Changes in travel plans are not a rare occurrence in today’s dynamic and sometimes unpredictable world. Train companies, hotels, and airlines all have different cancelation policies, depending on the risks they are willing to take with their customers.
Air carriers are usually the least cooperative when it comes to cancelations and travelers should be wary when buying their plane tickets if there is a chance that they won’t be able to make their flight.
Air India, the Indian flag carrier, serves around 40 domestic and 60 international destinations and is one of the biggest players on the Asian market. In this article we will discuss their cancelation policy, refund request procedure and cancellation fees in hope to help passengers who need to void their booking with the Indian airline.
Air India refunds procedure
For tickets purchased online after May 25, 2022 passengers simply need to enter their booking reference number and last name and click on the “Retrieve booking” button on Air India’s website or app and then go to “Manage booking”.
After the cancelation has been successfully made, travelers will receive an email confirmation and can then proceed to requesting a refund. Online refunds can be requested through a simple form but in case of difficulties, customer support can always be contacted for assistance.
If a booking was made in an Air India’s city booking office or at an airport desk, it can be canceled in the nearest office of the airline.
If an Air India international flight was booked through a travel agent, passengers need to contact the agent or agency in case they want to cancel the reservation.
The deadline for requesting a refund for an Air India cancellation flight is 2 years after the ticket’s date of issue. If the ticket was purchased with a credit card, the refund will be transferred to the original form of payment within 7 business days (could take longer depending on the card issuer). If the purchase was made with cash, cheque or other form of payment, the deadline for Air India to return the money is 20 business days.
Flights from and the United States: special policy
Air India has special cancelation conditions for flights from and to the U.S, similar to other big air companies like China Airlines and Condor Airlines. These special rules allow travelers to cancel their booking for free within 24 hours of purchase and to receive a full refund.
However, the reservation should be for a flight which is in at least 7 days, otherwise all applicable fees for the cancelation will be charged.
Air India flight cancellation fees
Like most airlines, Air India allows cancellation of bookings within certain timeframes and charges cancellation fees, the size of which depends on the ticket fare. Below, you will find a breakdown of the Air India ticket cancellation fees based on the different travel classes and ticket fares.
Comfort fare: Air India will not issue a refund and only taxes are reimbursable.
Comfort Plus fare: if the cancelation is made more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure, the fee is ₹2500 (Indian rupees) ($30); if the cancellation is made within 72 hours of the flight, the fee is ₹3500 ($42).
Flex fare: if the booking gets canceled more than 72 hours before the flight, there will be no cancellation fee; if the cancelation takes place 72 hours or less before departure, Air India will charge a fee of ₹2500 ($30).
Premium Economy class
Comfort Plus fare: the same conditions for Comfort Plus with Economy class apply for Premium Economy - passengers pay either ₹2500 ($30) or ₹3500 ($42), depending if they cancel their flight more than 72 hours before departure or within 72 hours of take-off.
Flex fare: passengers who book this ticket fare have the right to cancel their reservation for free at least 48 hours before their flight; if they cancel within 48 hours of departure, they will be charged a fee of ₹2500 ($30).
Comfort Plus fare: there is no timeframe to determine the size of the fee for this fare; regardless of when the cancellation is made, the fee remains the same: ₹3500 ($42).
Flex fare: this fare allows business class passengers to cancel their flight up to 24 hours before the scheduled take-off time without paying any cancelation fees. However, if they cancel the booking less than 24 hours before the flight, they will be charged a fee of ₹2500 ($30).
Like the flex fare of business class, first class passengers can cancel their Air India reservation for free up to 24 hours before their flight and have to pay a fee of ₹2500 ($30) if they give up on their booking less than 24 hours before departure.
There are a couple of exceptions when Air India would be willing to waive the cancellation fees and provide a full refund:
- A medical emergency: in case you cannot make your Air India flight due to an urgent health condition, you might be able to cancel your booking without a fee and receive a full refund. You will need to provide a valid medical document as proof for the emergency.
Covid-19 is also considered a legit reason to change or cancel a flight with Air India. Any passenger with a confirmed ticket can benefit from this travel waiver. If you or an immediate family member who you are traveling with gets diagnosed with Covid-19 or needs to be quarantined, Air India gives you the right to one free change or cancelation of a confirmed ticket.
However, if you choose to change the time of your flight, the new date should be within 30 days of the originally scheduled departure. Of course, a valid Covid-19 positive certificate will be needed as proof. It is important to note that “immediate family” pertains to only spouses and children (biological or adopted).
- Death of a passenger or an immediate family member: in such tragic circumstances, you should be able to cancel or change your booking without any additional fees. However, a death certificate or another legal document certifying these events will be needed as proof.
- An Air India flight disruption: if you have connecting flights and you don’t make it for the second leg of your journey because of an earlier Air India flight delay or cancellation, the airline will be obliged to provide you with an alternate flight or a full refund.
In case such a disruption occurs on a flight departing from an European airport, you might also be eligible for financial compensation of up to $600. SkyRefund’s professional legal team can help you receive this compensation: check whether your flight qualifies for reimbursement and submit your claim with us.