Experts, passenger associations want airlines to stop advance bookings

Airlines are not offering a full refund for cancelled flights and instead are holding ticket amount in a credit shell for future booking.
Domestic and international flights will be suspended till May 3 as the central government has extended the lockdown. Passenger associations and experts want airlines to stop advance bookings until resumption is certain.

 
“The railway ministry has ruled that there will be no advance bookings on trains until further notice. The civil aviation ministry should similarly instruct airlines to halt unfair practice of taking advance bookings until resumption is certain and an interim transition schedule has been established,” aviation consultancy CAPA said in a tweet on Tuesday evening.

The first phase of the 21-day lockdown ended on Tuesday. All airlines except Air India were accepting bookings for domestic flights beyond April 14 but now those would be cancelled as the government has extended the lockdown.

Airlines, however, are not offering a full refund for cancelled flights and instead are holding the ticket amount in a credit shell for future bookings.

 
IndiGo has announced limited resumption of flights from May 4 while GoAir has extended its ‘Protect Your PNR’ scheme offering free rescheduling of tickets.

“Some carriers have opened full schedule for sale from May 4. Even if flights resume from that date, which is not certain, it is highly unlikely that full operations will resume from Day One. Moreover, flight cancellations are almost inevitable, resulting in more passenger funds in credit,” CAPA said.

 
D Sudhakara Reddy, president of Air Passengers Association of India, said in a tweet that inquiry should be carried out and action taken against airlines for not giving refund to passengers for flights after April 14. Airlines have pocketed the ticket money and are only offering credit shell or vouchers to flyers, he added.

 


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel