IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) has approached and requested Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep S. Puri to waive off all the corresponding penalties/ fees or other charges levied for ticket cancellations, refund, and reissue or rescheduling process.
IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) has issued a statement saying it has approached the Ministry of Civil Aviation to waiver penalties and charges on air tickets due to coronavirus. People who had booked tickets and who had to cancel their trips due to the pandemic are now seeking refunds, and the IAAI has requested the Ministry of Civil Aviation to help out travellers by waiving off their air travel charges keeping the current situation in mind.
The coronavirus, which emerged in China in December, has spread over to 114 countries, halting industry, bringing flights to a standstill, closing schools and forcing the postponement of sporting events and concerts. Concerning the unexpected and extraordinary situation emerged due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID -19) threat all over the world; many countries have imposed temporary entry restrictions on Indian Passengers. Also, our government has urged the people to postpone occasions such as weddings, public gatherings, and meetings or conferences until further instructions as a part of Coronavirus (COVID -19) preventive measures.
Considering the potential impact of the massive influenza (flu) outbreak, a large number of Indian Passengers were forced to Cancel and Refund or Reschedule their travel plans, not to mention that many foreign airlines have canceled their flight into/ out of India. Also, it was reported that certain airlines are charging penalties for cancellations and refunding as well as for date change and other process and fee.
In view of the current situation, on behalf of the travel agents and the traveling public at large, IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) has approached and requested Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep S. Puri to intervene and issue necessary directives to all airlines operating in India (To/From/Within) to treat the current situation as a “natural calamity” under “Force Majeure” and waive off all the corresponding penalties/ fees or other charges levied for ticket cancellations, refund, and reissue or rescheduling process.
However, if tickets issued with the clause “NON REFUNDABLE”, request that the authorities to permit REFUND without cancellation changes (penalty) for such cases or provide an alternate of crediting the same amount to the passenger for future travel on the same airline.