Seeking flight ticket refund but facing trouble? Here is what you should do
As a passenger, one of the most common grievances faced is the refund of tickets.
Travelling by flight has its own perks and excitements attached to it. But due to some uncalled circumstances, many times flights get delayed or worse, cancelled. As a passenger, one of the most common grievances faced is the refund of tickets. The grievances that occur with regard to airline tickets generally include delay of refund of unused tickets or the amount which is refunded against cancelled tickets. Further, the policy followed by many airlines to not refund the amount of the ticket but to adjust it with a ticket purchased for future travel in the same airline makes it difficult for the passenger to negotiate. Moreover, this policy is available only for a limited duration of time, hence putting the customer in loss. As a customer, not only you are caught in a situation where you do not get your refund but also undergo a tedious procedure to attain the same.
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But what most airline passengers are not aware of are the rules that come under the Civil Aviation Requirements. According to the CAR, as per the Rule 133A of the Aircraft Rules and Ministry of Civil Aviation Order No. AV 13030/105/2007-DT dated 12 May, 2008, the following are the measures that the airline company must comply to in case of refunds of tickets:
- Purchases of tickets through credit cards which have not been used, the airline needs to refund within seven days of the cancellation to the account of the credit card holder.
- Refund is immediate from the airline company to the customer, if the air ticket is bought through the mode of cash.
- In the case of purchases of tickets through travel agent/portal, onus of refund shall lie with the airlines as agents are their appointed representatives. Here, the airlines will ensure to refund the amount within 30 days.
- The airline is meant to refund all statutory taxes and User Development Fee (UDF)/Airport Development Fee (ADF)/Passenger Service Fee (PSF) to the passenger, whether there is cancellation, no utilization or the passenger did not show up. This is also applicable during special and promotional flight fares where the basic fare is nonrefundable.
- The airline is meant to provide a lock in period of 24 hours for cancellation of tickets by the passengers without additional charges. The normal prevailing fare for the revised flight for which the ticket is sought to be amended will be levied. This benefit will be available for 96 hours from the flight departure date. The airline also has to make sure that this is through with their agents/ portals as well.
- Option of holding the refund amount in credit is an entitlement of the passenger and not the default practice of the airline. In other words, the authority of using the refund amount for another flight lies in the hands of the passenger
- Airlines are meant to indicate in an unambiguous manner the amount of refund of money admissible on cancellation of a ticket. The airline is supposed to display the amount and its break up on the ticket itself or through a separate form.
- Charges for cancellation should be printed prominently on the ticket.
- No agency or airline can levy cancellation charges that surpass basic fare plus fuel charges. The airline must get this through to their agents and portals.
(By Ruchika Goswamy)
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