Lockdown extension | Airlines invite flyers#39; wrath as flights remain grounded until May 3, many demand full refund

Lockdown extension | Airlines invite flyers#39; wrath as flights remain grounded until May 3, many demand full refund

Many private carriers that have accepted bookings from April 15 onwards on their domestic network are drawing flak from air passengers as the Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to suspend all flights until May 3.

Travel plans of many who had made flight bookings for dates after April 14 have been disrupted by the ministry directive. The move followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the decision to extend the ongoing nationwide lockdown until May 3.

In fact, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, during a video conference with the media earlier this month, had said that airlines could take bookings for domestic flights after April 14, and the carriers would have to follow the current protocol if the lockdown was extended. However, national carrier Air India decided to play safe and took ticket bookings only for post-April 30 dates. Now, the decision to resume bookings from April 15 onwards has landed private airlines such as IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara in hot water.

Soon after the aviation ministry’s directions came in, people who made flight bookings for the period took to Twitter to raise their concerns. While many people wanted to know the status of their flights since there was no update on the respective airlines’ websites, several others have been demanding nothing less than a full and immediate refund.

My flight 6E 2037 has also been cancelled?? Please share the stats as the same showing ON TIME on your site.

— Deepanshi Jaiswal (@DeepanshiJaisw5) April 14, 2020

Sir, the Airline cancellation is due to the lock-down imposed to manage the outbreak of corona virus. Thus we’re providing a credit note of the same booking amount to our customers which can be used for their future travel. please visit https://t.co/NBfJSGop0D for details. ~Lisa

— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) April 14, 2020

Hi, flight operations stand suspended till 3rd May’20. Further, we are working on the necessary steps and request you to stay tuned with us for further updates.

— SpiceJet (@flyspicejet) April 14, 2020

Hi, we request you to kindly stay tuned to our connection https://t.co/It6A1JVDPu for further updates.

— GoAir (@goairlinesindia) April 14, 2020

@flyspicejet Please let me know the fate of my flight which was already re-sheduled to 30th Apr!

— Zaheer (@zaheeralam) April 14, 2020

Several airlines such as GoAir, SpiceJet and IndiGo have given customers the option of creating a credit shell for the amount of their cancelled flight ticket, a sort of coupon which can be redeemed within a year. Meanwhile, cancellation of tickets in many cases would involve a deduction of charges, which would mean a loss on the part of the customer.

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