If you have taken a flight out of Delhi this month after booking the ticket in May, you are entitled to a partial refund. But getting your money back won’t be easy.
The Delhi high court ordered the private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) on June 1 to stop collecting the airport development fee (ADF) of R200 from domestic passengers and Rs1,300 from international passengers. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation then asked airlines to refund passengers who had already paid the fee in advance bookings.
Every day, some 35,000 domestic and 17,000 international passengers fly out of Delhi. That adds up to about Rs3 crore a day as ADF for DIAL.
None of the airlines has, however, informed passengers they are supposed to get the ADF back. Passengers who are aware of this are not finding it easy to get the refund as state-owned Air India seems to be the only carrier that has put a refunding system in place.
“Those passengers who have booked tickets from our counters can collect the refund from any of our counters and others can collect it from their travel agents,” said an Air India spokesperson. “The amount will reach directly the accounts of those passengers who had booked tickets online.”
Private carriers, including Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, IndiGo and SpiceJet, couldn’t clarify how they are refunding passengers. A GoAir spokesperson said the money would be paid to Airports Authority of India.
“We have received many complaints in the last few days from passengers from Delhi who haven’t got their refunds,” said Sudhakar Reddy, president, Air Passenger Association of India. “Both the airlines and travel agents are passing the buck (to each other). How is a one-time traveller supposed to run around for a refund?”
Travel agents say airlines should inform passengers how to collect the refund.
“The onus is on passengers to collect the refund and it is the airlines’ responsibility to inform them,” said Rajji Rai, president, Travel Agent Association of India. “We are still refunding passengers approaching us because we know we will get the money back from airlines.”
Travel portals said they are refunding passengers on their own right now. “...We are refunding passengers who are aware, so that they wouldn’t have to shuttle between the airlines and us,” said Dhruv Shringi, chief executive of Yatra.com.
People who have booked a flight within last month for a flight in the past 20 days are eligible for the refund
The ADF for domestic passengers is Rs200 and international passengers is Rs1,300
None of the airlines have informed passengers that they are supposed to get this amount back and only those passengers who turned up to collect the amount, were given a refund.