New Delhi, Apr 16: The government on Thursday directed that the passengers will be refunded the entire amount within three weeks on the cancellation of air tickets booked for their journey during the lockdown period.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation issued a memorandum in this regard, which said ''If a passenger has booked a ticket during the first lockdown period (March 25 to April 14) and the airline has received payment for booking of the air ticket during the first lockdown period for travel during the same period, for both domestic and international air travel, and refund is sought by the passenger against the booking being cancelled, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without levy of cancellation charge.'' The refund will be made within period of three weeks from the date of request for cancellation.
''If a passenger has booked a ticket during the first lockdown period and the airline has received the payment for booking of air ticket during the first lockdown period for travel during the second lockdown period (March 25 to May 3) and the passenger seeks refund on cancellation of the ticket, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without levy of cancellation charge.''
In the directive, the condition of the airline company getting the money in the first phase of lockdown can cause trouble to agents and passengers booking tickets through credit cards as usually agents transfer money to airlines after some time. Credit card companies also pay money to merchants a few days later. Earlier, taking cognizance of complaints about ticket booking and refunds by private airline companies during the lockdown, the Ministry of Civil Aviation spoke with the CEOs of all private airlines on Wednesday through video conferencing. The ministry has issued the instructions after having talks with them. Earlier, when the government announced the lockdown till April 14, private airline companies started booking tickets for travel on April 15 and onwards, as at that time it was not decided that the lockdown after April 14 will be extended or not.
Similarly, after extending the lockdown, now airlines have started booking tickets from May 4. Airlines are offering vouchers of equal value instead of returning money to passengers on flight cancellation due to the lockdown, which can be used to book tickets up to one year. Thus, in a way, they are forcing the passengers to travel within a year, whether they need to travel or not. Taking cognizance of complaints from a large number of passengers in this regard, the government has issued the guidelines. (UNI)