Where Is My Seat? Vistara Passenger Rants On X After Seat Change; Know If Airline Can Actually Do It

Where Is My Seat? Vistara Passenger Rants On X After Seat Change; Know If Airline Can Actually Do It

In India, Airlines do have the right to change your seat without prior notice.

Oliviya KunjumonUpdated: Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 03:04 PM IST
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Do Airlines Have the Right to Change Your Seat Without Prior Notice? | File Photo

In a digital age where social media platforms serve as a conduit for customer grievances, a recent incident involving an unhappy passenger and the airline Vistara has started a new discussions on customer service in the aviation industry.

Pragyan Brahma, an active user of social media platform X, took to his personal account to share his terrifying experience with Vistara. In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Brahma, who goes by the handle @Blackfaces_, shared his frustration over Vistara's alleged seat reassignment without prior notification.

In his X post, he wrote, "Hello @airvistara, you changed my seat from the front of the aircraft to quite literally the last row just 24 hours before departure," Brahma wrote, outlining three key grievances. He further complained about the lack of communication from the airline and highlighted the response received from Vistara's customer care, claiming that no alternatives were offered due to the flight's full occupancy.

Adding, Brahma shared previous encounters with airlines under the Tata Group, including Vistara and Air India, citing instances of damaged baggage, arbitrary luggage policies, and unjust charges for infant baggage allowance.

A Screengrab of the tweet

A Screengrab of the tweet |

Vistara Response

Vistara responded to Brahma's initial post, expressing willingness to address the issue. Aishwarya, representing Vistara's official account (@airvistara), sought clarification on the nature of Brahma's original seat and whether web check-in had been completed.

However, Brahma's subsequent response indicated a shift in approach as he informed the airline of his grievance filing with @JaagoGrahak, a consumer rights platform.

A Screengrab of the tweet

A Screengrab of the tweet |

This incident raises a fundamental and common concern for every passenger: Do airlines possess the authority to alter your seat without prior notice?

It also poses an important question regarding the rights of airlines and the expectations of passengers. Should airlines be permitted to make seat changes without informing passengers beforehand, and is this practice acceptable? Conversely, do passengers possess legal entitlements that safeguard their seating arrangements?

In India, Airlines do have the right to change your seat without prior notice. As per guidelines from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), airlines can move passengers to different seats, even those that were pre-selected and paid for. This authority is granted through the airline's 'contract of carriage,' which provides them with wide-ranging discretion to modify seat assignments, flight schedules, and other relevant details without prior notification.

Reasons for seat changes may include accommodating families, ensuring passenger safety, or addressing operational needs.

In cases of denied boarding, flight cancellations, or delays, passengers are entitled to compensation as per specific criteria outlined by the DGCA. The compensation amount varies depending on factors such as the duration of the delay or cancellation. Passengers can these claim refunds or compensation by following to the procedures outlined by the airline and in accordance with DGCA guidelines.

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