New rules: airlines will have to refund for flights cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdown, India


New rules: airlines will have to refund for flights cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdown

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, India, has directed airlines to give people’s money back for flights cancelled due to Coronavirus lockdown. It has also asked the airlines not to levy any charges. Even after these directions, people have been complaining that airlines are not giving full refunds on tickets cancelled in the view of COVID-19 outbreak.

Thus, a new cancellation advisory has been issued by the body and here’s how you can get your money back from the airlines (domestic and international):

According to the ministry’s new notification, airlines need to refund total fare without levying any cancellation charges. However, this is only applicable to those who had booked their airline tickets during the first lockdown from March 25 to April 14 for travel between March 25 and May 3. The airline is supposed to return the money within three weeks from the date of cancellation.

To make sure people get their refunds without any cancellation charges, the ministry has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to see to it.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter and said “Grievances were received from air travellers regarding refund for flights cancelled because of the nationwide lockdown to combat COVID19. Advisories have been issued regarding refund for both domestic & international tickets booked for the flights suspended due to lockdown.”

In his next tweet, he mentioned about the advisory issued by the ministry and wrote “Tickets booked during 1st Lockdown (25 March-14 April 2020) for travel during same period & for which payments were received by airlines during 1st lockdown shall be refunded within 3 weeks from date of request for cancellation by airlines without levy of cancellation charges”.

Similarly, refund will be processed for those who booked their flight tickets during the first lockdown period for travel during the second lockdown, which is from April 15 till May 3.

Amid all this, there’s no answer for the question as to how the airlines were stilll accepting bookings between March 25 and April 14, when Indian PM Narendra Modi declared the lockdown, thus suspending all air and rail travel as well.

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