refund: Good news for fliers: IndiGo, AirAsia start refunds to passengers

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NEW DELHI: In a great news for air passengers, India’s largest carrier in terms of market share IndiGo and AirAsia India have started refunding passengers for tickets that were booked on flights, which the airline had to cancel due to one reason or the other.

However, there is no clarity on the procedure or time to be taken to redeem credit shells issued to passengers, who were booked on fights that were cancelled during the lockdown announced by the government to contain the spread of virus.

“All passengers – booked on AirAsia and IndiGo – who want refund instead of credit shell would be refunded and we have started refunding money to customers in their bank account, as these airlines have also started refunding us,” said Nishat Pitti, CEO & co-founder at Easemytrip.com.

“According to me, it will boost trust factor among customers to book future tickets which are generally lower priced,” added Pitti.

Passengers of all other airlines, however, will have to wait till these airlines start refunding. But with market leader IndiGo starting the refund process, other airlines may follow soon.

Airline sources said that they have started refunding of tickets but dd not commit anything on the credit shells issued earlier.

“We have started refunding but It will take some time to refund every agent. The passenger who bought through the agent will have to (as they do now) apply to agent for the refund,” a senior airline executive said.

The airlines, however, said that it will take time till all credit shells issued in the past will be redeemed.

“Depends on date they booked and circumstances – as you know we (all airlines) have issued a lot of credit shells,” said the executive.

The government allowed domestic airlines to start operations from Monday this week and all airlines have been operating flight as per their schedule with minimal cancellation. Market leader IndiGo has not cancelled any flight during the first three days of operation – only cancellations have happened due to the order by state governments. National carrier Air India have, however, cancelled several flights since Monday.

It is estimated that all airlines have issued credit shells amounting to about Rs 6,000 crore against tickets cancelled during the two months of lockdown. And airlines have not given any word on how long will it take for them to refund those credit shells.



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