Immediate Refund Of All Cancelled Flight Tickets Ordered By Govt (Full Airline Refund Rules)
After being directed by the Supreme Court, the Aviation regulator DGCA issued detailed guidelines regarding the refund of the cancelled flight ticket due to coronavirus-triggered lockdown on Wednesday.
Prior to this, on 1 October, the Top Court directed a full and immediate refund should be given to passengers for the air tickets cancelled between March 25 and May 24.
Since, during this time, domestic passenger flights were not operational.
In addition to that, the Supreme court also passed directions about the refund and credit shell formation for the bookings and cancellations done during the other time periods around the lockdown.
DGCA Refund Guidelines
Now the Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) has categorised passengers in three categories based on the court’s order and accordingly they will be providing the
1. People who booked tickets between March 25 and May 24 for travel within the same period.
DGCA Guideline- These passengers must be given a full refund by the airline concerned for the tickets cancelled according to the operator.
2. People who booked tickets prior to March 25 but the travel period was till May 24.
DGCA Guideline – For this category, the airlines should “make all endeavours” to refund these passengers within 15 days.
3. People who booked tickets anytime but for a journey post-May 24.
DGCA Guideline – For this category, they will be given a refund in accordance with the existing DGCA rules.
What If Airlines Are Financially Stressed?
To answer this question, DGCA said, “If on account of financial stress, any airline/airlines are not able to do so, they shall provide a credit shell equal to the amount of fare collected (to the passenger),”.
Moreover, the passengers can then use the credit shells to book any ticket by March 31, 2021, as per the guidelines provided by the DGCA.
Aviation Industry Worst Hit During Covid-19 Imposed Lockdown
It seems that the Indian aviation industry got the worst hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As aftermath, now all airlines in the country have to opt for cost-cutting measures like layoffs, leave without pay for the employees etc.
After a gap of two months i.e. on May 25, scheduled domestic passenger flight services resumed in the country.
But they are permitted to operate only up to 60 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights currently.
While scheduled international passenger flights still remain suspended in the country since March 23 which is more than 6 month now.
Since May, only special international passenger flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat mission, thanks to the air bubble arrangements formed with various countries in July.