Udayavni Special

What are the rules for refund of air tickets cancelled during lockdown?


PTI, Oct 9, 2020, 2:00 PM IST

DGCA has issued guidelines for the refund of fares for flights cancelled due to the lockdown after a Supreme Court order.

The guidelines came six days after the Supreme Court directed that a full and immediate refund should be given to passengers for the air tickets cancelled between March 25 and May 24

Based on the court order, the DGCA categorised passengers in three categories

(I) Passenger who booked tickets during lockdown for travel during Iockdown i.e. from 25th Mar 2020 to 24th May 2020.

(ii) Passengers who booked tickets any time prior of lockdown but journey up to 24th May 2020 and cancelled due COVID-19.

(iii) Passengers who booked ticket anytime but for Journey after 24th May 2020.

The regulator said the passengers belonging to the first category must be given a full refund by the airline concerned for the tickets cancelled.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the airlines should “make all endeavours” to refund the passengers belonging to the second category within 15 days.

“If on account of financial stress, any airline/airlines are not able to do so, they shall provide a credit shell equal to the amount of fare collected (to the passenger),” it added

The passengers can then use the credit shells to book any ticket by March 31, 2021, the DGCA noted.

Those belonging to the third category will be given a refund in accordance with the existing DGCA rules.

For international travel

-Even for international travel. when the tickets have been booked on an Indian carrier and the booking is ex-India, if the tickets have been booked during the lockdown period for travel within the lockdown period, immediate refund shall be made.

-If the tickets are booked for international travel on a foreign carrier and the booking is ex-India during the lockdown period for travel within the lockdown period, full refund shall be given by the airlines and said amount shall be passed on immediately by the agent to the passengers, wherever such tickets are booked through agents. In all other cases airline shall refund the collected amount to the passenger within a period of three weeks.

Scheduled domestic passenger flight services resumed in the country after a gap of two months on May 25. Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 23. However, special international passenger flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat mission since May and under air bubble arrangements formed with various countries since July.

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