New Delhi: During the ongoing third wave of Covid-19, many have had to cancel their travel plans. Of those who did so, only 29 per cent were able to get a full refund from airlines, and 34 per cent from hotels, found a survey released Sunday.
The survey conducted by LocalCircles, a community social media platform, asked people about their travel plans between January and March this year, and if they were able to get a refund in case they cancelled.
With the number of Covid cases surging across the country, many states have imposed local restrictions on movement, making it difficult for people to travel domestically. International travel has also been affected due to the new Covid variant Omicron, with many countries imposing restrictions on travellers.
However, the survey found that during the third wave, the number of people who were able to secure a refund for hotel or flight bookings was twice the figure from the second Covid wave in April last year, when the number was only 12 per cent.
When it comes to hotels, during the second wave, only 13 per cent people were able to get a full refund. The number is higher at 34 per cent this time.
However, the survey found that 27 per cent people said they lost the full amount to the hotel/travel agent. Others got either a partial refund or changed their travel date.
The survey report was based on responses from over 20,000 people living in 332 districts across the country. “Sixty two percent respondents were men while 38 percent respondents were women. 51 percent respondents were from tier 1, 34 percent from tier 2 and 15 percent respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts,” the survey said.
Policy needed, say participants
The survey said participants on the LocalCircles platform suggested that the “government should come up with a special policy for travel booking refunds till the Covid-19 pandemic is going on, especially for airlines and hotels”.
The suggestion had come up in another survey that the platform had conducted in August 2021, it added. “This has the support of 90 percent of citizens saying they want the Government to come up with such a policy,” it said.
“LocalCircles will share the findings of this survey with the Central and State Governments so the issue can be taken up with the airlines and hotel operators, so citizens are not penalised for the cancellation due to the 3rd wave. Also, an effort be made to come up with a uniform policy for travel booking refunds till the Covid-19 pandemic exists,” it added.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)