New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed all airlines to refund the full value of tickets cancelled during the lockdown. The airlines are not allowed to deduct any cancellation charges as well.
The three-judge Bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, approved a credit shell scheme which will be valid for passengers till March 31, 2021.
Both domestic and international tickets cancelled will get the benefits.
Travel agents will have to refund the amounts after they receive it from the airlines.
The airlines have to do so within March 31 next year. But bookings made during lockdown for travelling during lockdown needs to be refunded immediately “as the airlines were not supposed to book such tickets,” the apex court said.
If a passenger booked a ticket during the lockdown period (from March 25 to May 24) for travel during lockdown period and the airline has received payment for booking of air ticket during the same period, for both domestic and international air travel and refund is sought by the passenger against that booking being cancelled, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without any cancellation charges. The refund shall be made within a period of three weeks from the date of cancellation, the order said.
“For those who made bookings prior to lockdown for a period up till May 24, the refund would be governed by the credit shell scheme and the incentives thereunder,” the court ruled.
“In all cases where credit shell is issued, there shall be an incentive to compensate the passenger from the date of cancellation up to June 30, 2020, in which event the credit shell shall be enhanced by 0.5 per cent of the face value for every month or part thereof between the date of cancellation and June 30, 2020. Thereafter the value of the credit shell shall be enhanced by 0.75 per cent of the face value per month up to March 31, 2021,” it said.