New Delhi: In order to give more power to passengers, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA ) on Friday issued a number of passenger-friendly directives for strict implementation by airlines.

DGCA chief Arun Kumar asked all the airlines to send text messages after every 30 minutes to passengers whose flight has been delayed, cancelled or whose boarding gates have changed. He also asked airlines to ensure quick resolutions of passenger complaints on social media, and ensure refunds in timely manner.

“Prompt redressal of passenger complaints is the top most priority and must be attended to as per the relevant provisions of the CARs (Civil Aviation Requirements),” a top official said.

Many passengers on social media had complained that the airlines do not inform them on time about flight’s delay, cancellation or boarding gate change. Keeping this in view, the director general of DGCA, Arun Kumar, had on 10 October meet with appellate authority and nodal officers of all scheduled domestic airlines to discuss passenger grievance redressal system.

During the meeting, airlines have also been directed to keep close coordination with their travel agents, who in turn have been asked by the regulator to share contact numbers/mobile numbers of passengers with airlines for flight information updates.

“In case of delay, airlines have been asked to make appropriate arrangement to provide water, refreshment, meals as per the provisions of the CARs,” an official said adding that airlines have also been instructed to provide all help to senior citizens and passengers facing mobility issues.

If a ticket has to be refunded through a travel agent, the airlines must ensure that it happens in a timely manner, the DGCA noted.