New Delhi- With the government direction coming in, the online air travel aggregators have started giving cash refund to passengers who booked tickets between March 25 and April 14 for their travel plan between April 15 and May 3.
Taking the first move in this direction travel aggregator Easy Trip Planners (“EaseMyTrip”) has started refunding the money in cash to the customers from the company’s own account during the time of nation-wide lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As per the prevailing practice, in India, online travel aggregators had to deposit advance amounts with the airlines including Indigo, SpiceJet, Go Air, Air Asia against which they issue air tickets to aggregators for further booking by end users.
The airlines have now been providing money in the virtual wallet of travel aggregators, which does not reflect directly on their bank accounts, said an official adding that aviation sector is a cash flow business andthe airlines are not able to refund directly to customers. “This virtual money with aggregators will be adjusted with fresh bookings,” he said.
Amid the lockdown, several airlines had suspended flights and offered credit shell to the customers which they could use later. Presently, as per DGCA’s advisory, airlines have to refund money to customers who had booked tickets between March 25 to April 14, for travel between April 15 and May 3, instead of credit shell.
A statement from the EaseMyTrip claimed that it is the only company who has been refunding money to the customers’ bank account even if airlines are providing amounts in EMT’s virtual wallet only.
Speaking on the current situation, Nishant Pitti, Co-founder and CEO, EaseMyTrip, said, “As a responsible corporate we are very much concerned to take this necessary step to provide refund in the form of cash to the customers in the hour of need. We have been receiving money on our virtual wallet from airlines which is of no use for the time being. But still we are paying money to customers’ bank account from our own expense.”
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