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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 30/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) India?s aviation regulator has issued new guidelines to all airlines and airport operators in the country on facilities and courtesies that must be extended by them to the travelling public.

the new circular from the directorate general of civil aviation (dgca) has laid emphasis on standardised passenger complaint redressal and courteous behaviour of airline and airport staff dealing with passengers.

the guidelines said among other things that automated buggies must be provided free of charge for senior citizens expectant mothers and disabled and needy passengers in the terminal building to facilitate their access to boarding gates located beyond reasonable walking distance at all airports having annual aircraft movements of 50000 or more. this facility may be extended to other needy passengers on demand basis free of charge the circular said.

it said that small trolleys must be provided after security check to help passengers carry hand baggage upto the boarding gate.

“airport operator shall adequately display information regarding availability of automated buggies and small trolleys in the terminal building at prominent locations including dos and don’ts regarding the same. this shall also be published on the website of the airport operator” it said.

airlines and airport operators must display the details of their nodal officer and appellate authority in key areas of the airport indicating their names contact number and email addresses. these details have to be also published on their websites and in two national daily newspapers one in english and one in vernacular language at least once a month for the information of the public.

the circular said airlines and airport operators shall ensure that their ground staff engaged in passenger handling extend an extremely polite and courteous behaviour towards the travelling public. they shall render all assistance to facilitate their travel it said. “as all passengers are very important valued and esteemed customers any incident of misdemeanour discourteous behaviour and harassment shall be dealt by the airline/airport operator on top priority basis and shall be reported to the dgca in a prescribed format” it said.

such staff will have to undergo periodic soft skill training for sensitisation courtesy behaviour and procedures for assisting the passengers.

airlines and airport operators have to report to the dgca every month on passenger complaints and any incident of misdemeanour discourteous behaviour and harassment along with details of action taken.

the circular said compliance with the guidelines would be enforced through surveillance done by the dgca and in case of non-compliance the airlines or airport operator shall be liable to penal action.

the circular underlined the need for creating a much more passenger-friendly environment in aviation. “with the expansion of airports distances to check-in counters security hold area and boarding gate have increased manifold requiring passengers to lug their carry-on baggage over long distances” it said.

the dgca noted that most of the stakeholders involved in providing facilities to the passengers at the airport have resorted to outsourcing of services to vendors having high attrition rates resulting in their inability in to provide quality services to the passengers. further the passengers remain mostly unattended after the check-in is completed and till they arrive at the boarding point which has caused an increase in the number of passenger complaints in the recent past.

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