The Civil Aviation Ministry of India has scrapped off all cancellation charges for air tickets, but only if the cancellation is made within 24 hours of booking – and that is at least four days prior to the date of journey.

There has been some relief in the air as the Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu announced some air-passenger friendly rules and proposals under the first draft of “Passenger Charter of Rights”. As per this draft, India’s civil aviation ministry has proposed the proposal that everyone had been waiting for years – lower air ticket cancellation charges. Also, since it is summer and passengers wanting to travel up there must be treated with summer bonanza, the ministry has completely scrapped off the cancellation charges on tickets there were booked at most 24 hours prior to cancellation.  This simply means that for air departures scheduled more than four days later, travellers can now cancel tickets, free of cost, within 24 hours of booking the journey – the refund also includes all the taxes that were levied with the air ticket.

The draft also suggest that airline or its booking agents cannot charge cancellation fee that is higher than the price of the air ticket. Furthermore, air travellers will be allowed to amend journey details within 24 hours of booking, without any penalties or extra charges. There is even more, if any flight is delayed and the connecting flight is missed by the travelling passenger, the passenger can claim a refund ranging from Rs 5000 for delay of 3 hours to up to Rs 20,000 for delay of 12 hours; and claim for about Rs 1000 for delayed or damaged baggage delivery.

Along with all these proposals, the aviation ministry will also be introducing free wi-fi service for at least 30 minutes in all the airports across the country hoping that this facility will further improve the flying experience of the air travel passengers in the country. The Passenger Charter of Rights is up for consultation with airlines and stakeholders and is seeking comments from them. Once the process is complete, the ministry will issue the final rules – which is likely to be by July this year.

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