Wondering how to get a refund for your unexpectedly cancelled tickets? From filing an RTI to approaching consumer courts, here's how this man did it.
What can you do if your flight is cancelled or delayed beyond two hours?
For frequent fliers travelling on business or those seeking to fulfil an urgent family-related commitment, such cancellations and delays are a serious nuisance.
Back in 2016, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation listed out a set of guidelines on the compensation fliers are eligible for in the event their flight is cancelled or delayed beyond two hours.
Airlines have to pay compensation up to Rs 20,000 for denying a passenger a chance to board the flight, despite having everything in place (tickets, boarding pass and security check clearance).
For cancellation or delays beyond two hours, a passenger can avail compensation of up to Rs 10,000.
However, if the flight is cancelled or delayed due to reasons beyond the control of the airlines, i.e., force majeure, you aren’t eligible for compensation.
Earlier this week, a consumer court in Mumbai directed that Go Air pay Jayesh Pandya, a resident of Vile Parle, a little over Rs 98,000 as compensation.
Pandya had purchased tickets worth Rs 50,000 for 25 guests who were attending his daughter’s wedding, and they were to fly on February 17, 2015. Unfortunately, the carrier had cancelled the flight.
“I had made the wedding pooja arrangements based on the flight timings. In January 2015, I contacted the airlines to submit the passengers’ names. They, then, informed me the flight was cancelled. They offered no reasons,” Pandya told the forum, according to the Hindustan Times.
With no response forthcoming, Pandya then bought tickets for 24 passengers on a different airline for Rs 88,816.
Despite repeated requests for reimbursement, the only response he received from Go Air was a provision for a credit voucher worth Rs 3,000 and a promise that the refund would be processed soon.
After not hearing from the airline for a few days, he filed an RTI query with the DGCA about the change in the schedule of the Go Air flight originally scheduled for February 17, 2015.
Responding to the RTI, the DGCA told Pandya that there was no change in timings. In November 2016, he finally filed a complaint in a local consumer court.
The court found that the airline had made a false submission, and asked them to refund the Rs 50,000 for the original set of tickets he bought, Rs 38,816 for the additional amount he paid to another airline and Rs 10,00 as further compensation.
The process took a little over two years, but Pandya is glad that he finally found justice.
Read more about how you can approach a consumer court here.
In an earlier article on a similar issue, The Better India had listed out everything you need to know about what a passenger is entitled to in the event a flight is cancelled or delayed. Read it here.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)