Full Refund For Flight Tickets Booked During Lockdown: DGCA Tells SC

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The Directorate General Of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday in an affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court said that passengers who booked flight tickets during the entire lockdown period shall be eligible for the immediate refund of the fare by the airline.

The DGCA further said that as per Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), the tickets booked and cancelled post lockdown are also entitled to a full refund.

DGCA has filed the affidavit on behalf of the central government after the Supreme Court on 9th September had asked the government to clarify whether it is willing to provide complete refunds of air tickets booked for travel during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Here Is What DGCA Affidavit Stated:

  • Passengers who have booked tickets prior to lockdown for travel up to 24th May 2020 (as the calibrated domestic operation recommenced from 25th May 2020) refund of fares to the passengers covered under this category shall be governed by the proposed formulation related to credit shell and incentive scheme.
  • Passengers who booked tickets during lockdown for travel during lockdown passengers covered under this category shall be entitled to an immediate refund of the fare by the airline as the airlines were not supposed to book such tickets.
  • Passengers who booked tickets at any period of time but for travel after 24th May,2020
  • A refund of fares to the passengers covered under this category shall be governed by the provisions of CAR.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation Centre government has also clarified that the following categories of passengers are proposed to be covered under the formulation:

  • Passengers who had booked their tickets directly from the domestic airline for domestic travel.
  • Passengers who had booked their tickets through a travel agent (including OTA) for the domestic airline for domestic travel.
  • International travel passengers who had booked their ticket on an Indian carrier and the booking is ex-India.
  • International travel passengers who had booked their ticket on a foreign carrier and the booking is ex-India. Though the term ex-India is not defined in the Aircraft Act, 1934, and the Aircraft Rules, 1937, But in the aviation industry, this term denotes the flights which are originating from India.

Refund With Interest If Credit Shell Not Utilized

The affidavit further stated that if the passenger in whose name the ticket is booked doesn’t utilize the credit shell by 31 March 2021, then the airline will need to refund the amount of the ticket with interest to the agent/tour operator from whose account the ticket was booked.

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“Furthermore, it’s respectfully submitted that while processing refund of fares, the money has got to return to the same account from where it was received by the airline for eg. payments made through credit card or Net Banking,” the affidavit stated.

So if the ticket was booked through a tour operator, an agent, or an OTT, then in the case of refund, the money will return in the account of the same tour operator or agent from whose account the tickets were purchased.

The Supreme Court of India is expected to take a decision on the DGCA’s affidavit tomorrow (Wednesday) and pass orders.


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Also Read: Vande Bharat Mission: Offering Free Tickets Would Affect Airlines’ Finances

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