Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Log on for cancellation fee, refund requests: Airlines & travel portals

Mumbai: Airlines levying cancellation charges, online travel portals refusing to refund, airline call centres unreachable despite several attempts. Social media is rife with complaints from passengers who had to change their travel plans in the last few weeks as cases of coronavirus went up in India. And with numerous travel advisories being issued and a large number of flights being cancelled or rescheduled, the confusion over cancellation policies and refunds have only worsened.
Low-cost carrier IndiGo said in the last few weeks, it witnessed over 500% increase in queries through calls and emails. Said a travel agent: “There is no order to the chaos. Passengers with flights in April, May and June have been calling up along with those with flights that depart in a few days.” On Tuesday though, a few airlines and travel portals issued guidelines to ease the troubles and clarified on the cancellation fee issue.
IndiGo said passengers could visit its website and check FAQs regarding change fee waiver and claim refund for cancelled flight – click on Plan B. It added that in addition to the conventional method of calling the call centre, passengers can also send a support request through an online form and the airline would respond depending on the immediacy of travel and cancellation policies. There are self-serve options available on the airline app and website with a detailed self-help page that works as a ready reckoner, said IndiGo. “If the flight is over two weeks away, consider delaying the request, preferably three days to help deliver to those who are in need first by keeping our call centre lines open...,” said IndiGo. But if the flight is within 14 days and they need to speak with the airline, they could email the airline or call them, it added.
On cancellation charges IndiGo said it “was the first airline to introduce zero change fees recently...” “Total refunds are being given only for special cases. We continue to review our policies on a daily basis.”
18/03/20 Times of India
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