Full Refund For Air Tickets Booked Amid Lockdown: What Supreme Court Said

New Delhi: Airlines will have to refund money collected from tickets that were cancelled following the coronavirus induced lockdown without any cancellation charge, the Supreme Court said today. The three-judge Bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, passed the order after taking into account the recommendations of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to refund ticket…

Full Refund For Air Tickets Booked Amid Lockdown: What Supreme Court Said

New Delhi:

Airlines will have to refund money collected from tickets that were cancelled following the coronavirus induced lockdown without any cancellation charge, the Supreme Court said today. The three-judge Bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, passed the order after taking into account the recommendations of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to refund ticket fares and also approved a credit shell scheme which will be valid till March 31.

The judgement applies for bookings made for both domestic and international tickets during the period.

Those who have purchased tickets through travel agents can collect the refund amount from them once the money is credited back to their account, the court said.

The airlines have been given time to refund the amount to the passengers by March 31 next year, it said. But bookings made during lockdown for travelling during lockdown needs to be refunded immediately “as the airlines were not supposed to book such tickets,” the court said.

“If a passenger booked a ticket during the lockdown period (from March 25 to May 24) for travel during lockdown period and the airline has received payment for booking of air ticket for travel during the same period, for both domestic and international air travel and refund is sought by the passenger against that booking being cancelled, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without any cancellation charges. The refund shall be made within a period of three weeks from the date of cancellation, the order said.

“On such refund, the amount shall be passed on immediately by the agent to the passengers,” it said.

“For those who made bookings prior to lockdown for a period up till May 24, the refund would be governed by the credit shell scheme and the incentives thereunder,” the court ruled.

Refund amount for tickets purchased for travelling on dates after May 24 would be governed by the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), it said.

“Even for international travel, when the tickets have been booked on an Indian carrier and the booking is ex-India, if the tickets have been booked during the lockdown period for travel within the lockdown period, immediate refund shall be made,” the order said.

“If the tickets are booked for international travel on a foreign carrier and the booking is ex-India during the lockdown period for travel within the lockdown period, full refund shall be given by the airlines and said amount shall be passed on immediately by the agent to the passengers, wherever such tickets are booked through agents. In all other cases airline shall refund the collected amount to the passenger within a period of three weeks,” it added.

The court has asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation to issue compliance notification in the matter.

The credit shell issued in the name of the passenger can be utilized upto March 31, 2021, the bench said, adding that the and the concerned airline shall honour such a transfer by devising a mechanism to facilitate such a transfer.

“In all cases where credit shell is issued there shall be an incentive to compensate the passenger from the date of cancellation upto June 30, 2020, in which event the credit shell shall be enhanced by 0.5 per cent of the face value for every month or part thereof between the date of cancellation and June 30, 2020. Thereafter the value of the credit shell shall be enhanced by 0.75 per cent of the face value per month upto March 31, 2021,” it said.

It court also made it clear that such credit shell can be utilised by the concerned agent through whom the ticket is purchased, for third-party use.

The order came on a batch of petitions seeking the refund of air airfare to passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

With inputs from agencies

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Corona Virus (COVID_19)

Stay Home Stay Safe

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

More COVID-19 Advice