December 9, 2021 10:23:51 am
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Air Canada and a private travel firm of Mohali to pay Rs 39,800 to a Chandigarh resident for not paying the full refund for a flight canceled due to pandemic restrictions.
Guriqbal Singh, 76, of Chandigarh, alleged that is doing the business of booking Air Tickets, Tour Packages, IELTS Coaching, passport and visa etc under the name and style of “Dhaliwal Travels”, a travel firm Dhaliwal Travels of Mohali
On January 28, 2020, he booked air tickets for Air Canada from Delhi to Toronto and back. The departure flight was on March 26, 2020, while the return flight was on May 22, 2020, for Rs 96,000 through the firm.. However, the Covid-19 lockdown and the suspension of international flights did not allow him to travel to Toronto. Further, the Government of India in its circular dated October 7, 2020, ordered a refund for all booked flights that were cancelled during the lockdown.
Guriqbal contended that Dhaliwal travels had refunded some amount after deducting Rs 27,800 as cancellation and services charges in contradiction to the directions issued by the Government of India. He added that the amount deducted has not been refunded despite his repeated requests.
The Opposite Parties (OPs) Air Canada and Dhaliwal Travels failed to put in an appearance and thus were ordered to be proceeded against ex-parte vide order dated August 13, 2021.
The Commission after hearing the matter held that the deduction of Rs 27,800, contrary to the Circular issued by the Government of India, and no refund provided despite repeated requests by the complainant amounted to deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice.
The Commission thus directed the OPs to refund the deducted amount to the complainant, along with a 9 per cent per annum interest, starting three months from the date of judgment by the Supreme Court which is October 01, 2020, till its realization.
Meanwhile, the Commission also directed the OPs to pay an amount of Rs 5000 as compensation and Rs 7000 as the cost of litigation to the complainant.
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