Hopes for Jet Airways refunds brighten
Fliers who had booked tickets of Jet Airways, which was grounded on April 17, and are still waiting for refunds are set to get back a part of their money, sources said.
There is no word yet when the remaining amount will be refunded.
Only those who had booked tickets through travel agents approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will be eligible for refunds.
There is no guarantee yet that those who had bought tickets directly from the airline or agents not approved by IATA would get any refund.
IATA, a trade association of airlines across the globe, said in a recent letter to travel agents that a refund process initiated by the body had been completed by the court-appointed administrator of Jet Airways.
“IATA will now proceed to issue settlements on the approved refund claims in proportion to the remaining funds on hand with IATA,” the letter states.
That means, said an IATA source, travel agents who have applied for refunds would get a part of the amount they have claimed.
“If a travel agent has filed a refund claim of Rs 1 lakh, he or she would get a percentage of that amount,” the source said.
Around Rs 30 crore is with IATA for disbursement and the refund claims total Rs 150 crore, IATA sources said.
As for the refund of the remaining amount, the IATA letter states: “The timing and amount of any such distribution depends on the conclusion of the liquidation process and distribution of assets —and is therefore unknown and not guaranteed.”
The letter points out that only the claims filed after the airline had been grounded on April 17 would be entertained.
“The process is only for refund claims in periods after suspension — all refund claims submitted, approved and included in periods closed before Jet Airways’ suspension have previously been paid in full,” the letter said.
Hundreds of Calcuttans who had booked Jet tickets are yet to get refunds.
“In many cases (involving those who had bought tickets from IATA-approved travel agents), the agents have reimbursed the passengers by rebooking them on other flights. But those claims are yet to be settled by IATA. Also, there are many fliers who have not got their money back,” said Anil Punjabi, chairman, east, Travel Agents Federation of India.
“The letter suggests that only a fraction of the money spent on booking tickets will be refunded,” he said.