Acknowledging that refunds have been an issue for many airlines during the global pandemic and subsequent recovery, Air India has shared details of the steps it has taken to improve its capability and performance in this area.
Like all airlines, Air India was severely impacted by Covid-19 and, regrettably, many customers’ travel plans were affected. As one of the many steps undertaken to better meet customer expectations and speedily address legacy issues post-privatisation, Air India placed high priority on clearing the backlog of refunds, said the airline spokesperson.
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More than 2.5 lakh cases totalling in excess of Rs 150 crore were processed in just the first few months after privatisation.
Significant effort has since been placed on improving processes and systems, and employing technology, to turn around new refunds cases at a greater pace. As of today, an eligible refund request lodged on the Air India website will typically be processed by the airline within 2-3 days.
Subsequent processing by banks and/or credit card companies, which is beyond the airline’s control, can add another two weeks before customers see the refund (less any fees deducted in accordance with the tickets’ conditions of sale) in their accounts. In the case of bookings made via travel agents, the refund is made to the travel agent who is then responsible for disbursing to the traveller.
Commenting on the development, Air India’s Chief Customer Experience & Ground Services Officer, Rajesh Dogra said, “The processing of a record number of pending refund cases is a testimony to the different teams coming together and addressing a key legacy issue in a comprehensive and effective manner. As part of our transformation, we are committed to bring a standardised structure across our functions which is critical for us to emerge as one of the world class airline brands globally.”
Dogra added, “We encourage anyone who believes they have a refund outstanding from Air India to provide details via the Old Pending Refund Link on the home page of our website. This link has been specially created to address if there is any residual old pending refund case.”
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