Flight Tickets Booked From 25 Mar-14 Apr Can Be Refunded: Govt
DGCA stated that refunds must be given to passengers within a period of 3 weeks from when requested.
The Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday, 16 April, announced that passengers who had booked flight tickets during the first phase of lockdown for travel up to 3 May, must get a full refund from the airlines without any cancellation charges if they request it.
Several passengers have been complaining on social media as domestic airlines have decided not to give refunds in cash for cancelled flights due to the lockdown and instead issue credit for future travel.
India imposed the first phase of lockdown from 25 March to 14 April to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The second phase of lockdown is from 15 April to 3 May.
All domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended during the lockdown period.
The Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday issued a circular stating that "if a passenger has booked a ticket during the first lockdown period, and the airline has received the payment for booking of air ticket during first lockdown period for travel during the second lockdown period, for both domestic and international air travel, and the passenger seeks refund on cancellation of the ticket, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without levy of cancellation charges"
Similarly, the ministry clarified in its circular that if a passenger has booked a domestic or international ticket during the first lockdown period, and if the airline received the payment during that period only, for travel during the second lockdown period, the passenger can ask for a refund from the airline and the latter shall give it.
The ministry said the refund must be given to passengers within a period of three weeks from the date of the request for cancellation.
As domestic and international travel has been suspended in India during the lockdown period, the revenues of Indian airlines have decreased drastically. Airlines in the country fear that if they have to issue full refunds to all passengers, it will significantly deplete their cash reserves.
Therefore, none of the airlines in India are issuing full refunds. Instead, they are issuing credit vouchers of the same price as that of the cancelled tickets, which can be used by the passengers for another booking during the next one year.
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