Saturday, October 31, 2020

Chennai: Flyers seeking refund continue to face hard times

Chennai: Passengers and travel agents continue to face difficulties in getting refunds for air tickets from airlines even though the Supreme Court has ordered that either cash refunds or credit shells with a deadline should be given.

The Twitter handles of airlines have many comments from passengers complaining about lack of refunds or delay in refunds.

Travel agents say that major international carriers affiliated to IATA have started to issue refunds in cash while many domestic carriers here are either taking their time or are framing their own rules delaying refunds. Most of the airlines continue to issue credit shells to passengers that can be redeemed on any route till March 31, as per the Supreme Court's order.

However, things are not smooth for those who had booked their tickets via travel agents or online travel portals because airlines are crediting the money into the ID of the agents which cannot be accessed in cash. The agents have to sell fresh tickets to redeem the credit from their IDs. This means they have to spend from their pockets to issue cash refunds to customers. As all agents are not able to do this immediately, several passengers are not able to get back their money.

A majority of the complaints posted by passengers on the Twitter handles of GoAir, SpiceJet, Air India and AirAsia talks about delay in refunds and also a difficulty in getting through to executives in the call centres.

An airline official said that refunds have begun. "Passengers who have booked tickets through travel agents will have to approach them for refunds as money has been refunded to the agents' ID," he added.

31/10/20 Times of India

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