Good news for flyers! Passengers to get refund of air tickets booked for travel during lockdown; here’s how

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New Delhi | Updated: Oct 01, 2020 1:42 PM

Flight ticket refund: Earlier in September, the DGCA informed the Supreme Court that a full refund must be provided by airlines immediately for the tickets booked during the COVID-19 lockdown period for domestic or international travel within the lockdown period.

flight ticket, flight ticket refund, flight ticket refund policy, flight ticket refund news, flight ticket refund status, flight ticket refund rules, flight ticket refund lockdown, flight ticket refund during lockdown, flight ticket refund India, flight ticket refund due to lockdownFlight ticket refund policy: For all other cases, the airlines must make all endeavours to refund the collected amount to the passenger within 15 days, the civil aviation regulator said in an affidavit filed in the top court. (Reuters image)

In a good news for flyers whose flights got canceled due to lockdown imposed in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic will now get refunds. The Supreme Court on Thursday approved the Director-General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) recommendations on refund of passengers’ flights’ tickets, cancelled due to lockdown. However, the refunds will be made through credit shells.

Flight tickets booked between March 25, 2020 and May 24, 2020

If a passenger has booked a ticket during the lockdown period (March 25, 2020 to May 24, 2020) for travel during lockdown period and the airline has received payment for booking of air ticket for travel during the same period, for both domestic and international air travel and the refund is sought by the passenger against that booking being cancelled, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without any cancellation charges. The refund shall be made within a period of three weeks from the date of cancellation, the Supreme Court said.

Flight tickets booked after May 24

Passengers who booked tickets at any period of time but for travel after May 24, 2020 – refund of fares to the passengers covered under this category shall be governed by the provisions of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), the top court said.

Flight tickets booked through travel agents

If the tickets have been booked during the lockdown period through a travel agent for a travel within the lockdown period, in all such cases full refund shall be given by the airlines immediately. On such refund, the amount shall be passed on immediately by the agent to the passengers, the Supreme Court said.

International flights tickets

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

“This is a Relief for airlines, as well as passengers. The Supreme Court validates DGCA’s Credit Shell scheme (so no cash refund) due to the current setback to airlines due to the pandemic. Credit Shell to be transferable, can be used up to 31/03/21 if not then airlines have to refund to customer post-March 31, 2021. Earlier, there was no clarity on the refund amount what if the customer fails to use credit shell. Airlines will have to pay some interest on the amount as well,” EaseMyTrip.com CEO and Co-founder Nishant Pitti told Financial Express Online.

Earlier in September, the DGCA informed the Supreme Court that a full refund must be provided by airlines immediately for the tickets booked during the COVID-19 lockdown period for domestic or international travel within the lockdown period. For all other cases, the airlines must make all endeavours to refund the collected amount to the passenger within 15 days, the civil aviation regulator said in an affidavit filed in the top court.

“If the tickets have been booked during the first lockdown period, that is March 25, to April 14, 2020 for the journeys to be undertaken in both first and second lockdown period that is from March 25 to May 3, 2020, in all such cases, full refund shall be given by the airlines immediately (this is being mandated vide MoCA’s OM dated April 16, 2020 as the airlines were not supposed to book such tickets),” the DGCA had said, as per PTI report.

Meanwhile, DGCA yesterday announced that the suspension on scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India was extended till October 31.

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