Bengaluru teenager misses trip to NASA, takes airline to consumer court, gets 1.6 lakh

His dream of NASA crushed, Kevin Martin was disappointed but not discouraged. He decided to drag IndiGo to the consumer forum.

The first leg of Kevin Martin’s journey was on an Indigo flight (Getty images)

On August 10, 2019, Kevin Martin, a resident of Bengaluru was about to travel to the United States. He was to board an IndiGo flight to Delhi, scheduled to take off at 6.30am. Martin was excited because he would be visiting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa).

But that never happened. IndiGo ground staff reportedly refused to let Martin board, even though he had a valid ticket, stating that the flight was overbooked.

Indigo staff offered him an alternative flight in the evening, but that would have meant the youngster missed his connecting flight to the United States.

Martin is the winner of the 2019 Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) in Karnataka and finished second nationally. He won the technothlon competition at IIT-Guwahati and had to travel to NASA for a trip. Then IndiGo threw a wrench into its happy plans.

His dream of NASA crushed, Martin was disappointed but not discouraged. He raised the matter with the Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission of the 1st Additional District of Bangalore on December 17, 2019, with a charge against Inter Globe Aviation Limited, directors of IndiGo.

On April 3, 2021, the court ruled that IndiGo should pay Kevin Martin Rs 1 lakh as compensation for abandoning the trip and Rs 50,000 as costs for causing him mental pain by interrupting his plans. The airline was also required to pay 10,000 rupees for its trial accounts and 8,605 rupees with interest for reimbursement of its tickets to Delhi.

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