Cancelling air ticket to become cheaper as airlines list a flat fee

New Delhi, December 22, 2017: Domestic airlines on Monday listed a flat cancellation fee of Rs 3000 or base fare plus fuel surcharge per passenger, whichever is lower, bringing relief to passengers who were charged heavily for cancelling a ticket, reported Indian Express.

“Rs 3,000 or base fare plus fuel surcharge per passenger, whichever is lower,” various airlines website displayed.

The reduction in prices comes after the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha expressed concern over Rs 3,000 as a cancellation fee “being too high”, following which the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had written to the airlines, asking them for data on cancellation charges.

Sinha, on several occasions, had mentioned that in many cases the cancellation charge exceeded the price of air ticket and had urged the airlines to bring them down.

As per the rules, the cancellation charge should not exceed more than the sum of the base fare and fuel surcharge according to moneycontrol.com.

“Under no circumstances, the airline shall levy cancellation charge more than the basic fare plus fuel surcharge. The airlines shall not levy an additional charge to process the refund,” according to the rules stated under the part II of Section-3 in civil aviation requirement (CAR).

Many travel booking websites believe that the move will benefit the passengers, especially the ones travelling for a shorter distance as the fare is lower than Rs 3,000.

“In a move that will definitely bring cheer to passengers, domestic airlines have revised their cancellation charges… This move will come as a respite for flyers, especially those who book their tickets well in advance in order to get cheaper prices… The move will also help in lowering customer grievances, which are largely around the issue of the quantum of charges levied on cancellations,” Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C), Yatra.com told the paper.

According to the reports published in moneycontrol.com the move will benefit at least 10-15 percent of the travellers who book their tickets well in advance but lose their money on cancellation, John Nair, Head, Business Travel, Cox & Kings, told the paper.

Airlines, including Vistara, Indigo and Go Air said their cancellation fee was always in accord with the DGCA rules.

“At Vistara, the cancellation fee has always been the lower of base fare (which includes fuel surcharge) or cancel fee. Taxes plus airport fees are always refunded… Travel agents may levy own service fee as well, which is not in our control… Vistara’s cancellation charges have always been compliant with the regulations. And we also have flex fares with nil change and cancel fees,” a spokesperson from Vistara airlines told the paper.

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