda airline 30 thousand rubles for refusing to transport passengers who had tickets for the flight – there were not enough seats for them.
“The passenger is provided with compensation in full for the cost of the air ticket, as well as compensation for meals.”blockquote
“From a legal point of view, overbooking is allowed in our country, but there are certain rules. There must be a certain frequency of flights, that is, accommodation on the next flight must occur no later than 8 hours later. Of course, the passenger is provided with compensation in full for the cost of the air ticket, as well as compensation for meals. That is, they either give you a food voucher at the airport, or this food is reimbursed in separate business lounges, if there is one at the airport,” says Gerasimov.
According to him, all airlines in Russia use overbooking, and this is due to an attempt to ensure full load on board. According to statistics, on average, about 10% of passengers who purchased a ticket do not show up for departure. Therefore, companies sell air tickets with a reserve – about 15% more than there are seats on the plane.
“It’s really impossible to insure yourself against such a situation.”blockquote
However, in some cases, a passenger can still be taken on board, and free of charge. Thus, low-cost airlines employ fewer flight attendants on flights, so an unlucky client, if he agrees and refuses to claim, can be seated on the so-called jumpseat – a folding seat intended for crew members.
“Unfortunately, situations with fines are caused by the fact that the airline did not provide the passenger with transportation on this route within the established period, and also did not provide him with an alternative in the form of air tickets from another carrier, which, of course, is unacceptable,” the lawyer emphasized. — It is actually impossible to insure yourself against such a situation. Anyone can face this problem.”
If a passenger, due to overbooking, did not have time for a transfer or for some other reason, he may demand additional compensation, but this will have to be achieved in court. This is due to the accounting rules in the Russian Federation, according to which any payments are impossible without a corresponding application. This rule allows us to avoid abuse by airlines, the lawyer noted.
“In court, you can recover the full cost of damage plus 50% on top in the form of fines in favor of the consumer.”blockquote
“If a person makes a claim to receive some kind of compensation, then in pre-trial proceedings it will never be satisfied due to the peculiarities of accounting. But in court you can recover the full cost of damage plus 50% on top in the form of fines in favor of the consumer. So, if a ticket cost 10 thousand rubles, plus you lost another 10 thousand due to being late, then in the end you will receive 20 thousand rubles and compensation in the amount of 10 thousand. Unfortunately, this is only possible in court, but the state fee for legal proceedings in this case is not charged to the consumer. The court will recover it from the airline,” the expert explained.
In order to avoid unnecessary problems associated with overbooking, the rules of air transportation in Russia need to be changed, Gerasimov believes. For example, it is possible to reduce the time limits for accommodation on the next flight to 2-3 hours, he indicated. So, if in the direction Moscow – St. Petersburg there are no problems with early departure on the next flight, then on routes on which one or two planes fly per day, leaving a passenger at the airport due to lack of seats creates a lot of problems and is serious violation of consumer rights. For such destinations with low flight density, it is necessary to introduce restrictive measures on overbooking, the expert says.
Earlier in a conversation with OSN, an aviation lawyer Pavel Gerasimov told how to compensate for losses if you are late for a transfer.
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