Hyderabad: Etihad Airways has been instructed to refund the airfare to a Hyderabad man whose flight was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a report in TOI, a district consumer forum has also directed the airline to pay Rs 50 thousand as compensation to the complainant.
Etihad Airways ticket was booked during pandemic
The ticket for the Etihad Airways flight to New York was booked during the pandemic by the Hyderabad man, Mayur M, on January 24, 2020, for himself and his wife, for which he paid Rs 2,76,709.
The flight to New York was scheduled for April 2, and the return ticket was for May 10. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions, the flights were canceled.
The Hyderabad man claimed that instead of refunding the ticket fare, Etihad Airways sent an email on March 3, 2020, asking him to rebook tickets before September 30 for air travel before April 30, 2021.
However, as Etihad Airways flights to the US did not commence until 2022, he could not complete air travel before the April 30 deadline.
When the US opened its doors, the man attempted to rebook the tickets; however, reportedly, no response was received from the airline, and even his PNR number was canceled.
Hyderabad man filed complaint
Left with no other option, the man filed a complaint with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-III, Hyderabad, against Etihad Airways.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the airline has been instructed to refund the amount along with an interest of 12 percent per annum. Moreover, the airline has been directed to pay Rs 5000 towards the legal cost of the complaint.