Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Travellers in fix as airlines levy hefty charges for cancelling domestic, international trips

Pune: With the coronavirus outbreak affecting travel plans across the globe, airlines are levying hefty charges to cancel or reschedule domestic or international air tickets.

While some airlines , including IndiGo and GoAir, have announced some relief measures, fliers are far from satisfied. Other airlines, including SpiceJet and Air India, have not yet announced any official policy.

Although Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has stated that Air India will waive the cancellation charges, those who have approached the airline for cancellations are being levied charges with employees reportedly saying there has been no official directive as yet.

The lack of clarity on the policy and the resistance of many airline to waive cancellation charges have added to the confusion.

Pune-based IT professional Amandeep Singh had booked a trip to Dubai with 11 family members in the last week of March.

“We booked in the first week of February when coronavirus wasn’t such a big threat. It was limited to China and but since then, it has grown and spread across the world. Now, especially after the latest detection in Pune of a couple who returned from Dubai, we are not sure about the travel. However, the tourist company is not giving us any options to get out of the trip. Also, the government — either Indian or UAE — has not announced any directives we can cite to get a refund or reschedule,” said Singh.

Another Pune resident, Manoj Bhatia, who had booked a trip to Jammu with his family, including an infant, said he had to pay Rs 19,000 as cancellation charge as GoAir refused to refund the money.
“I had booked the flight several weeks ago. Since we have an infant with us, I decided to cancel the trip. However, GoAir levied a heavy cancellation charge. Of the Rs 37,000 I had paid for the round trip, I was refunded just Rs 17,000,” said Bhatia.
11/03/20 Indian Express
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