New Delhi: The government has directed the passengers to return the entire money within three weeks on the air tickets booked for the journey till May 3 in the first phase of the lockdown. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued a consultation in this regard on Thursday.
It states that between the first phase of lockdown i.e. 25 March to 14 April, if the airline companies have booked tickets for the first or second phase of lockdown (25 March to 03 May) and the booking money during the first lockdown have got it”, then they will refund the entire money to the passengers who canceled the ticket. Money must be returned within three weeks.
If a passenger has booked a ticket during the first phase of lockdown period (25th March-14th April), the airline shall refund the full amount; refund to be made within a period of 3 weeks from date of request of cancellation: Ministry of Civil Aviation pic.twitter.com/SCOF43MmJNAdvertisement
— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 2020
In this direction, the condition of the airline company getting the money in the first phase of lockdown can cause trouble to the agents and passengers booking tickets through credit card, as usual, the agents transfer the money to the 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 this consultation after talks with them.
It may be noted that earlier when the government announced the lockdown till 14 April, private airline companies started booking tickets for travel on 15 April and onwards, while at that time it was not decided that the lockdown after 14 April will it is increased or not. Similarly, after increasing 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 air tickets up to one year later. Thus, in a way, they are forcing the passengers to travel within a year, whether they need to travel later or not. After receiving complaints from a large number of passengers in this regard, the government has issued guidelines taking cognizance.
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