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Only 29% Got Full Cancellation Refund From Airlines, 34% from Hotels During Covid-19: Survey

The survey by LocalCircles received more than 20,000 responses from citizens residing in 332 districts of India. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

The survey by LocalCircles received more than 20,000 responses from citizens residing in 332 districts of India. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

Though over twice as many citizens were able to get a flight or hotel boking refund due to Covid third wave related cancellation as compared to second, majority still ended up losing money to airlines, hotels, travel websites and agents

Only 29% people who cancelled their flights due to latest surge in Covid-19 cases were able to get a full refund from airlines/travel agents, an online survey has revealed. The survey, by community social media platform LocalCircles, also found that of those who cancelled hotel booking, only 34% were able to get a full refund. The survey received more than 20,000 responses from citizens residing in 332 districts of India. 62% respondents were men while 38% were women.

A similar survey conducted by LocalCircles during the second wave had indicated that 13% of citizens who had booked hotels were able to get a full refund due to cancellation of hotels. During the third wave, 34% who have booked travel during January-March 2022 were able to get a full refund due to cancellation. Though over 2.5 times as many citizens were able to get a hotel booking refund due to third wave-related cancellation as compared to the second wave related cancellation, the majority still ended up losing money to hotels.

As COVID cases started growing in India from early December with the arrival of the Omicron variant of COVID, many who had travel booked during the months of January-March revisited their plans and a subset of them approached airlines and hotels for cancellations.

In December last week, LocalCircles survey had found that even though the threat due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was rising in India, at least 58 per cent of citizens were planning to travel between December to March.

ONLY 29% WERE ABLE TO GET A FULL REFUND

(Image: LocalCircles)
(Image: LocalCircles)

The first question asked citizens, “For the flight travel that you had booked for Jan-March 2022, how did the cancellation process work?”

In response, at least 29% said that “travel agent and/or airline accepted cancellation and refunded full amount”, 14% said “travel agent and/or airline accepted cancellation but refunded partial amount”, 29% said “travel agent and/or airline accepted cancellation and refunded a very small amount”, 14% said “travel agent and/or airline did not refund anything but rebooked the ticket for a later date”. 14% couldn’t say.

On an aggregate basis, of those who cancelled flight tickets, only 29% were able to get a full refund from airlines/travel agents. This question in the survey received 10,151 responses.

MAJORITY ENDED UP LOSING MONEY TO AIRLINES

(Image: LocalCircles)
(Image: LocalCircles)

A similar survey conducted by LocalCircles during the 2nd wave had indicated that 12% of citizens who had booked travel were able to get a full refund due to cancellation of flights. During the 3rd wave 29% who have booked travel during Jan-March 2022 were able to get a full refund due to cancellation. Though over twice as many citizens were able to get a flight ticket refund due to 3rd wave-related cancellation as compared to the 2nd wave related cancellation, the majority still ended up losing money to airlines.

34% WERE ABLE TO GET A FULL REFUND

(Image: LocalCircles)
(Image: LocalCircles)

The next question asked citizens, “For the hotel stay(s) that you had booked for travel during Jan-March 2022, how did the cancellation process work?”

In response, 34% said “travel agent and/or hotel accepted cancellation and refunded full amount”, 13% said “travel agent and/or hotel accepted cancellation but refunded partial amount”, 13% said “travel agent and/or hotel accepted cancellation and refunded a very small amount”, another 13% said “travel agent and/or hotel did not refund anything but rebooked the ticket for a later date”. 27% said “travel agent and/or hotel did not refund anything and we lost the entire booking amount”.

On an aggregate basis, of those who cancelled hotel booking, only 34% were able to get a full refund from hotels/travel agents. This question in the survey received 9,974 responses.

MAJORITY STILL ENDED UP LOSING MONEY TO HOTELS

(Image: LocalCircles)
(Image: LocalCircles)

A similar survey conducted by LocalCircles during the second wave had indicated that 13% of citizens who had booked hotels were able to get a full refund due to cancellation of hotels. During the third wave 34% who have booked travel during Jan-March 2022 were able to get a full refund due to cancellation. Though over 2.5 times as many citizens were able to get a hotel booking refund due to third wave-related cancellation as compared to the second wave related cancellation, the majority still ended up losing money to hotels.

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first published:January 17, 2022, 07:05 IST