We want a meaningful redressal of these grievances. Grievance by nature is not delightful but redressal of them can push up the satisfaction level. A complaint if attended to in a reasonable time frame and the person who has the grievance gets a response, it will go down well with everyone
— Ashok Gajpathi Raju, Minister of Civil Aviation
The Indian Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajpathi Raju said that his Ministry is committed to provide a hassle-free and comfortable air travel experience to people. To do this, he said, it is necessary to recognise the pattern of problems that people face while travelling, and make suitable systemic improvements in the working by all concerned. At a glittering function in New Delhi attended by all stake-holders in the civil aviation sector, the Minister launched the AirSewa portal and mobile application. AirSewa is an initiative of the Ministry to offer people a convenient and hassle-free air travel experience. It can be operated through an interactive web portal as well as through a mobile app for both android and iOS platforms. The portal will include a mechanism for grievance redressal, back-office operations for grievance handling, flight status/schedule information, airport Information and FAQs.
Starting the launch function, R N Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said that this is the start of a completely new chapter in the civil aviation sector. "Ours is a service industry and we have very responsible players in this sector but it was felt that the Ministry should take this initiative in putting together a unified integrated platform which could provide for a very quick interaction between the service providers and the users of those services". Thanking both the Ministers for their tremendous initiative in making this happen, the Secretary added that the inspiration for this came from the Prime Minister who very sincerely had said that unless we provide this kind of service from the service delivery departments of the government, we will not be doing justice to our role. Secretary Choubey assured all the users of this service that the Ministry shall take this forward with the cooperation of all the service providers and will provide a seamless service for all the users. "We welcome your feedback so as to improve this service in times to come".
To discuss and to get the perspectives of various stake-holders from the industry, a panel discussion was organised with Ashok Gajpathi Raju, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, Hari Marar, President - Airport, Bengaluru International Airport and Deep Kalra, Owner, MakeMyTrip as participants. Highlighting the requirement of such a service, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation said that flight delays, problem in refunds, long queues, lack of proper facilities at airports and complaints of lost baggage are the most common problems that air travellers are facing today. He stressed upon the need to respond to these problems in a systematic rather than an ad-hoc manner. He said that AirSewa was an attempt to provide such a systematic approach to redressing passenger grievances. Jayant Sinha said that although it was a major challenge to get the various players who are a part of the civil aviation ecosystem on to a common platform, this has been achieved through AirSewa.
During the panel discussion, Minister Raju also weighed in with his own thoughts, "Complaints will always be there. There is no family without complaints. How you address them is the point. One can be pleasant, one can be nice, one can analyse it. Probably, when you analyse a complaint, it might throw up a pattern. If it throws up a pattern, it is easier to work and solve that pattern. We have started now and will see how it goes. Scope of improvement is a continuous process. We need to harness it. The idea is good that we would like to address our complaints and try and improve. Most passengers have something else in mind. The whole aviation process should make their life more pleasant".
"When you analyse a complaint, it might throw up a pattern. If it throws up a pattern, it is easier to work and solve that pattern. We have started now and will see how it goes. Scope of improvement is a continuous process. We need to harness it. The idea is good that we would like to address our complaints and try and improve"
— Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister of Civil Aviation
With the launch of AirSewa, passengers will be able to register their grievances through the mobile app or on the web portal. The users will have the facility to upload voice or video along with an elaborate description of their issues. They will be given a unique reference number for each of their reported grievances which would also be communicated through an email as well as a SMS. Users can then track the status and response to these grievances through the mobile application as well as the web application based on the reference number provided. Once the grievance is closed, the complainant has an option to provide his feedback and rate the overall experience and satisfaction.
"Problems that air travellers are facing today need to be responded in a systematic rather than an ad-hoc manner. AirSewa is an attempt to provide such a systematic approach to redressing passenger grievances"
— Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation
Nodal officers have been selected for all stakeholder agencies who will address the grievance in a time bound manner. Each grievance shared will be directed to the responsible nodal agency for resolution based on the grievance category chosen by the complainant. The dashboard shall be divided into three categories consisting of grievances pending within time line, grievances pending beyond time line and closed grievances. Each grievance shall have a resolution time line defined for initial response as well as final resolution. Each communication made by the nodal officer will be send through an alert through email and SMS.
"The Ministry should take this initiative in putting together a unified integrated platform which could provide for a very quick interaction between the service providers and the users of those services"
— R.N. Choubey, Secretary,
Ministry of Civil Aviation
In addition to posting of complaints and grievances, the travellers will also have an option to check the flight status and schedule between any of airports. Flights can be searched on the basis of flight number or for all flights to a particular airport. Airport Information will display basic weather information and connecting flight details from the airport. Airport information will include basic details and contact information regarding airport services like wheel Chair, transport/parking, rest and relax, Wifi services etc.
Minister Raju called upon all service providers to adopt the spirit of continuous improvement so that the collaborative platform of AirSewa can make air travel truly enjoyable for people.