SC approves proposal on air tickets refund

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New Delhi: In a big relief to thousands of air passengers, the Supreme Court on Thursday approved the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s proposal on air tickets refund and credit shell on flights booked prior and during lockdown.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and M R  Shah said the court cannot lose sight of the present situation prevailing in the country and across the globe in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, and it cannot be disputed that the civil aviation sector, which is one of the important sectors, is seriously affected in view of the ban imposed for operating flights.

“If a passenger has booked a ticket during the lockdown period (from March 25 to May 24) for travel during lockdown period and the airline has received payment for booking of air ticket for travel during the same period, for both domestic and international air travel and the refund is sought by the passenger against that booking being cancelled, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without any cancellation charges. The refund shall be made within a period of three weeks from the date of cancellation,” said the top court.

The verdict has come on a plea filed by NGO Pravasi Legal Cell through advocate Jose Abraham.

The bench added that if the tickets have been booked during the lockdown period through a travel agent for a travel within the lockdown period, in all such cases full refund shall be given by the airlines immediately.