The issue of refund of air tickets, booked during lockdown is refusing to be solved.
After Supreme Court heard a petition on the issue of air ticket refunds, especially for those air tickets which were booked during the lockdown, DGCA had assured that it will be done.
DGCA had filed an affidavit, which promised that all domestic and international tickets booked during a specific phase of lockdown between March 25th to May 3rd, 2020 will be 100% refunded.
But now, a new twist has been introduced.
DGCA now says that only those air tickets which were directly booked from the airlines will be refunded. Tickets booked via travel agents won’t be covered.
DGCA: No Refund For Tickets Booked From Travel Agents
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has clarified that only those air tickets which have been booked directly will be refunded via special credit shells of respective airlines.
This was informed to the Supreme Court via another affidavit.
Both domestic and international flights tickets will be refunded, if the flight originates or ends in India.
This clasrification was made after a Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah sought clarification from DGCA on the tickets booked via travel agents.
Centre said, “The travel agent, if any, involved in the purchase of any ticket on behalf of any passenger remains only a via-media, leaving the principal contract between the airlines and the passenger only, which is the only mode recognized under the regulatory mechanism of the DGCA.”
How Will This Impact Air Passengers
Since Centre and DGCA has made it clear that only tickets booked directly from the airlines will be refunded via credit shells, it’s clear that if air passengers had booked any tickets from travel agents, and/or online portals which act as travel agents, no refund will be provided.
This makes the matter complicated, since majority of tickets were booked via travel agents and online portals.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.