Refund Remaining INR 2.5 Cr For Cancelled Flight Bookings Due To Pandemic: CCPA To Yatra

Refund Remaining INR 2.5 Cr For Cancelled Flight Bookings Due To Pandemic: CCPA To Yatra

SUMMARY

The CCPA has directed the travel tech startup Yatra to refund INR 2.52 Cr to customers for 4,387 flight bookings cancelled due to the Covid-19 lockdowns

Yatra will also be required to deploy five personnel to the NCH to field calls for 4,837 passengers to inform regarding the processing of the refunds

The authority issued a show cause notice to Yatra in March 2021 to initiate refunds to the tunes of INR 26.25 Cr

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has directed listed travel tech startup Yatra to refund INR 2.52 Cr to customers for 4,387 flight bookings cancelled due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

In a statement, the CCPA said it has directed Yatra to set up dedicated arrangements at the National Consumer Helpline (NCH) to expedite the processing of the refunds. 

Under this, Yatra will be required to deploy five personnel to the NCH to field calls for 4,837 passengers to inform them that their pending refunds due to Covid-19 lockdown-related flight cancellations will be processed. The costs incurred for engaging these five dedicated personnel will be fully covered by Yatra.

Explaining the matter, the CCPA said it initiated suo-moto action against Yatra after it came to its notice that many grievances were lodged relating to non-refund of cancelled air tickets on account of Covid-19 lockdown, with consumers alleging that the travel agencies informed them that refunds were not received from the airlines.

Following this, the CCPA issued a show cause notice to Yatra in March 2021. The Authority said that a number of hearings were held between July 2021 and June 2024, which has resulted in Yatra making “significant progress” in reducing the total number of pending refund bookings.

“In 2021, there were 36,276 pending bookings amounting to INR 26.25 Cr. As of June 21, 2024, this number has been significantly reduced to 4,837 bookings, amounting to INR 2.52 Cr,” the statement added.  

Besides, the CCPA also said that there were a total of 5,771 bookings pertaining to airlines for pending refunds amounting to INR 9.6 Cr in 2021. By 2024, Yatra has reduced this pendency to 98 bookings with an outstanding amount of INR 31.79 Lakh.

“CCPA vide order dated 27.06.2024 directed 22 remaining airlines of Yatra to expeditiously refund INR 31,79,069 to consumers,” it added.

The statement also said that during the proceedings held before the CCPA, other travel tech platforms like MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, ClearTrip, and ixigo refunded the entire amount to consumers whose tickets got affected due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

It is pertinent to note that Yatra slipped into loss in the financial year 2023-24 (FY24). The travel tech platform posted a net loss of INR 4.5 Cr during the year as against a net profit of INR 7.6 Cr in FY23.

Shares of Yatra ended today’s trading session 0.4% higher at INR 127.15 on the BSE.

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