IndiGo Flight Returns to Terminal Amid Overbooking Incident


Mumbai: An IndiGo flight from Mumbai to Varanasi faced an unexpected turn of events just as it was about to take off. The crew spotted an overbooked passenger standing at the rear of the aircraft, prompting the flight to return to the terminal.

Incident Details:

  • Flight Number: 6E 6543
  • Route: Mumbai to Varanasi
  • Time of Incident: Around 7:50 am

The crew member noticed the male passenger standing in the back of the aircraft while the flight was taxiing. Immediately, the crew alerted the pilot, and the aircraft had to return to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai.

Passenger Akhilesh Chaubey, who was on a work trip to Varanasi, shared his experience: “The flight returned to the bay, and the overbooked passenger was offloaded. The airline then conducted a thorough check of cabin baggage for all passengers before proceeding with take-off, resulting in a delay of at least an hour.”

IndiGo’s Response:

An IndiGo airline spokesperson acknowledged the error during the passenger boarding process. “In the case of flight 6E 6543 from Mumbai to Varanasi, a standby passenger was mistakenly assigned a seat reserved for a confirmed passenger. Fortunately, the error was detected before departure, and the standby passenger was promptly de-boarded,” stated the spokesperson. “We regret any inconvenience caused to our customers and will enhance our operational processes to prevent such incidents in the future.”


Overbooking and Compensation:

To minimize the risk of flights departing with empty seats, airlines often overbook. However, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) imposes penalties on airlines for denying boarding, even on valid tickets. As per regulations notified in 2016:

  • If an alternative flight is arranged within an hour of the scheduled departure, no compensation is required.
  • If an alternative flight is provided within 24 hours of denial of boarding, the airline must pay 200% of the booked one-way basic fare, along with the airline fuel charge (subject to a maximum limit of ₹10,000).