Thursday, June 11, 2020

Refund issue in SC as airlines, government do little

Mumbai: The easing of the lockdown has given an impetus to efforts to get airlines to make refunds for flights cancelled during the Covid-19 grounding orders.
The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court last Friday, with a prayer that the government issue appropriate directions to airlines for a full refund.
Some airlines have brought about changes. “Airlines like IndiGo and AirAsia have begun the process of transferring the credit shell of passengers to the travel agents’ accounts. So passengers can use this money to book tickets in their names or for others, book on different sector, et cetera, so long as they rebook with the same agent,” Jay Bhatia, vice-president, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), said. Currently it is being done only for individual bookings, not for groups.
The big fight, though, is for a full refund. TAFI president Pradip Lulla said that in many countries like the US and Spain the regulators directed airlines to give a full refund. “We have gone through the entire process of approaching the regulator. Finally, we had to approach the court for the sake of our credibility and for cash flow to pay our passengers,” Lulla said.
TAFI made the ministry of civil aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation respondents in its petition, which says the government should issue airlines clear directives on refunds.
11/06/20 Times of India
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