The government on Wednesday directed online travel portals to process pending refunds related to air ticket bookings during the coronavirus lockdown period by the third week of November.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a nationwide lockdown for varying periods starting from March 25, 2020, and scheduled commercial flight services were also suspended for a certain period.
On Wednesday, the Consumer Affairs Ministry held a meeting with online travel aggregators to discuss issues prejudicial to consumer interest in the travel sector.
At the meeting, chaired by consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, the issue of non-refund of amount of tickets booked during Covid-19 lockdown period was discussed.
An official release on Wednesday said that travel aggregators have been asked to disburse pending refunds affected due to Covid-19 lockdown till the end of the third week of November.
"Further, the establishment of an Ombudsman for time-bound resolution of consumer grievances was also deliberated. The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Department of Consumer Affairs can jointly work on the modalities involved in establishing the same," the release said.
Another proposal is to integrate the National Consumer Helpline may be integrated with the Air Sewa Portal for effective resolution of consumer complaints.