Air India’s Big Relief For Passengers: Reschedule Tickets At Zero Cost, Get Full Refund For Air Tickets
The national carrier Air India has released news which would lead to a positive shift in the consumer sentiments, fliers for the airline.
As a first for any airline, the national carrier has announced that the passengers who had earlier booked tickets with Air India in the lockdown period, can now use the same ones to fly, instead of cancelling them or paying anything additional, until August 24.
No Need to Pay the Difference: Air India
As a first move for any Indian airline, the national carrier Air India informed its fliers on May 31 that they were allowed to reschedule their flights at no extra costs, until August 24.
This means that such fliers who booked their tickets with Air India during the lockdown period can now use the same ticket without paying any difference, if any, in the fare.
If in case, the passenger decides to drop the plan of flying and wants a refund, he/she will be returned the amount without any cancellation charges.
What if You Want to Re-Route your Journey?
Air India has also provisioned instances for those passengers who are looking for changing the route of their pre-booked journey.
In this case, the flier will only be charged with an applicable difference of fare, while the rerouting charges will be waived off.
How is Air India Different from Other Airlines?
Until now, according to the DGCA circular, the airline carriers were asked to refund only those tickets that were booked during the first lockdown, from March 25 to April 14.
These were for tickets for travel till May 3. For any other ticket, airlines had offered to keep the ticket fare in a credit shell, which could be used later to reschedule the travel.
Clearly, no airline allowed any refunds. However, later on Indigo and AirAsia India started allowing refunds.
Now, to answer the question that how Air India is different from others airlines,
- This is the first time that a domestic airline has allowed passengers to use tickets booked to travel during the lockdown period, from March 25 to May 31 and not just till May 3 or Apr 14.
How will this Move have an Effect on the Consumer side?
It is anticipated that by making such a move, Air India is all set to improve demand sentiment, which had been soft despite the government starting air journeys from May 25.
Initially even though the traffic loads were in the range of 50 to 55%, this range has fallen down to under 40% in just some days’ time.
Some believe that Air India would be having tickets worth Rs 500 crore lying unused.
It can be expected that up to 80% of the people will opt for refunds, while the rest who would have booked tickets in low/sales fare, may keep their ticket open for use.
This will give positive sentiment to travel, for customers of the national carrier, even though the refund time is bit higher.