IndiGo's poor customer care record forces parliamentary panel to flag airline

An IndiGo Airlines Airbus A320 aircraft takes off in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 19, 2017. Reuters

The alleged failure of IndiGo to respond satisfactorily to customer complaints is behind a parliamentary panel's remarks that it is the 'worst performing' airline for customer services.

Derek O'Brien, the Trinamool Congress MP who heads the panel, reserved the sharpest criticism for the low-budget carrier in a report that he tabled in the Rajya Sabha, according to a media report.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, Road, Shipping and Aviation said in the report that the airline was noted for poor customer services, having rude staff and higher charges during the festive season, among other issues.

IndiGo, owned by InterGlobe Enterprises, however, denied it neglected customer complaints. The airline said in a statement that it evaluated complaints and feedback by the customers rigorously and the staff were given regular training to handle situations and make possible hassle-free customer experience.

O'Brien said the panel was not generally happy with the way some private carriers are operating, but it was discourteous the way IndiGo was operating. He said Air India had the best luggage policy.

"Our committee is very clear that the worst performing airline for consumers is IndiGo. All 30 members agreed on this. IndiGo has not respondeddespite many complaints. The way they behave with consumers and charge for just one kg or two kg overweight of air baggage...," O'Brien said, according to a media report.

He said some carriers charged eight to 10 times the normal fares during the festive season.

"The airline is very rigid, IndiGo even charges for one-two kg overweight, this has not been taken very well and the committee is looking into the matter seriously," O'Brien said.

While taking note of higher fare charges, the panel suggested that the charges by the airlines should not exceed 50 per cent of the base fare and tax and airlines should refund the fuel surcharge to customers.

The national carrier Air India has the best policy for luggage and other private carriers should raise the baggage limit, O'Brien said.