Airlines to fully refund passengers for cancelled flights or tickets

Airlines to fully refund passengers for cancelled flights or tickets

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Achuthan Kutty started this petition to Airlines in India and

The global pandemic that we are facing has effectively stopped all travel, especially air travel. Domestic air travel is banned till April 14, 2020. 

Refunds from Airlines

While airlines in India have offered their paying customers a choice to reschedule their flights once on a free of cost basis or to cancel their tickets and credit the customers accounts in full, these are in effect, extremely restrictive conditions.

Some of these are explained below. 

How can a person decide when he or she could fly next to the same destination, given the uncertainties of today?

Or, why should the customer be forced to make a flight in the next 365 days from the time the original booking was made, when currently, the customer has no plans of any travel?

What if the event that the customer was initially going for, has been indefinitely postponed? 

This above may apply to customers who usually fly for business purposes, but they certainly do not apply to travelers who are going for an event or a holiday or for other personal reasons. Almost as if adding insult to injury, the Airlines also will not allow a transfer of credit. Which means that the same person who chose to fly now, has to fly yet again later. 

The response from the Indian Railways

The Indian Railways have done a wonderful job of offering full refunds for all tickets - there is no requirement to either revise the date of travel or gain credit, with subsequent travel as a caveat.  If this is what the Indian Railways can provide, why not the airlines?

The solutions provided by the Airlines may seem to be generous; but they do not take into account ground realities. They serve only to protect the revenue of the airlines and are in many ways, quite impractical.  Forcing people to fly for no reason at all, but to consume credit, is no sane reason at all.  

So what should be done?

Airlines must keep their customers interests at heart and offer their customers a full refund for all tickets on cancelled flights. This maybe done in two ways - a direct credit to customers, or via their travel agents as the case maybe. Permission to transfer the credit is a necessity to make this happen.   

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At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!