Online travel firm told to refund ticket fare to passenger

  • Gulam Jeelani, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Feb 04, 2016 11:36 IST

A consumer court in Gurgaon has directed an online travel company to refund the air ticket fare to a passenger for a flight that was cancelled three years ago.

Holding the online travel company, MakeMyTrip, guilty of deficiency in service, the court also asked it to pay Deepak Raghava, a resident of Civil Lines, compensation for harassment and mental agony.

MakeMyTrip had not refunded the ticket fare of Rs. 5,188 despite the airline, Jet Konnect, transferring the amount to the online portal.

Raghava had booked a flight from Delhi to Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) scheduled for February 5, 2013 on MakeMyTrip’s website. He had paid Rs. 5,188.

But, on January 31, 2013, he received a message from the website that the flight had been cancelled and he had to book another flight from Delhi to Lucknow.

Despite taking up the matter with the company several times, Raghava was not refunded the ticket fare, which is supposed to be returned within 72 hours. What made things worse was that the company did not respond to the legal notice served by the passenger.

Alleging deficiency in service, Raghava approached the district consumer disputes redressal forum in Gurgaon seeking a refund of the ticket amount and a compensation of Rs. 50,000 for harassment and mental agony. He also wanted the court to direct the company to pay him Rs. 22,000 as litigation cost.

During the series of hearings, the three-member panel, comprising Subhash Goyal, Jyoti Siwach and Surendra Singh Balyan, observed that the online company was guilty of deficiency in service.

“The contention raised by the online company that it had not received the refund from the airline is false. The deficiency in services was on part of the company and not the airline,” the court said in its verdict on January 29.

“Therefore, we direct the opposite party (the online travel company) to refund the booking amount (Rs. 5,188) with an interest of 9% from the date of booking till realisation,” the order said.

The complainant is also entitled to compensation for harassment and mental agony as well as litigation expenses to the tune of Rs. 5,000, the order said.

Officials of MakeMyTrip said they would abide by the court’s order. “We are yet to receive the certified copy of the court’s order. We will decide on the next course of action once we receive the order,” said MakeMyTrip spokesperson in an email reply to HT.

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