Supreme Court Petition Seeks Refund On Flight Tickets Cancelled During Lock Down

by Sanjana Shenoy
Supreme Court Petition Seeks Refund On Flight Tickets Cancelled During Lock Down

Amidst this chaos of the coronavirus, there are many Indians who, unfortunately, are stuck away from their homes. When the first lock down was over on 15th April, many Indian breathed a sigh of relief as they had their necessary airline tickets and a chance to go back home. However, with the second phase of lock down that glimmer of visiting home, seems far away now. In this chaos, a lot of people are demanding their tickets to be refunded.

What’s In It?

Recently, a petition was filed on Monday seeking directions that airline companies should fully refund tickets that were cancelled due to the lock down. This petition filed by the Pravasi Legal Cell also challenged an Office Memorandum (OM) dated April 16th, of the Civil Aviation Ministry which covers the refund of tickets booked during the lock down period alone. The Office Memorandum leaves out the majority of passengers who booked tickets before the flights were banned. It is further added that the OM indirectly approves the practice of airlines providing credit shell for booking effected before the lock down, though the same clearly violates the refund rules of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

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According to the petitioners, the Aviation Ministry order makes no logic. The petition further added that “There is no question of anyone booking a ticket during the lock down period knowing the fact that scheduled passenger flights were cancelled for a period of travel. This makes the Office Memorandum of the Ministry of Civil Aviation ambiguous and devoid of any logic. The office memorandum is in clear violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution in so far as directing the airlines to provide a full refund of ticket amount only if the ticket is booked during the lock down period for travel during the lock down, which amounts to treating equals unequally.”

Also Read: Australian Family Replicates 15-Hour Flight In Living Room Amid Lockdown

What’s More?

Back in 2008, an order by the DGCA clearly stated that “the option of holding the refund amount in credit shell by the airlines shall be the prerogative of the passenger and not a default practice of the airline.” The May 2008 DGCA mandated that refunds should be done within seven days from the cancellation date in case of credit card payments. In case of cash payment, the ticket refund should be made immediately. This Flight Attendant’s Work From Home Video Will Leave You In Splits

However, in light of the present situation, there has been a change. “Airlines, instead of providing the full refund of the amount collected for the tickets due to cancellation, are providing a credit shell, valid up to one year, which is in clear violation of the Civil Aviation Requirement of May 2008 issued by the DGCA,” the petition said. So for all those of you awaiting refunds for your cancelled flights, we hope you will not be disappointed.