Two months after the Ministry of Aviation resumed domestic travel after the restrictions on restrictions were relaxed, passengers are still struggling to get the ticket refund that was canceled due to the Covid-19 outbreak in March.
This was disclosed in a report by DGCA in June when the aviation authority received 78.5% passenger complaints citing refund issues.
The report also found that 62% of flights were canceled for commercial reasons (low passenger load and clubbing of two flights).
However, the DGCA does not make the total number of complaints received by passengers publicly available.
“It is an unfair business practice to not refund passengers for cancellations owing to unavoidable circumstances, amid the Covid-19 restrictions,” said Vipul Saxena, former pilot and aviation expert, adding that DGCA should extend its refund order, as air travel in Unlock-2 is a non-essential sector and airlines are being allowed to operate only in restricted mode.
According to industry experts, travel is expected to return to normalcy only by the year-end.
“Airlines refused to refund passengers for their booked tickets, and instead converted them as open tickets that can be used for travel till March 2021. Despite airlines offering schemes to attract passengers, the demand has been low, as only stranded passengers may want to travel,” said a senior official from the commercial department of an airline.