Friday, April 03, 2020

Airfare refund policy confuses passengers amid lockdown

Airlines in India are all set to resume flights post the lockdown period, however, the issue of refunds for flights cancelled between March 25 and April 14 remains unresolved.

while passengers are demanding cash refunds for cancelled bookings during the lockdown period, airlines have refused to meet such request owing to cash shortage. Fliers have been left in the lurch with some airlines not even offering clarity on refunds.
The government suspended all domestic flights starting on March 25 midnight to curb the spread of coronavirus but for the passengers of airlines who had booked tickets to fly during the lockdown period, it is has hit them hard.

First, they can't travel to their hometowns or other destinations they had booked tickets to and second, the refund policies of airlines is resulting into heavy monetary losses.

Twitter is full of arguments between airlines and furious passengers as airlines are offering a reservation credit for the full amount which can be used to make another booking in future but the catch here is that a flier has to pay the fare difference for the future date ticket.
"I had to attend a conference this month in Goa. With the conference getting cancelled, my tickets are not going to be used now. I don't want a credit voucher as it is not sure I would be flying in future or not", said Sanjeet Kumar, a daily based businessman. 

The confusion has multiplied with many fliers making bookings through travel agents or online travel portals. Fliers also complain about the call centre phone lines of airlines are constantly busy.

Indian carriers say there is little they can do on refunds as they are staring at a dark future and it is an existential crisis for the airlines.

The thumb rule generally is that if passengers cancel the bookings, they get back refunds, but airlines levy a cancellation charge, as high as 40-50 per cent, on the other hand if an airline cancels the flight, the passengers get a full refund.

Airlines insist this particular rule can't be applied during the lockdown period as it is beyond their control. 

While the uncertainty over the status of scheduled flights due to the coronavirus outbreak looms large, most airlines seem helpless about the situation and are not waiving off the domestic flight cancellation charges.
03/04/20 Wion
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment