SC slams DGCA for letting airlines overcharge

Bringing some relief to overtaxed fliers, the Supreme Court today decreed that passengers who book air tickets through agents cannot be made to pay extra charges in the form of any kind of a transaction fee.

"The transaction fee shall not be collected from any passenger in any form or under any other name," a bench of Justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur ruled.

The apex court pulled up the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for failing to bring to the book airlines which add charges to their basic fares.

The court suggested that airlines are violating agreed-upon structures for pricing of tickets by adding unsanctioned taxes and fees.

The bench rapped the DGCA for not enforcing the regulator's own direction dated 17 December last year, when it had restrained the airlines from charging transaction fee from passengers.

The court also directed the DGCA to examine the tariff structure of the airlines in view of their wide range of base prices for air tickets.