Domestic airlines scrap flat Rs3,000 flight cancellation charge

Airlines will henceforth stop charging a flat Rs3,000 for cancellation of tickets on their domestic flights and has accordingly revised their ticket cancellation fee structure.

The decision follows a recent directive by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to airlines to review the hefty air ticket cancellation fee for domestic flights.

Instead of charging a flat Rs3,000 cancellation fee, airlines will now charge the base fare plus fuel surcharge or Rs3,000 per passenger, whichever is lower.

Instead of cancellation fee, the new rule approved by the DGCA is titled 'Refund of airline tickets to passengers of public transport undertakings', although it remains a cancellation fee.

"The issue of refund of tickets by airlines has become a major source of grievance amongst airline passengers. A large number of complaints are regularly received which can broadly be divided into the following categories: a) Delay in refund of unused tickets. b) Amount refunded against cancelled tickets. c) Policy of no refund of the ticket amount but to adjust against tickets to be purchased by the passenger for future travel and that too for the same airline and for a limited time period,'' says a press note issued by the aviation authority. 

This move is expected to bring respite to flyers especially to those who book their tickets well in advance in order to get cheaper prices.

This will offer some respite to the passengers who purchase airline tickets well in advance to take advantage of lower fares. In some cases where tickets are booked at lower rates the cancellation cost would take away the entire fare.

In a bid to make flying affordable to the masses, the government has launched Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), also known as UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) with fares capped at Rs2,500 km per hour of flight.

The scheme also aims at improving air-connectivity to tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

The airlines that win rights to operate RCS flights are required to offer half of their seating capacity at discounted rates in return for which they get government subsidy.