As per the directives issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the all Indian domestic have now junked off air ticket cancellation charge for any domestic flights – if cancelled within 24 hours of booking. This means, travellers will now require cancel air tickets within 24 hours of booking without paying anything.
The new guidelines by the DGCA are in a bid to make air travel practically accessible for passengers without burdening airlines by forcing them to offer free last minute cancellations. The DGCA had claimed cancellation charges of air tickets were usually unreasonable and that sometimes, the cancellation charges exceeded the cost of ticket. Domestic airlines are directed to revise their air ticket cancellation fee structures immediately, keeping the upcoming holiday season in mind. This is likely to provide relief to passengers who buy cheap air tickets in advance, but end up losing money while cancelling them.
However, the new charter also directs that zero cancellation fee rule is not applicable if the tickets are booked less than a week before the scheduled departure. So in cases where ticket is cancelled when the time period between the date of booking and date of departure is less than seven days, you will be charged with cancellation fees, as per the respective airlines’ regular charter. But again, the cancellation fee cannot exceed the total of base fare and fuel surcharge – off burdening passengers who were sometimes charged more than the actual cost of ticket.
Along with the revised cancellation rules, the DGCA has defined provisions for passengers who have not been informed or missed the connecting flight booked on the same ticket number of an airline. In that case, the airlines is required to either provide alternate flight as acceptable to the passenger or a compensation in addition to the full refund of air ticket. All these rules by the government will ensure appropriate protection for the air travellers in the country.