The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to probe the sharp hike in ticket cancellation charges by low-cost airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet and full-service carrier Jet Airways .
A DGCA official said the three airlines have unilaterally hiked their ticket cancellation charges and the issue is being looked into adding carriers need to rationalise these charges, which must be reasonable.
The Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) said that it would also approach the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on the issue. APAI national president Sudhakar Reddy said, "We had lodged a complaint with the DGCA two months ago when IndiGo and Jet Airways had gone in for a steep hike in ticket cancellation charges. However, nothing came out of the complaint and now even SpiceJet has followed suit in increasing its cancellation charges."
Reddy added that APAI would lodge a formal complaint with the CCI on Monday to have the matter examined as an incident of cartelisation and an unfair business practice. "Earlier, airlines would hike or lower their fares in tandem. Now, they are doing the same in the matter of cancellation. This is also cartelisation."
SpiceJet had on Saturday raised ticket cancellation charges for both domestic as well as international travel. According to the revised fees, which came into immediate effect, the airline would now deduct Rs 1,800 as cancellation fees for a domestic ticket while the charges for cancelling an international ticket would be Rs 2,250. Spicejet had followed in footsteps of IndiGo and fullservice airline Jet Airways both of which had steeply increased cancellation charges two months ago.
IndiGo's cancellation charges range between Rs 1,250 and Rs 2,250 depending on the number of days left before scheduled departure. Minimum cancellation charges, which have been pegged at Rs 1,250, are applicable only if the ticket has been cancelled one month or more before the date of departure. Jet's ticket cancellation charges range between Rs 500 and Rs 2,750 depending on the class of fare.