Jet Airways, since 2015, had been offering a free change/cancellation to tickets issued by them directly, within 24 hours. I used the feature a countless number of times, given plans are always shifting in my world. Vistara offers a similar function, again for direct bookings, since 2017. Now, it seems under the new DGCA charter for passengers, Air India ticket cancellation and amendments are going to go along the same route.
Air India has sent out instructions to all their offices to offer free cancellation and change on tickets for domestic travel within India, with effect from May 1, 2019, onwards. Your tickets could be booked with any Air India channel, including travel agents, and you will get a free look-in within 24 hours for the ticket. If you change your ticket, you need to pay the current prevailing price of the new time/date of your ticket. If you cancel, you get your full money back.
The new option will only be offered if your ticket is not issued for travel within seven days of the date of departure. To get your ticket amended or cancelled within 24 hours, you need to visit Air India at the Ticketing offices (City or Airport) or call them, and the airline will update the remarks on the booking. Unfortunately, the option is not being offered online, since we know how Air India struggles with IT. You can read the circular here.
This is a benefit that the American flying population has had for a long time. I’m surprised it took four years for another airline to play catch up and that too, only when the government asked them to do so.
I think this is a customer-friendly move, and I expect more airlines to follow quickly. What do you make of how you could use the new Air India rule?