The DISTRICT CONSUMER Disputes Redressal Forum directed an online portal and an international airlines to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 to a Panchkula resident for not refunding the full amount of a cancelled air ticket. Pronouncing the order on Tuesday, the forum said, “Foreign carriers operating to or from India shall refund the tickets in accordance with regulations of their country of origin.” The forum also asked Make My Trip (MMT) and China Southern Airlines (CSA) to pay Rs 5,000 as cost of litigation.
Complainant Anil Kumar Jindal stated in the petition that he had booked the air tickets of China Southern Airlines through Make My Trip on September 1, 2016. The flight was from New Delhi to Guangzhou (in China) and he paid Rs 86,598 for tickets booked in favour of Megha Jindal, Manju Jindal and Anil Jindal.
However, when Jindal was applying for visa, he found that the middle names of Manju Jindal and Anil Jindal were missing. So, he requested the officials working with the portal to make the correction in the name of Manju Bala Jindal and Anil Kumar Jindal from CSA but they did not change.
Jindal then got the tickets cancelled and bought fresh tickets through another online portal on September 15, 2016. He had to spend Rs 55,226 to buy the tickets again. Subsequently, MMT offered to refunded Rs 3,528 of Rs 56,632 for the cancelled tickets. He then refused to accept the money and requested the portal to refund Rs 56,632. Thereafter, the company offered him a sum of Rs 6,260 on September 25, 2016, but he declined to accept it as it was too short of the full amount.
As the money was not refunded, Jindal filed a case in the consumer courts on November 10, 2016. In its reply, MMT said the consumer courts do not have the jurisdiction to take up the complaint while CSA did not depose in court, ex-parte proceedings were initiated against them.
Passing the orders the forum added, “Moreover, the foreign airlines did not appear to contest the claim of the complainant and preferred to proceed against ex-parte, which draws an adverse inference against it. The non-appearance of the airlines despite notice shows that it has nothing to say in its defence or against the allegations made by the complainant.”