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DGCA Amends Flight Ticket Refund Rules

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 25, Jan 2023, 19:45 pm IST | UPDATED: 25, Jan 2023, 19:46 pm IST

DGCA Amends Flight Ticket Refund Rules

New Delhi:The Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) for passengers who are unable to board due to denied boarding, airline cancellations, or flight delays has been modified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). With the CAR modification, travellers who are unintentionally degraded and transported in a lower class than that for which the ticket was paid would receive reimbursement from the airline.

Airlines will reimburse 75 percent of the ticket costs to passengers whose domestic flight tickets have been downgraded, with aviation regulator DGCA putting in place new norms. For the downgrade of international access, the reimbursement amount will vary from 30 percent to 75 percent of the ticket costs, including taxes, depending on the distance covered by the particular flight.

The new norms will be effective from February 15, a senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Wednesday. The regulator decided to amend the norms against the backdrop of complaints from air travellers about their tickets booked for a particular class being downgraded by airlines.

In December last year, DGCA proposed that airlines should have to refund the total value of such tickets, including taxes, and also that affected passengers will be flown free of cost in the next available class.

However, the official said those proposals have been modified in line with international practices. The watchdog has amended its Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) pertaining to facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights, and delays in flights.

"The amendment will allow the passenger, who is downgraded involuntarily and is carried in a class lower than that for which the ticket is purchased, to be reimbursed by the airline," DGCA said in a statement on Wednesday. For the downgrade of a domestic flight ticket, the passenger concerned will get 75 percent of the ticket cost, including taxes, from the airline.

In the case of downgrading an international ticket, a passenger will receive 30 percent of the ticket cost of an international ticket; a passenger will receive 30 percent of the price of the ticket, including taxes, for flights flying 1,500 kilometers or less. Inclusive of taxes, the amount will be 50 percent if the flight covers a distance between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres, as per the statement.

The reimbursement amount will be 75 percent of the ticket cost, including taxes, for flights covering more than 3,500 kilometres. The regulator said that the changes had been done to strengthen the rights of air travellers affected by downgrading their tickets.

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