Air India Compensation and Refund


Air India Compensation and Refund: A Comprehensive Guide

Air travel, despite its many conveniences, can sometimes be fraught with issues such as delays, cancellations, and lost baggage. For passengers of Air India, understanding the airline's policies on compensation and refunds is crucial for ensuring that your rights are protected and you receive the appropriate redress when things go wrong. This article provides an in-depth look at Air India's compensation and refund policies, outlining what you need to know to navigate these situations effectively.


Understanding Air India's Compensation Policy

Air India's compensation policy is designed to address various travel plan disruptions that passengers might encounter, including flight delays, cancellations, and denied boarding. Each of these scenarios has specific regulations and entitlements, which are often influenced by international and domestic aviation laws.

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Flight Delays

Flight delays can be particularly frustrating, but Air India has a structured policy to mitigate the inconvenience caused to passengers. According to Air India's policy, if your flight is delayed for more than two hours, the airline is obliged to offer meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time. If the delay extends overnight, passengers are entitled to accommodation and transport between the airport and the hotel.

For delays exceeding five hours, passengers are eligible for a full refund of the ticket price if they choose not to travel. Additionally, compensation for delays might be provided under the Montreal Convention, which applies to international flights. The compensation amount can vary based on the delay's duration and the flight distance, often ranging between 250 to 600 euros.

Less than
3 hours
3 - 4 hours
More than
4 hours
cross icon € - checked tick € 250  checked tick € 250  All flights up to 1500 km
cross icon € - checked tick € 400  checked tick € 400  All flights between 1500 km and 3500 km
cross icon € - checked tick € 400  checked tick € 400  All intra-EU flights over 3500 km
cross icon € - checked tick € 300  checked tick € 600  All non-EU flights over 3500 km


Flight Cancellations

Flight cancellations are another area where Air India has set clear guidelines. If your experienced a cancelled flight, Air India must offer you an alternative flight to your destination or a full refund of your ticket. Furthermore, passengers are entitled to compensation if the cancellation was not caused by extraordinary circumstances such as weather conditions, political instability, or strikes.

Compensation for cancellations, much like delays, is determined by the flight distance and the notice period given by the airline. If notified less than 14 days before departure, passengers might be eligible for compensation ranging from 125 to 600 euros, depending on the specifics of the flight.


Denied Boarding

Denied boarding occurs when more passengers are booked on a flight than there are available seats, a practice known as overbooking. If you are involuntarily denied boarding, Air India must provide you with alternative transportation to your final destination at the earliest opportunity. Additionally, you are entitled to compensation for the inconvenience.

The compensation for denied boarding is typically immediate and includes monetary compensation as well as other benefits like meal vouchers, accommodation, and transportation if required. The amount of compensation varies but generally aligns with the amounts specified for flight delays and cancellations.

Did you have a delayed or cancelled flight in the last 3 years?

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Refund Policies of Air India

Air India offers a range of refund options depending on the nature of the ticket purchased and the circumstances surrounding the request. Here's a detailed look at how the refund process works:


Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Tickets

The refundability of your ticket is a primary factor in determining your eligibility for a refund. Refundable tickets, as the name suggests, allow for a full or partial refund if the ticket is cancelled within the terms and conditions specified at the time of purchase. Non-refundable tickets, however, are generally not eligible for a cash refund but may offer other forms of compensation such as travel vouchers or the option to rebook at a later date, often with a fee.


How to Apply for a Refund

To apply for a refund, check your compensation at no cost using our flight compensation calculator. After you complete the process our team of travel experts and renowned lawyers will defend your passenger rights. 

We operate on a “no-win, no-fee” basis. We at SkyRefund will not charge you if we are not successful in claiming compensation. We get paid only if we are successful and our Standard Fee is 35% (VAT included) from the total compensation. Please visit our Pricing Policy for detailed information.


Extraordinary Circumstances


Imagine Air India cancels your flight at midnight on the same day of your supposed departure. If you are wondering whether you can claim compensation, you need to determine the reason for the cancellation. According to EC 261, there are three conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for Air India to pay compensation for your flight cancellation.

  • Air India notified you about the cancellation less than 14 days before the originally scheduled flight date. 
  • The cancelled flight was scheduled to depart from a European airport. This includes all airports in the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA).
  • The flight was not cancelled because of any extraordinary circumstances. This term encompasses all situations that cannot be prevented by Air India and would hinder takeoff. 

The most common examples include but are not limited to:

  • Bad weather conditions (snowstorms, low visibility, sandstorms, etc.);
  • Bird Strikes;
  • Security risks, sabotage, or terrorist attacks;
  • Strikes by the Air Traffic Control staff or the airport staff;
  • Closure of the runway and/or other Air Traffic Control restrictions.

However, it is important to note that the so-called “wildcat strikes,” protests organized by unionized workers without the authorization of the union’s leaders, do not fall under force majeure circumstances. EU laws consider it the airline’s responsibility to manage its staff and not let protests disrupt the scheduled flights. 

Another factor that would not be counted as an extraordinary circumstance under EC261 is technical issues. European regulations are also extremely strict about the airline’s responsibility to keep its aircraft intact and ready for takeoff. Any issues with the plane that lead to a flight cancellation would be a good enough reason to request a reimbursement from Air India.


Tips for Ensuring Smooth Compensation and Refund Process

Navigating the compensation and refund process can be complex, but these tips can help ensure a smoother experience:

1. Keep Documentation Handy

Always keep copies of your ticket, boarding pass, and any communication with the airline. These documents are essential when applying for compensation or a refund.

2. Act Promptly

If you experience a delay, cancellation, or denied boarding, act promptly and file your claim as soon as possible. Use our calculator to estimate your compensation. Immediate action can facilitate a faster resolution.

3. Understand Your Rights

Familiarize yourself with Air India's policies and relevant international regulations such as the Montreal Convention and EU Regulation 261/2004. Understanding your rights can help you advocate for fair treatment.

4. Leave the hard work to us

Submit your claim and we will do the rest! SkyRefund’s team of excellent lawyers and determined claim specialists can help you receive the compensation that is owed to you.

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Air India's compensation and refund policies are designed to protect passengers and ensure fair treatment when a flight disruption occurs. By understanding these policies and knowing your rights, you can navigate any travel issues more effectively. Whether it's a delay, cancellation, or denied boarding, being informed and proactive can make a significant difference in resolving your concerns and obtaining the compensation or refund you deserve.

Did you have a delayed flight in the last 3 years?

Check your compensation for delayed flights for free!