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Business News/ Insurance / News/  Preponing your return air ticket? Here's when you can get a full refund from the airline
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Preponing your return air ticket? Here's when you can get a full refund from the airline

Experts suggested that in the case of a medical emergency, a traveller is required to submit all the proofs to get a refund

'One is not entitled to any compensation or refund in case you don't accept alternative travel arrangements' (Pixabay)Premium
'One is not entitled to any compensation or refund in case you don't accept alternative travel arrangements' (Pixabay)

Let’s assume you are on a vacation with a full-planned itinerary. You are set to return home on a certain date, but due to some unavoidable reasons, you now need to return earlier. LiveMint talked to experts to understand under what circumstances a person who has taken travel insurance would be allowed to get a full refund of their return tickets.

According to Manas Kapoor, business head of Travel Insurance at Policybazaar.com, travellers can get a full refund in the case of a medical emergency. This is also true if any one of the immediate family members falls sick on the trip or dies.

Sandeep Bajaj, advocate at the Supreme Court of India, added, “The definition as to what falls under health emergency varies with the policies, but it generally covers sudden, unforeseen illnesses or injuries requiring immediate medical attention that necessitates changing travel plans."

Kapoor said that the definition of immediate family varies with different insurers, “but majorly, siblings, spouse, father, mother, all those are considered family across all insurance."

Experts suggested that in the case of a medical emergency, a traveller is required to submit all the proofs to get a refund.

“In such an event, the passenger must preserve and collate all the relevant documents necessary to prove the existence of a medical emergency," said Vipul Jai, partner at PSL Advocates & Solicitors.

Kapoor explained that these documents may include proofs like admission to a hospital and a doctor’s advice on returning. 

According to Bajaj, there are some other cases when an airline may have to fully refund a traveller.

“In cases where the airline cancels a flight due to bad weather, mechanical issues, or staffing problems or if there is a significant rescheduling in the flight timings, the passengers are entitled to get a full refund regardless of the reason for cancellation," Bajaj said.

However, in these cases, according to the rules of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), an airline is bound to provide a traveller with an alternative at no additional cost. If one does not accept it, they are not bound to get any compensation.

“One is not entitled to any compensation or refund in case you don’t accept alternative travel arrangements or if the cancellation occurs due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the airline, like any force majeure events like civil war, natural disasters, security risks, government regulations etc," said Sneha Bhogle Kale, partner at Accord Juris LLP.

The compensation or refund is covered under Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Section-3, Series-M, Part-IV of the DGCA rules.

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Published: 14 Mar 2024, 02:44 PM IST
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