cancelling multiple flights

Jet Airways customers struggle to get refunds on flight cancellations


BENGALURU: With Jet Airways in financial trouble and cancelling multiple flights, customers have been at the receiving end. Many have not been getting refunds on flight cancellations for nearly a month now.

Among those affected is Mohammed Muzamil, who lives in Bahrain and has been trying to get a refund of Rs 23,000 for a month. He’s trying to figure out how to file a case in Indian consumer courts. “I put in a request for refund on November 12, 2018 and followed it up with the airlines without getting a satisfactory response. I’m trying to see if an online complaint can be registered against it,” said Muzamil, adding, “I paid for the ticket using my credit card and it should be fairly easy to reverse it.”

As per a circular of the Director General of Civil Aviation on August 1, 2016, in case of credit card payments, refund is to be made by the airlines within seven days of cancellation to the credit card holder’s account.

The debt-laden Jet Airways, which is exploring avenues to raise capital, was recently in the news for measures to cut costs by cancelling free meals. Earlier this week, it cancelled 14 flights after pilots did not turn up for duty, protesting salary dues. Customers say even for flights cancelled by the airlines, they are not getting refund.

Sahil Khanna, a customer, said his flight got cancelled after all passengers checked in, yet no refund has been issued. For some customers, the wait has been longer than a month. Anuradha Roy (name changed) had booked a round-trip to Singapore costing Rs 46,300. She cancelled her trip in October, but is yet to receive a refund.

In response to an email, Jet Airways stated: “Refunds aren’t instantaneous and take due processing time – like in other companies. It normally takes between 7-10 days.”

When it comes to partial refunds, customers allege there are hassles with no proper follow-up. Mani Kadayam had booked three tickets for himself, wife Amrita and son Advay from Mumbai to Udaipur. But he had to undergo surgery after an accident. He cancelled his to-and-fro tickets. His return trip from Indigo was 100% refunded, after he showed the proof of his mother’s hospitalisation. But his onward trip refund from Jet Airways is still pending.

“Jet Airways said it would refund with a cancellation charge of Rs 3,000 per person. I can’t afford to lose close to Rs 10,000 now given that my mother is still in hospital, so I disputed the fee. I haven’t heard from them after that or got my money,” he rued.

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