The Supreme Court has pronounced the verdict on the airline refund case that was led by Pravasi Legal Cell. It has accepted all recommendations made by DGCA regarding refund of airfare to passengers for tickets booked during the lockdown, whereby agents will get a full refund for tickets booked by them, and not directly to the passengers. Both, the Indian Tour Operators Association of India (IATO) and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) had filed petitions in court.
Pradip Lulla, Acting President and Vice President, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) says, “Tickets purchased through travel agents will be refunded back to them as well as the credit coupons of passengers booked through agents. The refund deadline for airlines is 31 March, 2021.” The judgement copy stated, ‘It is the case of the petitioner that where the tickets are booked by travel agents from their account, refund should be made in the same manner and channel though which payments for tickets have been received by airlines.’ Refund for tickets will only be applicable for flights originating in India, both domestic and international. There cannot be any refund for flights originating out of India, irrespective of whether it is an Indian or an international carrier flying into India. For those who made bookings prior to lockdown up till May 24, refund would be governed by the credit shell scheme. For bookings made during lockdown for travelling during lockdown, refund shall be made by airlines immediately.