Government Should Make Cancellation Charges Uniform Across Airlines, Recommends a Panel

According to a Parliament panel, the cancellation charges of air tickets are not regulated by the government, which results in airlines charging different cancellation charges for the same starting and destination points.

Highlights:

  • The panel recommended prescribing an upper limit for the cancellation charges collected from the passengers.
  • The panel raised concerns on the vacancies in AAI, especially not pacing up the hiring of ATCs.
  • A survey by LocalCircles had found that only 29% of people receive full refunds on ticket cancellations.

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A Parliament panel raised a request in Rajya Sabha to implement uniform air ticket cancellation charges across all airlines. The suggestion is to prescribe an upper limit for the cancellation charges that can be collected from the passengers. It raised a concern that the cancellation charges are currently not regulated by the government, resulting in considerable differences in the charges levied by various carriers.

“The committee feels that it defies logic that flights of different airlines on a particular sector having the same starting and destination points, and where the duration of the flight is also the same, should have different cancellation charges. The committee, therefore, strongly recommends that there should be uniform cancellation charges across all airlines,” said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture in a report tabled in the Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, the panel also appreciated the Ministry of Civil Aviation for its efforts to issue guidelines to all airports and airlines directing them to extend their facilities to the passengers in the event of ticket cancellations or flight delays.

In another report tabled by the same panel, the body expressed concerns about the vacancies at the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The vacancies can seriously impact the operational efficiencies of AAI, especially Air Traffic Controllers (ATC). While acknowledging the steps taken by the civil aviation ministry in closing the vacancies, it suggested that the aviation ministry should strictly adhere to the time schedule in completing the required procedures for hiring as there is an urgent need to fill up the ATC vacancies.

Only 29% of travellers get a full refund on ticket cancellations

If to recall a survey conducted by a community social media platform, LocalCircles, last month, it was found that only 29% of the respondents received full refunds for the ticket from airlines and travel agents. The respondents comprised 20,000 travellers from 332 districts across India, of which 62% were men and 38% were women. Among the respondents, 14% of people received partial refunds. With the COVID-19 pandemic predominantly continuing, air ticket cancellations are huge, and government must fix a nominal slab for the same to reduce airlines looting passengers.

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Reporter

Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain.

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