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[Airfare Refunds] Credit Shell Facility Only For Passengers Who Booked Tickets Directly, Not For Travel Agents: Centre Tells SC

Sanya Talwar
25 Sep 2020 4:41 AM GMT
[Airfare Refunds] Credit Shell Facility Only For Passengers Who Booked Tickets Directly, Not For Travel Agents: Centre Tells SC
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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has clarified before Top Court the credit shell scheme shall only be offered to passengers and not to travel agents.In the ongoing case pertaining to airfare refunds for flights booked during lockdown, centre has also stated Court that the airfare refunds will only be applicable for flights originating in India, both domestic and...

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has clarified before Top Court the credit shell scheme shall only be offered to passengers and not to travel agents.

In the ongoing case pertaining to airfare refunds for flights booked during lockdown, centre has also stated Court that the airfare refunds will only be applicable for flights originating in India, both domestic and international bound.

There cannot be a refund for flights originating out of India, regardless of national or international carriers.

"... the said flights are governed by the regulatory mechanism of the country of origin, irrespective of the fact whether the carrier is Indian or not."DGCA

The clarification comes after a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah sought a response from the Centre as to whether facility of credit shells could apply to tickets booked through Travel Agents.

"The travel agent, if any, involved in the purchase of any ticket on behalf of any passenger remains only a via-media, leaving the principal contract between the airlines and the passenger only, which is the only mode recognized under the regulatory mechanism of the DGCA." - the Centre said.

Elaborating on the above, It has clarified that the DGCA no role in this "private contract" which deals with pre-blocking of slots/seats for commercial gains & that the role of DGCA reflects on the direct bookings made by passengers.

"It is stated that as per the existing regulations, once a ticket is issued by the airlines in the name of an identified passenger, his/her name and other particulars become part of the 'passenger manifest' (meaning when a seat is booked on a scheduled flight in the name of an identified traveller)", reads the reply.

Additionally, where tickets have been issued by the airlines through a travel agent, but the passenger(s) are yet to pay for the same to the travel agent, falls within a category, where again, there are private contracts between the travel agent/ corporate houses with the airlines, the DGCA has stated.

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