In a sigh of relief for flyers, domestic airlines will no longer charge a heavy cancellation fee of Rs 3,000. Instead of a flat amount, now, flyers have to pay "Rs 3,000 or base fare plus fuel surcharge per passenger, whichever is lower". This welcome development comes after Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha raised the issue of the heavy cancellation fee imposed by airlines, as reported by the Times of India. According to a Zee News report, flight ticket cancellation fees charged by airlines have almost doubled since 2016. Earlier, while speaking to the Times of India, Jayant Sinha said, "We believe cancellation charges are on the high side and onerous for passengers.
The Rs 3,000 fee is in many cases more than the price of the ticket itself. Our UDAN (subsidised regional flying) scheme has capped fares at Rs 2,500 per hour of flying. These cancellation charges need to be brought back into balance."According to the national daily, after Sinha showed concern, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asked airlines to look into the matter as DGCA directives do not allow the cancellation fee to be more than the sum of base fare and fuel surcharge. This latest move will provide relief to those who buy tickets in advance or during sale but end up shelling more from their pockets while cancelling them at the last moment. If the total price of base fare plus fuel surcharge is more than Rs 3000, the air passenger will have to pay Rs 3,000 as a cancellation fee. While websites of most airlines earlier listed a flat cancellation fee of Rs 3,000, this policy is now being tweaked in accordance with the DGCA rule.