DGCA Amends Rules: Airlines to Refund Up to 75% of Tickets for Downgrades

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has amended its Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) rules for air passengers who are unable to board due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights.

The aviation regulator, DGCA said that the amendment will allow the passenger, who is downgraded involuntarily and is carried in a class lower than that for which the ticket is purchased, to be reimbursed by the airline.

A senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced on Wednesday that the new norms for airline refunds for involuntary downgrades will take effect from February 15.

“The amendment will allow the passenger, who is downgraded involuntarily and is carried in a class lower than that for which the ticket is purchased, to be reimbursed by the airline,” DGCA said in a statement on Wednesday.”

Refunds for Involuntary Downgrades

As per the DGCA’s updated rules, for domestic flights, the airlines will refund 75% of the cost of the flight ticket including all taxes.

While for international flights, airlines will refund 30% of the cost of the ticket including taxes for flights of 1500km or less.

50% of the cost of the ticket including taxes for flights between 1500km to 3500km and 75% of the cost of the ticket including taxes for flights more than 3500km, as per the DGCA’s amended guidelines.

Strengthening Air Traveller’s Rights

The DGCA has amended the rules regarding facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights, and delays in flights to strengthen the rights of air travellers affected by the downgrading of their tickets.

Being downgraded means passengers who booked first, business, or premium economy being made to fly in a class lower than they had booked for and paid.

Last year, the DGCA directed airlines to sell only unserviceable seats and not that have been chronically out of service for some time.


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