Relief is on your way if you had booked an air ticket for travel between 25 March to 3 May 2020 – the government has directed all airlines to refund the fares without deducting any cancellation charge either.
A circular dated 16 March 2020 issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation reads, “If a passenger has booked a ticket during the first lockdown period and the airline has received the payment for booking of air ticket during the first lockdown period (25 March to 14 April) for travel during the second lockdown period (15 April to 3 May) for both domestic and international air travel, the airline shall refund the full amount with levy of cancellation charges.”
Ticket Refund: Important Points To Note:
- Airlines have been directed to issue refunds within three weeks of the claim being made
- Those who had booked their flight tickets for the first phase of the lockdown i.e. 25 March to 14 April, can seek a complete refund without cancellation charge being levied. In case they have been refunded a partial amount, they can request for the entire amount to be refunded.
- Those who had booked their travel for between 15 April and 3 May, the second phase of lockdown, will also get a complete refund on the cancelled flight ticket. This applies if the airlines had received the payments for the cancelled trips during the first phase of lockdown. If applicable, the passenger will be refunded the amount with no cancellation charge.
- “Convenience fee” or any other charges levied by travel agents or ticket booking sites will not be refunded.
- In cases where the booking was made prior to the first lockdown period but the travel was for during the lockdown period, most airlines will have to put the money in a “shell account”, which can be used by passengers for travel at a later date, for upto one year.
What is a Shell Account?
A Shell Account is a credit note that is automatically created by the airlines against suspended flights, cancelled flights, or other such exigencies. The passenger in such cases can use the credit note for future bookings for up to one year. This, however, depends on the terms and conditions of the airlines.
How to Redeem the Credit Shell?
- Click on the official website where you made the booking
- Search for the flight you wish to make a booking for
- On the payment page, select ‘use credit shell’
- Enter your PNR/Booking reference number and follow it with your e-mail ID/last name
- Enter the mobile number linked to your booking, if you are a guest user
- If you are a guest user, enter the OTP you receive on your mobile number
- As a final step click on the ‘Redeem’ button to complete the process.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)