Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Booking tickets to fly? You may not get refund

Chennai: Planning to fly on or after April 15. Beware. You may not get refund of ticket fare in case the suspension of flights continues beyond the lockdown period and you want to cancel the booking.

Though there is no clear instruction from the Centre on flight operations resuming after April 14, private airlines have opened bookings and started sending out promotional emails urging people to travel.
Many people, most of them stuck in different cities, have booked tickets.
Minister of civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said the government is yet to decide on resumption of flight services. He also tweeted that reports of flight resumption after April 14 are mere speculation. This has put in a fix people who had already booked tickets and those planning to do so.
As per the new cancellation policy, airlines will not issue refunds for tickets if flights are suspended because of the shutdown. Instead, they will hold the money as a credit so that the passenger can travel anytime within a year. So, if the shutdown is extended, people who have booked for flying on April 15 and on subsequent days may not get their money back.
Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) national president D Sudhakara Reddy said, “Its unfair that airlines have opened booking without instructions from the government. Now, those who have booked will have to suffer as they will not get their money back. The association is planning to raise the issue with the ministry.” The APAI has already raised the issue of airlines not refunding ticket fares for flights cancelled during the shutdown period.
The idea of using the same ticket by paying a difference in fare, if any, at a later date makes sense only to those who are stuck away from their workplace or the city of residence because they may have to travel when the situation normalises. “I am waiting to book a ticket from Kolkata to fly to Chennai where I live. I do not want to book unless I am sure that there will be flights,” said Priya Kumar.
07/04/20 V Ayyappan/Times of India

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