Airlines, travel company fined for failing to refund Chandigarh resident’s flight ticket - Hindustan Times

Airlines, travel company fined for failing to refund Chandigarh resident’s flight ticket

By, Chandigarh
Sep 08, 2023 03:02 AM IST

The Chandigarh resident’s return flight from Melbourne had been cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic

The district consumer disputes redressal commission has directed Air India and a travel agency to refund the air ticket amount of around 40,000 to a city resident and pay 20,000 as compensation for her flight was cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commission directs airlines, company to refund amount and pay <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>20k compensation. (Shutterstock)
Commission directs airlines, company to refund amount and pay 20k compensation. (Shutterstock)

The complainant, Narinder Kaur of Sector 44 had filed a complaint against Air India through and through their directors, both of whom have branch offices in Chandigarh.

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Kaur, in her complaint, revealed that she planned to visit Melbourne in February 2020 and had booked a return air ticket from New Delhi. The flight, however, was cancelled amid the pandemic-induced lockdown and she tried to get a seat through Vande Bharat Mission from Australia.

She was then compelled to purchase a fresh ticket for her return journey in April since the opposing parties did not adjust/accommodate her on the old ticket. She returned to Delhi on July 19, 2020.

Kaur contended that the Union ministry of civil aviation had already announced that there will be a full refund for booking and travel during the lockdown period without cancellation, but the opposition parties had still not refunded the amount on her return ticket.

Air India resisted the consumer complaint and stated that there is no deficiency in service on their part as the woman had bought the ticket from, which is a third party platform. It added that Air India does not track status of the ticket once it has been sold to a third party.

Whereas, alleged that users of the answering opposing party are bound by the terms and conditions of master user agreement and as per the said agreement any dispute arising between the user and the answering opposing party shall be subject to exclusive jurisdiction of court of Gurgaon, Haryana and the commission has no jurisdiction.

It added that they are an intermediary and therefore, do not incur any liability on the travel ticket booked by the complainant from an independent airline.

The forum observed that the notification issued by the Union ministry clearly indicates that airlines were directed to refund the full amount collected without levy of cancellation charges during the lockdown period.

“As the case of the complainant is duly covered under the above said notification, yet the opposition parties have not refunded the amount of return ticket to the complainant for which she was entitled despite of the repeated requests made by the complainant. The aforesaid act of the opposition parties’ amounts to deficiency in service and indulgence in unfair trade practice,” the forum observed.

It directed the opposition parties to refund the price of return ticket of 39,676 to the complainant with interest @9% per annum from the date when the return journey was to be performed by the complainant, April 25, 2020, till payment.

It also directed them to pay 10,000 as compensation for causing mental agony and harassment to her to pay 10,000 as costs of litigation.

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