Rossiya Airlines has introduced a new rule for ticketed passengers who decide to cancel their departure last minute without providing “a good reason”.
The subsidiary of Aeroflot Group explained that the decision took into account “deviations from entire chains of flight schedules” and “additional costs for the carrier”, which have recently increased due to a sharp rise in cases where passengers have demanded that they disembark the plane once the aircraft doors have already closed.
“Rossiya highly appreciates the time and comfort of passengers. Cancellations without good reason put the airline’s reputation and travelers’ trust at risk, which is unacceptable for Rossiya,” the Pulkovo Airport (LED)-based air carrier explained in a recent statement.
Following the new policy, travelers can refuse to fly until the moment when the aircraft doors are closed, and the crew is ready for departure. After this has been announced, passengers are unable to change their minds.
“A passenger has an opportunity to refuse a flight until the doors are closed when it is still possible to quickly arrange his exit from the aircraft without compromising the punctuality of flights. Nevertheless, all services are involved in the process: ground units are searching for luggage to be removed from the aircraft, representatives of the security services conduct an additional inspection of the plane,” Rossiya said.
“After closing the doors, the passenger has the right to refuse the flight only if there is a threat to life or health. In this case, medical personnel and law enforcement officers are invited on board,” the airline added.
The carrier also explained that introduction of the new policy, Rossiya covered all extra expenses related to last-minute passenger disembarkation. These expenses included costs for additional ground handling processes, usage of an airbridge and pushback services, the operation of an auxiliary power unit, and fuel costs when the plane returns to the parking lot after a passenger has canceled a flight.
However, passengers will now be required to compensate the airline for these costs, Rossiya Airlines concluded.