Centre orders refund of locked-down air tickets

0
8


NEW DELHI: Clearing the confusion over refund of tickets for flights during the lockdown period, the Centre’s proposed guidelines mandate airlines and travel agents to immediately refund passengers if they had booked tickets between March 25 and April 14 for travel from March 25 to May 3.
In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court after consultations with different airlines, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) informed it that for flight tickets booked after April 14, airlines and travel agents will get a 15day window to refund the money as the Civil Aviation Requirements say this must be at the convenience of flyers.
However, the DGCA provided an alternative to domestic airlines, whose revenues have nose-dived during the pandemic, with regard to refunds for tickets booked after April 14.
“If on account of financial distress, airlines are not able to do so, then they shall provide a credit shell equal to the amount of fare collected. This credit shell shall be issued in the name of the passenger who has booked the ticket,” it said.
Making the credit shells valid for travel till March 31, 2021, on any route of the passenger’s choice, DGCA said, “If the flyer wants to buy a ticket of value more than the credit shell, then he/she can use cash to top it up. If he wants to buy a ticket of value less than the credit shell, he/she can do so and the balance amount of the credit shell shall be available.”
For tickets booked on international flights operated by foreign airlines, refund of ticket amount to the passenger has to be made within 15 days as there is no credit shell facility allowed for foreign operators. For money locked in with airlines and travel agents for cancelled flights, the DGCA said the ticket amount in the credit shell shall grow by 0.5% till June 30 this year and thereafter by 0.75% per month till the passenger utilises the credit shell to buy a ticket till March 31, 2021.
It said the passenger can transfer the credit shell to any person of his choice and the airlines will create a mechanism to effect and honour such a transfer. However, if a passenger does not use the credit shell till March 31, 2021, then the person is entitled to a cash refund of the total amount by the airlines, the DGCA said.
It said in case of passengers who died after tickets were booked in flights which were cancelled due to lockdown, airlines would give a full refund to their kin. Solicitor general Tushar Mehta had recently told a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, RS Reddy and MR Shah that the DGCA had talked to airlines and was finalising a proposal.
The DGCA consulted representatives of Air India, Go Air, Air India Express, Vistara, Air Asia, IndiGo and SpiceJet. The DGCA said the above proposal was formulated as an exception keeping in view the problems during Covid-19 and was without prejudice to the regulatory framework as provided in the Civil Aviation Requirements.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enable Google Transliteration.(To type in English, press Ctrl+g)