Online travel platforms such as EaseMyTrip, Yatra, MakeMyTrip, HappyEasyGo, and Cleartrip have been directed by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) to refund customers, whose travel was disrupted by the pandemic, for the amounts they had paid for airline tickets, as per a report by the Economic Times.
Back in 2020, the Supreme Court issued a mandate requiring airlines to reimburse passengers who had to cancel their flight tickets owing to the nationwide lockdown to control the coronavirus's spread.
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) informed the companies that they must complete the outstanding refund transactions by the third week of November. In case of non-compliance, the CCPA will take legal action in the Supreme Court, including the submission of a contempt petition against the platforms that fail to meet this requirement, as stated in their announcement.
In a meeting held on Wednesday, the Department explored the potential integration of the National Consumer Helpline with the Air Sewa Portal, which is a traveler support platform. The meeting was presided over by Rohit Kumar Singh, serving as the secretary for the Department of Consumer Affairs.
DoCA emphasized the presence of frequently observed 'dark patterns' on online travel platforms, including actions like 'confirm shaming,' displaying pre-selected checkboxes, and creating undue alarms.
They instructed these platforms to actively address and mitigate these misleading online tactics in order to safeguard the interests of customers within the travel industry.