Monday, September 26, 2022

Air India Improves Refund Processing Capability & Turnaround Time Drastically

·         Airline Processing Time Reduced to 2-3 Days

·         Full Backlog of Over 2.5 lakh COVID-19 Refunds Successfully Processed

Acknowledging that refunds have been an issue for many airlines during the global pandemic and subsequent recovery, Air India today shared details of the steps it has taken to improve its capability and performance in this area.

Like all airlines, Air India was severely impacted by COVID-19 and, regrettably, many customers’ travel plans were affected.  As one of many steps undertaken to better meet customer expectations and speedily address legacy issues post-privatisation, Air India placed high priority on clearing the backlog of refunds.  More than 2.5 lakh cases totalling in excess of Rs. 150 crore were processed in just the first few months after privatisation.

Significant effort has since been placed on improving processes and systems, and employing technology, to turn around new refunds cases at a greater pace.  As of today, an eligible refund request lodged on the Air India website will typically be processed by the airline within 2-3 days. 

Subsequent processing by banks and/or credit card companies, which is beyond the airline’s control, can add another two weeks before customers see the refund (less any fees deducted in accordance with the tickets’ conditions of sale) in their accounts.  In the case of bookings made via travel agents, the refund is made to the travel agent who is then responsible for disbursing to the traveller.

Commenting on the development, Air India’s Chief Customer Experience & Ground Services Officer, Mr. Rajesh Dogra said, “At Air India, the customer is our top most priority. The processing of a record number of pending refund cases is a testimony to the different teams coming together and addressing a key legacy issue in a comprehensive and effective manner. As part of our transformation, we are committed to bring standardised structure across our functions which is critical for us to emerge as one of the world class airline brands globally.”

Mr. Dogra added, “We encourage anyone who believes they have a refund outstanding from Air India to provide details via the Old Pending Refund Link on the home page of our website This link has been specially created to address if there is any residual old pending refund case”

About Air India:

Founded by the legendary JRD Tata, Air India is synonymous with the growth and evolution of civil aviation in India. Since its first flight on October 15, 1932, Air India has spread its wings to become a major international airline with a network across USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Far-East & South-East Asia, Australia and the Gulf. The airline also has an extensive domestic network connecting over 55 cities in the country through its fleet of narrow and wide bodied air crafts. Air India has been a member of Star Alliance, the largest global airline consortium, since July, 2014.

India's first international budget carrier, Air India Express was launched in 2005 to meet the need for affordable services on short and medium haul routes- connecting smaller towns directly to the Gulf and South East Asia regions. After operating for over 69 years as a Government-owned enterprise, Air India and Air India Express were reacquired by the Tata group in January 2022. Post the acquisition, time-bound transformation milestones have been laid out and a series of steps have been initiated towards ensuring Air India emerges as a world class airline.

Vihaan.AI, derived from the Sanskrit for “Dawn of a New Era”, is Air India’s five-year transformational roadmap.  Supported by five pillars, multiple workstreams and spanning three phases over five years, Vihaan.AI will see dramatic growth in Air India’s network and fleet, a completely revamped product and customer proposition, and much-improved reliability. The airline will also take a leadership position in technology, sustainability and innovation, while aggressively investing in the best industry talent. Vihaan.AI is aimed at putting Air India on a path to sustained growth, profitability and market leadership, and restoring the airline to the heights of global aviation.

About the Tata group:

Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising 30 companies across ten verticals. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission 'To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.

Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation, and art and culture. In 2020-21, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion (INR 7.7 trillion). These companies collectively employ over 800,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of $314 billion (INR 23.4 trillion) as on December 31, 2021. Companies include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Titan, Tata Capital, Tata Power, Tata Communications, Indian Hotels, Tata Digital and Tata Electronics.

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