The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) on Wednesday directed travel aggregators to process pending refunds of consumers by the third week of November. This matter relates to pending refunds of air tickets booked during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

“The travel platforms were informed that they should process the pending refunds by third week of November, pursuant to which CCPA may initiate appropriate legal proceedings before the Supreme Court including filing of a contempt petition against the defaulting platforms,” an official statement added.

DoCA held a meeting on Wednesday with online travel aggregators to discuss issues “prejudicial” to consumer interest in the travel sector. The meeting was chaired by Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs. The issue of non-refunding the number of tickets booked during the Covid-19 lockdown was discussed during the meeting, the official statement added.

It was also discussed that for effective resolution of consumer complaints, the National Consumer Helpline may be integrated with the Air Sewa Portal, the statement added.

“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 statement added.

The meeting was attended by representatives from major travel platforms and noted consumer activisits.