By Rajas Salpekar
A PIL was filed by ‘Pravasi Legal Cell’ in the Supreme Court to declare the act of the airlines not refunding the air fare of cancelled air tickets due to COVID 19, illegal. The PIL was filed after the airlines affirmed that there will be no refund but the people will be allowed to book tickets in the next schedule, whenever lockdown is lifted.
The PIL challenged this decision as being violative of the 2008 DGCA guidelines. The PIL also mentioned that the 2008 DGCA guidelines keep the option of accepting credit shells at the prerogative of the customers and it can’t be enforced upon them.
The petition also raised a concern regarding the office memorandum released on April 16 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation which directed the airlines to refund the air fare to only those who had booked the tickets during first lockdown without charging any cancellation fees. The petition has claimed this memorandum to be ‘ambiguous and devoid of any logic’ as many people who had booked tickets before the first lockdown are left stranded.