Acknowledging that refunds have been an issue for many airlines during the global pandemic and subsequent recovery, Air India today 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 many steps undertaken to better meet customer expectations and speedily address legacy issues post-privatisation, Air India placed a high priority on clearing the backlog of refunds. More than 2.5 lakh cases totaling 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 refund 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 and Ground Services Officer, Rajesh Dogra said, “At Air India, the customer is our top most priority. 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 bringing 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 www.airindia.in. This link has been specially created to address if there is any residual old pending refund case.”