The aviation safety regulator on Wednesday rapped domestic airlines after frequent complaints from fliers over ticket refunds and set new timelines.
According to the warning note issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), it had been dealing with three kinds of refund-related grouses.
These included late refunds, disagreement over the value of refund and airlines that offer to adjust refund money against future travel with them.
“While the government is committed to not interfere in the commercial practices of 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 for refund of tickets,” read the note sent out by the DGCA chief M Sathiyavathy.
From August 1, airlines will have to follow new timelines for refunds, added the directive. For instance, ticket bought on credit cards should be refunded within seven days while cash should be returned immediately. Even for those buying tickets through travel agents, providing refunds would be the airline’s job, it added.
The note added that airlines must return statutory taxes such as airport development fee and offer complete fare break up while offering refunds.