Aviation Ministry Proposes Nil Fee For Cancelling Tickets Within 24 Hours Of Booking

New Delhi: To improve flying experience in India, the Aviation Ministry on Tuesday proposed abolishing cancellation charges for domestic flight tickets if made within 24 hours of booking.

During this 24-hour ‘lock-in period’, passengers would be able to make correction in name or amend the travel date free of cost, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told mediapersons, while unveiling the draft air passengers charter here

However, tickets booked 96 hours before the flight, will not be eligible for the cancellation waiver. “No cancellations charges will be levied if the tickets are cancelled within 24 hours of booking, provided the ticket is booked 96 hours before flight departure,” the minister said.

Under the existing rules, different airlines charge varying amounts on cancellation. There have been several complaints by passengers about airlines refusing a refund or charging inordinately hefty amount.

Besides, if the flight is delayed for more than four hours, passenger will be offered a full refund along with free hotel stay if it has to take off the next day.

Here are a few more points from the charter discussed:

  • For missed connecting flights, airline has to compensate passengers.
  • A passenger shall get a full refund if flight cancellation is informed less than 24 hours before.
  • Passengers must be provided food and drinks if the plane is on the tarmac for more than an hour.
  • Passengers must be allowed to exit the plane if the time stretches to more than two hours.
  • Airline shall be liable to pay Rs 5,000 to the passenger if a connecting flight is missed because it was more than three hours late, Rs 10,000 is to be paid if the delay is four to 12 hours and Rs 20,000 it is any longer.
  • Airline is liable to be a minimum compensation of Rs 5000 (depending on the ticket price) if a passenger is denied boarding due to over-booking.
  • All the information must be provided as a part of reservation and ticket documentation, while the cancellation charges has to be printed on the ticket prominently in font size 12.

The charter has been placed in public domain and consultation process will be open for 30 days. The changes could be notified in two months after the consultation process, the government added.

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