Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and GoAir is doing just that, at the moment. As you would have yourself experienced, it is hell out there if you are trying to reach an airline or a travel portal for a reschedule or cancellation these days. Additionally, each one of them has a different policy on how they are treating this situation.
Now, GoAir, which has just shut down their international network yesterday, and laid off 80 ex-pat pilots today, has come up with a new way to deal with this situation. If you are scheduled to travel between March 19 and April 15, 2020, during the times of CoVid19, if you choose not to travel at all, you can just choose to not show up on your flight.
You can then use the credit from the existing PNR and you can fly anytime during the next year, on any sector. The only catch, the ticket has to be still issued in the name of the same person as before, and if there is any fare difference, you will have to pay that. You can redeem your PNR on any date between April 15, 2020, and April 15, 2021.
— GoAir (@goairlinesindia) March 18, 2020
Here is the big catch, however. While this method is something I have been shouting on the rooftops from for airlines to implement in India, GoAir says the same process will also be followed if a flight is cancelled from their end here on as well till April 15. It is not clear if you can still opt for a cash refund or only a credit shell here on for flights cancelled by GoAir, but perhaps it would have been a better idea to give airline initiated cancellations a choice amongst the both.
Having said that, I am still impressed that GoAir was the first to bite to my suggestion, rather than one of the other bigger players.
Here is my suggestion to all airlines playing hardball with customers on refunds and only offering to reschedule dates because airlines have cash flow issues. Give a credit shell to customers and let them use it when they please and where they please.
— Ajay Awtaney (@LiveFromALounge) March 12, 2020
This is a win for the airline because they don’t have to give out cash for a flight not taken immediately. Also, I imagine loads have become thin enough for them to not really care anymore about optimising their flight loads, and hence they don’t worry about any no show passengers anymore. Third, it gives them passengers after this outbreak is over.
What do you make of the new cancellation policy of GoAir? Fair Deal?
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