Air India Imposed Rs 44,029 Cancellation Charges; Court Orders Air India To Refund This Immediately
A city consumer court has ordered Tata-owned Air India to refund a cancellation fee of Rs 44,029 to a Bengaluru resident.
Due to Covid lockdown in 2020, 35-year-old Milin Jagdishbhai Parekh was charged the fee even though his flight got scrapped.
As the flight cancellation was because of no fault of the passenger, the court has ruled that the carrier must refund the full ticket amount and also incidental charges.
Cancellation Charges Levied by Airline
An Air India flight to London was booked by Parekh, for Rs 1,35,143 in January 2020 through MakeMyTrip to fly in April 2020.
At the end of March 2020, the lockdown was imposed by the government due to the pandemic.
Hence the international flight was cancelled by Air India due to the international flight ban.
While it was the airline that cancelled the flight, it charged Rs 44,029 from Parekh as cancellation charges, saying that he was a no show. The incidental charges of Rs 5,000 had not been refunded. Asking for a full ticket sum refund, he reached out to the airline but to no avail. This infuriated Parekh who then approached the Bangalore Urban 2nd Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Shantinagar on July 2020.
A case of service deficiency was pursued by him against the airlines.
Air India was served legal notice, however the airline representatives failed to appear before the consumer forum.
The airline’s lawyer appeared after the given time which was not acceptable to the court and declared the opposite party as ex-parte.
Court Asked Airlines to Refund the Amount
As part of the proceedings, the judges analysed the evidence presented by the complainant, mainly the email sent to him by the Air India declaring him as a no show for the flight and offering to reschedule the flight before any day till September 30, 2020.
On September 28 this year, the court noted that the airline was well aware that the international flight ban due to the Covid situation continued even to 2021 and ruled that Air India must refund the residual amount of Rs 44,029 and incidental charges of Rs 5,000 to the man within 45 days.