In a move that will add to the holiday cheer, domestic airlines will no longer charge Rs 3000 flat cancellation of a flight ticket. Instead of that flat amount, airlines will now charge "Rs 3,000 or base fare plus fuel surcharge per passenger, whichever is lower." This change in rule came after aviation minister Jayant Sinha voiced his concern over the flat Rs 3,000 as cancellation fee. He believes that it is too high.
The DGCA or Directorate General of Civil Aviation then wrote to the airlines asking them to provide data on cancellation charges. According to reports, the rules state that the cancellation charges cannot be more than the sum of the base fare and fuel surcharge.
This will come as a relief for passengers, most of who book air tickets well in advance and end up losing this sizeable sum in case they are unable to travel. However, if the base fare and the fuel surcharge amount to more than Rs 3,000, passengers will end up paying that amount.
The policy has now been altered in accordance with the DGCA rule.
"We believe cancellation charges are on the high side and onerous for passengers. The Rs 3,000 fee is in many cases more than the price of the ticket itself. Our UDAN (subsidised regional flying) scheme has capped fares at Rs 2,500 per hour of flying. These cancellation charges need to be brought back into balance," aviation minister Jayant Sinha said.
Sinha has ordered a review of the amount charged by airlines after the latest hike in cancellation charges.
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