In good news for passengers, airlines will now have to reimburse 75 per cent of the ticket costs to flyers whose domestic flight tickets have been downgraded. According to the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) new norms, the reimbursement amount for the downgrade of international tickets will vary from 30 per cent to 75 per cent of the ticket costs, including taxes, depending on the distance covered by the particular flight.
The watchdog has amended its Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) pertaining to facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights. The new norms will be effective from February 15, a senior DGCA official said on Wednesday.
The aviation regulator has decided to amend the norms against the backdrop of complaints from air travellers about their tickets booked for a particular class being downgraded by airlines.
In December last year, the watchdog proposed that airlines should have to refund the full value of such tickets, including taxes. It also said that affected passengers should be flown free of cost in the next available class. However, according to the official, those proposals have been modified now in line with “international practices".
“The amendment will allow the passenger, who is downgraded involuntarily and is carried in a class lower than that for which the ticket is purchased, to be reimbursed by the airline," DGCA said in a statement on Wednesday. For the downgrade of a domestic flight ticket, the passenger concerned will get 75 per cent of the cost of the ticket, including taxes, from the airline.
In the case of a downgrade of an international ticket, a passenger will receive 30 per cent of the cost of the ticket, including taxes, for flights flying 1,500 kilometres or less. Inclusive of taxes, the amount will be 50 per cent of the flight covers a distance between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres, as per the statement.
The reimbursement amount will be 75 per cent of the cost of the ticket, including taxes, for flights covering more than 3,500 kilometres. The changes have been done to strengthen the rights of air travellers affected by the downgrading of their tickets, the regulator said.
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