Mobile apps to ease travellers’ travails at airports

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With a view to easing the troubles faced by travellers, the Civil Aviation Ministry plans to initiate a series of measures, including mobile applications, to register their grievances and resolve the issues at airports. While the Airports Authority of India (AAI) intends to start a mobile application for the purpose, the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) is coming up with a document on the lines of citizens’ charter, called ‘Standards of Services Document’, giving timelines for the services it offers to the public and other stakeholders, an official release said.Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Lavasa had last week said some specific citizen-centric initiatives had been identified and these would be put in place in a few weeks.

AAI’s QR (Quick Response) code based mobile application, a machine-readable optical barcode, for recording grievances would be available at 20 airports in three months and extended to all others by March 31 next year. All airlines, including foreign carriers, have been asked to ensure certain facilities like automated buggies and small hand baggage trolleys free of charge to passengers, especially senior citizens, expectant mothers and those with disabilities, the release said. Air India has also been asked to simplify web booking and evolve procedures for quicker disposal of refund and lost baggage claims, it said. While DGCA’s Standards of Services Document already provides timelines, fees and charges for various services, the regulator will also create a portal on passenger’s rights on its website on travel-related issues and advisories, it added.

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