Pay Rs 1.05L to Hyderabad man for not refunding tickets: Consumer panel to British Airways

Hyderabad District Consumer Redressal Commission has asked British Airways to pay Rs 1,00.528 to a city resident for not refunding his canceled tickets.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  22 Dec 2022 2:30 AM GMT
Pay Rs 1.05L to Hyderabad man for not refunding tickets: Consumer panel to British Airways

Hyderabad: Hyderabad District Consumer Redressal Commission has asked British Airways to pay Rs 1,00.528 to a city resident for not refunding his canceled tickets.

Here's what happened:

Sanjay Banka, 52, of Begumpet, booked tickets for his son on British Airways from Chicago to Hyderabad (and back) through EaseMyTrip. Since his son was scheduled to have knee surgery, Sanjay purchased a ticket for his daughter to go from Hyderabad to Chicago and back so that she could accompany her brother back to India.

The total cost of the tickets was Rs. 1,578,76.

Sanjay checked the travel and health restrictions before booking tickets. He entered the details of the passport issuing country, departure and arrival countries, and dates.

Nearly 3-4 days before travel, Sanjay called the airline's customer care to find out about RT-PCR testing. However, he was surprised to learn that his daughter would be unable to go due to a rule saying that an Indian national could not travel to the United States via British Airways.

When Sanjay booked on the travel portal's website, there was no mention of Indians being barred to fly back to the United States on British Airways.

Sanjay then demanded a refund. Customer service representative Alok informed him that someone from the airline would contact him within 2-3 days. However, neither he received a phone call nor any other response.

Sanjay was forced to cancel his daughter's flight, for which he received a partial refund. He received no compensation for his son's return flight ticket.

According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, it would be for the airlines involved to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter the USA with the particular visa category before issuing of ticket/boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

On the other side, British Airways responded that EaseMyTrip should be included in the case and should issue refunds.

At the time Sanjay's daughter was to travel from Hyderabad to Chicago in March 2022, there was a prohibition on international commercial flights from India owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, and only some planes were operating through bubble agreements with other nations as per British Airways.

Sanjay's son and daughter were denied travel because of a Ministry of Civil Aviation Order stating that Indian nationals flying to the United States from India must fly direct from India to the United States on Air India or United Airlines.

According to the guidelines on EaseMyTrip, the Airfare charges paid by consumers to Easymytrip will go to Airlines when Easymytrip books the tickets, and the confirmed ticket was disallowed for travel solely due to the Ministry of Civil Aviation's Order.

The court confirmed all of the documents from Sanjay are valid and ordered the British Airway to pay the money within 45 days, or else an annual interest rate of 9 percent would be imposed.

Next Story
Share it