Anybody who follows Twitter handles of airlines would have been seen repeated queries about refunds. When an airline tweeted about its parked planes a few days ago, the replies were a flood of complaints about a lack of response on refunds, shifting the focus completely away from the parked planes.
At the centre of the heated discussion and debate is one question: can airlines keep the money for flights that were cancelled? This stems from the fact that airlines refused to offer a refund to customers and instead stored the money in a credit shell that would be active for a year. GoAir started the practice in mid-March and as the country marched towards a lockdown, others joined in.
While the passenger charter released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation talks about refunds in case of cancellations, it never envisioned a suspension of services by government order. Indeed, the pandemic has led to unprecedented times, which weren’t thought out by the airlines or the government in the past.