Monday, July 02, 2018

Civil Aviation ministry may reform cancellation policy

Thiruvananthapuram: Even as the new reforms drafted by the Civil Aviation Ministry on name change and free cancellation of airline tickets within 24 hours of booking look like bringing relief to the passengers, the shortcomings in the reforms make them apprehensive.

The draft directs airlines to print cancellation charges on the ticket, and that airlines and their agents together should not, under any circumstances, levy cancellation charge more than the base fare plus fuel surcharge.

However, the airline ticketing fraternity asked why a passenger has to pay fuel charges when there is no fuel burn-off? And, how the airline can define the fuel burn-off percentage as the proportion of fuel burnt for carrying him?

In a representation forwarded to the Civil Aviation Ministry, Biji Eapen, National President, IATA Agents Association of India, said, the fuel charges cannot become a part of the cancellation charges and any attempt to include this in the basic fare without merging both fare and fuel charges together is illegal and a total violation of the Law. “So we request the Ministry of Civil Aviation to review and amend the draft to specify that, cancellation charges under any circumstances shouldn’t be more than the base fare,” he said.

According to them, of the various components that make up the cost of an airline ticket, the base fare and fuel surcharge go to the airline and the others to the government and the airport operator.

Hence, the base fare is the price of airline ticket before fees, taxes and any surcharges are added. Even the Aircraft Rules 1937, Rule 3 Clause 54A also defines explicitly that “tariff” is the combination of fare, fees and other taxes.
02/07/18 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express