Flight tickets refund alert! FULL REFUND for cancellation due to lockdown
The top court's verdict came on a batch of petitions, including by NGOs and passengers associations, seeking complete refund of ticket fare for the flights cancelled.
In a big relief to consumers, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed refund of air tickets, domestic and international, for travel during the COVID-19 lockdown period from March 25 to May 24 within three weeks from the date of the cancellation of flights. The top court's verdict came on a batch of petitions, including by NGOs and passengers associations, seeking complete refund of ticket fare for the flights cancelled.
Accepting the Centre's proposal, the top court directed that if the tickets have been booked through an agent for travel within the lockdown period, in all such cases full refund shall be given by the airlines immediately and the amount shall be passed on immediately by the agent to the passengers.
"If on account of financial distress, any airline/airlines are not able to refund then they shall provide credit shell, equal to the amount of fare collected, in the name of passenger when the booking is done either directly by the passenger or through travel agent so as to consume the same on or before March 31, 2021," the apex court said. "It is open to passengers either to utilise such credit shell up to March 31, 2021 on any route of choice or transfer the credit shell to any person including the travel agent concerned, and the airlines shall honour such a transfer," the top court added.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said the suggestions and formulations arrived at the meeting held by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA), Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which are acceptable to the majority of stakeholders have to be implemented in letter and spirit.
"We also feel that such formulations are workable solutions in these peculiar circumstances which are prevailing in the country," the bench said, while passing a slew of directions for refund of air tickets to the hassled passengers, whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic induced lockdown.
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