Govt seeks ticket refund details from airlines as travel agents complain

Travel agents have complained of delays in processing of refunds, as several airlines have suspended the facility
The government has asked the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to share details of ticket refunds claimed from airlines.

 
Civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola asked for the information after a video call with travel agents and IATA representatives on Sunday, said the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) in a communication to its members.

 
The US Department of Transportation has ordered airlines to refund passengers for flights cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. In India, the government has issued an advisory to airlines.

 
Travel agents have complained of delays in processing of refunds, as several airlines have suspended the facility while making weekly payments of sales. Instead airlines have asked agents to make separate refund applications.

TAFI representatives demanded that refunds be processed in seven days and not through the refund application process, which can take up to two months. The agents also asked IATA to monitor financial health of member airlines to protect agents from defaults. Jyoti Mayal, president of Travel Agents Association of India, said customers will be refunded only after airlines credit the amount.

 
IATA informed civil aviation ministry that Rs 26 crore has already been refunded to agents while another Rs 71 crore will be credited in the next billing cycle.

 
"IATA is working directly with the civil aviation ministry regarding the information requested from us. We are not at liberty to share it as it pertains to commercial information of the airlines," a spokesperson said.


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