Amidst the trying times of the outbreak of coronavirus disease, a sign of relief comes from the government for all the air travelers who booked their tickets during the first phase of the lockdown i.e. between March 25 to April 14, 2020. However, the refund is not for the travelers who booked their tickets before 25th March 2020.
The passengers who canceled their flights for being unable to travel during the lockdown period are eligible for the refund of the money they paid to the airlines. However, the aviation industry, which stands at the verge of collapsing, is finding it extremely difficult to repay the money to all the passengers including the ones who do not benefit from the new government orders. As a result of this, they are offering them leverage to postpone their travel dates to anytime during a period of one year.
Realizing the hardships faced by the passengers due to the unexpected cancellation of flights, the Office of the Director-General of Civil Aviation issued a circular announcing some relieves to them.
“In the current scenario, it would be appropriate if airlines support their passengers in this tough time by waving off cancellation/reschedule charges or by providing any other incentive,” the circular said.
The air travelers have been suffering from huge cancellation charges they had to pay for the not boarding the flights they didn’t even have any control over and the government has been facing a major public outcry regarding the same. Although, the relief is only for a bunch of people who booked their tickets on or before March 25, 2020, and planned to travel between March 25 and 3rd May (the extended lockdown date), others are just left waiting with an option to delay their travel plans.
“Tickets booked during first lockdown (March 25-April 14) for traveling during second lockdown (April 15- May 3, 2020) and for which payments were received by airlines during the first lockdown shall be refunded within three weeks from date of the request for cancellation by airlines without levy of cancellation charges.” aviation minister H S Puri Tweeted on Thursday.
This move by the government remains a partial relief for the customers and has still left the other air travelers in rage, waiting for some monetary relieves for them too.