The lockdown period between March and May saw a huge number of flight tickets getting cancelled. Even after domestic flights resumed operations on May 25, tickets got cancelled at the last minute owing to several reasons, including state-imposed restrictions. Passengers complained of arbitrary refund policies of the private airlines and after the issue reached the Supreme Court, a uniform refund policy has come into force, which all private airlines have to abide by.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the new air ticket refund policy:
1. I booked a ticket before lockdown. My airline offered me credit shell. Will I get cash refund now?
No, if the airline has already offered credit shell, there will be no change now. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has allowed airlines to offer credit shell against cancelled tickets. But the validity of the credit shell has to be till March 31, 2021. This is for those who booked tickets before lockdown but journey date was before May 24.
2. Can I transfer my credit shell?
Yes. The DGCA has allowed the transfer of credit shells to another individual and even agents. The airlines have been asked to come up with appropriate mechanism to facilitate the transfer.
3. I booked my ticket through an agent. Will I get refund?
Yes. If the tickets were booked by a travel agent, the airline should send them the money. These agents will have to refund the amount to the passengers immediately, DGCA has said.
4. I booked a ticket between March 25 and May 24. How much refund am I eligible for?
Full refund. There will be no cancellation charge applied, if both the booking date and the journey date fall in this period. If the journey date is after May 24, when domestic flights resumed services, the refund will be in accordance with the existing DGCA rules.