Air India offers special fares for crisis-hit Jet Airways' passengers

Travel agencies and online travel portals say refund would take more time than required | Photo: Reuters
Air India is offering special fares to passengers affected by Jet Airways grounding and has sought to lease five Boeing 777 planes from the airline to mount additional flights to London, Delhi, and Singapore.  

“As a gesture of goodwill and to mitigate hardship of Jet’s stranded passengers at international stations, Air India will be offering special fares to them," Air India said in a circular. Passengers holding confirmed return tickets on Jet will get a special standard fare in economy class on 19 international routes. 

According to online portal Cleartrip, fares for first half of April have been 15 per cent higher compared to same period last year while last-minute fares are 18 per cent higher over same period. 

Christina D’souza, a public relations consultant from Mumbai, had booked a Jet ticket  to travel from Budapest to his city via Amsterdam. “Jet suspended operations and I incurred Rs 34,000 more in booking a new ticket. An entire day was lost in co-ordinating flight tickets.” 

Sources said the amount of refunds owing to disrupted flights would be around Rs 2,000 crore while Jet has around Rs 800 crore held up with credit card companies and International Air Trans­port Association. 

IATA has, meanwhile, suspended Jet from the billing and settlement plan and cargo accounts settlement system around the world. “Passengers who purchased Jet tickets through IATA-accredited travel agents are advised to submit their refund only through them as soon as possible. The travel agent will then liaise with IATA and Jet to process the refund,” IATA said.

Jet said passengers need to contact agents, portals, or the airline website for refunds. A special page has been created for all flight disruption assistance and guests may opt for a full refund, it said. 

However, travel agencies and online travel portals indicated that the refund would take more time than required.  

“As Jet management mentioned that it will await bid finalisation, the refund process will likely take some more time. We are keeping our customers informed about their refund status and will be processing the same as soon as we receive it from the airline. We have opened special helpline numbers for them,” travel portal MakeMyTrip said in a statement.

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