- The issue of refund of tickets by airlines has become a major source of grievance amongst airline passengers. A large number of complaints are regularly received which can broadly be divided into the following categories :
While the Government is committed to no interference in the commercial practices of the airlines, the volume of the complaints necessitates some affirmative action to safeguard the interest of the travelling public. The matter has been discussed in several meetings with the airlines with no significant improvement in the system adopted by airlines for refund of tickets. It is, therefore, now considered necessary by Government to fix some minimum bench marks, as far as the refund policy is concerned in order to stem the growing dissatisfaction among the passengers regarding the refund procedures adopted by some airlines.
This CAR prescribes minimum requirements for refund of ticket purchased by persons/passengers with respect to air transport undertakings including scheduled domestic/non-scheduled operators/foreign carriers operating to/from India.
- Delay in refund of unused tickets.
- The amount which is refunded by the airlines against cancelled tickets.
- Policy of no refund of the ticket amount but to adjust against tickets to be purchased by the passenger for future travel in the same airline that too valid for a limited period of time.
This CAR is issued in public interest as per Rule 133A of the Aircraft Rules and Ministry of Civil Aviation Order No. AV 13030/105/2007-DT dated 12 May, 2008.
- In case of credit card payments, refund shall be made by the airlines within seven days of the cancellation to the account of credit card holder.
- In case of cash transactions, refund shall be made immediately by the airlines office from where the ticket was purchased.
- In case of purchase of ticket through travel agent/portal, onus of refund shall lie with the airlines as agents are their appointed representatives. The airlines shall ensure that the refund process is completed within 30 working days.
- The airlines shall refund all statutory taxes and User Development Fee (UDF)/Airport Development Fee (ADF)/Passenger Service Fee (PSF) to the passengers in case of cancellation/non-utilisation of tickets/no show. This provision shall also be applicable for all types of fares offered including promos/special fares and where the basic fare is non-refundable.
- 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 airlines should indicate in an unambiguous manner the amount of refund of money admissible on cancellation of a ticket. For this purpose, the amount and its break-up may be indicated on the ticket
itself or through separate form used for the purpose, and the policy and amount of refund shall also be displayed by the airlines on their respective websites.
- Under no circumstances, the airline shall levy cancellation charge more than the basic fare plus fuel surcharge.
- The airlines shall not levy any additional charge to process the refund.
- Foreign carriers operating to/from India shall refund the tickets in accordance with regulations of their country of origin. The mode of refund shall be in accordance with Para 3 (a), (b) & (c) of this CAR.
- Airline shall not levy any additional charge for correction in name of the same person, when error in his name spelling is pointed out by the passenger to the airline after booking of his ticket.