Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Covid cancellations: After SC order, DGCA issues detailed refund rules

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Wednesday issued detailed guidelines for refund of fares for flights cancelled during Covid-19 lockdown after the Supreme Court recently decided on the issue. The regulator, based on SC directives, has categorised refund seekers into three categories and issued different directives for them.

Category 1 - Passenger who booked tickets during lockdown for travel during lockdown from 25 March 25,2020, to May 24: If an airline has received payment from such a passenger for either domestic or international travel, it “shall refund the full amount collected without any cancellation charges … within three weeks from the date of cancellation,” the DGCA order says.

If tickets have been booked through a travel agent, “full refund shall be given by airlines immediately to the respective travel agent (who in turn) shall immediately pass on (the same) to passengers.”

Airlines, both Indian and foreign, will need to refund full fares to category 1 passengers who booked ex-India tickets for international travel.

Category 2 - Passengers who booked tickets any time prior to lockdown for journey up to May 24, 2020, and flight cancelled due Covid-19: “Airlines shall make all endeavours to refund the collected amount to the passenger within 15 days from October 7, 2020. If on account of financial distress, any airline/airlines are not able to do so, they shall provide credit shell, equal to the amount of fare collected, in the name of passenger when the booking is done either directly by the passenger or through travel agent so as to consume (utilise) the same on or before March 31, 2021,… on any route of (their) choice or the passenger can transfer the credit shell to any person including the travel agent through whom he / she has booked the ticket and the airlines shall honour such a transfer,” the order says.

07/10/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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