Air India to not charge fees for ticket cancellation done on booking day

Chennai: Air India has decided that from 1 May, if a customer wants to cancel his/her air ticket or make changes in it within 24 hours of booking, he or she will not be charged any fee.

The above was stated in an airline document but this facility will be available only if the flight is scheduled at least seven days after the booking date, state reports.

Indian aviation regulator DGCA had issued a ‘passenger charter’ on 27 February, which specified the rights of air travellers. One of the provisions in the passenger charter has been implemented by the national carrier through the aforementioned decision that will come into effect from 1 May.

The circular says…

A circular issued by Air India’s chairman and managing director (CMD), Ashwani Lohani, on 24 April said, ‘It has been decided that for sale and travel, effective 1 May, all domestic tickets will have the free look-in option for change and cancellation as prescribed by the DGCA.’

“The passenger has an option of cancelling or amending the ticket without any additional charges, that is cancellation or change fee is not applicable, when the same is done within 24 hours of ticketing,” it added.

However, according to the circular, the normal prevailing fare and the related fare conditions on a particular flight – for which the ticket is being sought – will be applicable.

Moreover, the circular stated that the facility “shall not be available for a flight whose departure is scheduled less than seven days from the booking date”.

“Beyond 24 hours of initial booking time, this option is not available and the passenger has to pay the relevant cancellation/change fees for amendment,” it added.

Technical glitch

The airline’s flights across the network today were affected since 3 am due to SITA’s passenger and baggage handling system being down, stated reports.

The system resumed at 9 am and a string of delayed flights followed. AI is rescheduling flights to clear the backlog and flight delays of abour two hours were witnessed. SITA is an air transport IT and communications specialist.

Supervising the situation at Delhi Airport, Ashwani Lohani, told the media, “The SITA system is down. Their team is working on it in Atlanta and we are at airports to try to best handle this situation. Small airports that have one or two flights can manage by doing the processes manually but at hubs with multiple flights across the world, the same can’t be done.”

In other news
The grounding of India’s Jet Airways is turning into a quick windfall and long-term opportunity for international airlines keen to scoop up nearly a million outbound passengers from what was once the nation’s biggest airline, reports state.

Due to rising demand, even before Jet’s lessors grounded planes, carriers such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines saw an up to a 27 per cent increase in passenger numbers from India in the last quarter of 2018, data from India’s aviation regulator show.

Jet, which previously had a fleet of around 120 largely Boeing Co planes, was forced to indefinitely halt all flight operations on 17 April.

NT Bureau