No refund in sight for passengers

Covid-19 National Pandemic

Fliers, whose tickets got cancelled during the lockdown last year, still wait for their refund.

Bengaluru: Many airlines, who had to cancel their flights after India went into a lockdown last year, are yet to refund the money to the passengers. Adarsh Thampy, a Product Manager at FinTech, said he hasn’t received the refund and it has been almost a month since he raised the issue with Air India.

byu/Guilty-Wreck from discussion

The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had ordered airline companies to refund the money of cancelled tickets to the passengers. However, airlines like Air India, AirAsia and Vistara are yet to give fliers their money back.

In the meeting attended by airline representatives on ‘refund of credit shells of passengers’, GoAir and IndiGo submitted their undertaking to the ministry stating they have refund all the credit shells to the passengers. stated ANI.

Divya Kumar, an AirAsia India Spokesperson, said AirAsia had processed refunds for 99 percent of the over 240,000 Passenger Name Records (PNR) impacted due to the cancellation of flights during lockdown from March 25 to May 25, 2020. All refunds have been processed to the original source of booking – the guest’s account or credit card for direct bookings or returned to the online or offline travel agent for bookings made through intermediaries. 

For the remaining one percent of guests, Divya said, “We have reached out to them repeatedly through email and SMS. We are still awaiting certain details such as bank account information so that we can process their refunds.” AirAsia has appealed to all such guests to respond to the communication sent to them or reach out to any of their official channels, including their contact centre and official social media handles.

Spokesperson at MakeMyTrip said that from the position of an intermediary for travel bookings, they have been working closely with their airline partners to resolve booking concerns of the travellers. From offering credit shells, vouchers, rebooking options to refunds, they have been focusing on offering the best possible solution for airline bookings to impacted customers. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have been seamlessly passing on refunds to our customers as per the refund policy and guidance of respective airlines. While the majority of the refund requests have been processed over the past few months, our customer support function continues to prioritize and focus on resolving any pending refund requests,” said the spokesperson.

In an article, Kapil Kaul, CEO and Director of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India said, “The SC has accepted the DGCA’s recommendations. It has actually given some relief to the airlines, as most of them don’t have funds to refund. However, how will passengers be refunded if some of the airlines close? The DGCA has not factored this in their recommendations. The DGCA is aware that the closure of Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways had resulted in massive losses for the consumers. It seems passengers will have to bear this risk [again].”