Holding tickets with Go First? Here is what you should do…

In an unfortunate turn of events earlier this week, Indian no-frills carrier Go First decided to shut down operations temporarily and seek a voluntary insolvency proceeding (for which they filed with the NCLT). The airline has decided not to operate flights until May 9, 2023, and is not selling tickets until May 19, 2023. Passengers are stranded not just in India but around Asia in the Middle East and South East Asia on account of Go First evaporating so quickly.

a large airplane with people standing around

Go First’s financial exposure to customers.

Go First has been parroting the same line since May 2, 2023, when they announced they would take a time out for three days (since then, it extended to a week). The airline has committed to customers that they will pay them their dues back at some unknown time and has not committed a timeline to a refund. So, whatever the question, GoFirst’s answer is:

a screenshot of a computer screen

Have a look at their FAQ page.

The airline has cancelled flights, abruptly at that and has told passengers to find their own way out. So, there are customers in Phuket who cannot fly back home for now because, well, who knew? Unfortunately, no airline has come forth with a compassionate fare yet, for Go First fliers, so folks have to spend a good amount of money to get on with their travel plans.

As per this tweet, direct bookings with Go First have an exposure of INR 30-40 Lakhs; for travel agents, the number is unknown. As per some back-of-the-envelope calculations, on day one of the cancellations, about 15,000 people could not travel (no science to my formula, honestly, just a gut check).

What to do if you have a Go First ticket that has been cancelled?

If you have a Go First ticket that was cancelled, you are eligible for a full refund. Take a copy of the PNR from the Go First Website, which shows your ticket is cancelled and then wait for your refund. If you have not received a refund in the next few days, call your bank and apply for a chargeback/dispute. Of course, they will need the paperwork around your flight being cancelled, and the airline has promised a full refund. If you paid cash (net banking, etc.), this does not work. It only works for credit/debit cards.

Here are the links to raise a dispute with some banks:

What to do if you still have a Go First ticket?

Honestly, I do not expect things to be smoothened out in a day or five. So even if the Government intervenes or Go First restarts operations, it will take a while before that happens. As Go First also seeks clarity, if it can get a moratorium from the NCLT, they will continue to cancel flights for a few days at a time. If you hold a Go First ticket for travel in the near future, don’t bank on them flying and book yourself a backup ticket.

I know a tonne of people have started cancelling their Go First tickets. Here is the problem. You will be subject to a cancellation fee if you cancel a Go First ticket. You won’t be subject to a cancellation fee if Go First cancels. So, it would be advisable to wait for them to cancel your ticket rather than you going ahead and cancelling in the hope of getting a full refund.


Go First had filed for voluntary insolvency and is currently not operating flights. If you have a cancelled ticket (with the cancellation made by the airline), you are being promised a full refund. If you cancel your ticket in anticipation, you must pay cancellation charges. You can also initiate a chargeback if the refund from the airline does not arrive in time.

What questions do you have about how to get your money back in the Go First shutdown? I’ll try and answer the ones I can. 

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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