Humans tend to forget easily and misplacing things are very common. Whenever you book your flights, you are issued flight tickets which can be e-tickets or paper tickets. Many a times flight tickets are lost by the people which can result in financial loss as well as people may have to cancel their travel plans. Flight tickets can even be stolen and misused by other people.
So what can be done if your flight ticket is lost? What are the steps which should be followed in this situation? What is the punishment for the person who steals and misuses the flight tickets? Answer to all these questions become significant to the people whose flight tickets are lost.
If you are not able to find your flight tickets and have misplaced it then following steps should be followed:
1. The first step which should be followed is to inform the particular airline company and tell them the details of ticket number and if you do not have any knowledge about the details like ticket number then the flight details should be provided to inform them
2. Next step is to register a First Information Report (FIR) at the nearest police station and the details of flight ticket or the flight should be told.
3. Go to the airport to get the replacement of the flight ticket. In some cases replacement ticket is issued but if it is not issued then the person has to buy the ticket again at the market price.
4. Then fill the application for refund amount of the flight tickets. Following are the terms and conditions of refund of Air India[i]:
- Ticket is to be submitted within 1 year of the expiry of the validity of the ticket.
- Tickets issued will be valid for Refund up to 15 months from the date of issue / 3 (Three) Months from the expiry of ticket validity.
- Refund will be made in accordance with the fare restrictions.
- If the payment has been done in cash, a cheque with the refund amount is sent to the address as specified by the passenger.
- If the payment has been made by credit/debit card, then the amount is credited back to the same credit card account.
- The refund cannot be processed to an alternate card account.
- In normal circumstances a refund is processed almost immediately. However, in case of a credit card bank transfer, it takes a minimum of twenty days.
5. Now-a-days, there is cover for lost flight tickets in the travel insurance plans so if you have travel insurance covering the same then the financial loss can be recovered. Following are the steps which should be taken by the policy holders in case they want to claim insurance:
- Inform the insurance company about the loss as soon as possible.
- Fill the insurance claim form.
- Some details which will be required by the insurance company in the procedure are as follows:
a. Name and contact details of insured
b. Place and country of loss
c. Date and time of accident
d. Policy Number
e. Any other detail as per company’s policy
- Submit the required documents with the insurance claim form. The procedure of submitting the documents will differ from one insurance company to the other.
In Indian Airlines Ltd v. N.N. Kini & Anr., the complainant lost 2 flight tickets and had to pay Rs. 5,920/- towards these two tickets. Indian Airlines refused to refund the amount of lost tickets. It was contended by Indian Airlines that they deal with large number of customers and they cannot keep the track of lost tickets. The validity of tickets was 6 months and they can be misused by any other person. But both the District and State forum gave orders in favour of complainant and directions were given to Indian Airlines to pay the refund amount along with some other charges. However, Indian Airlines appealed in National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and contended that according to Rule 8 of Indian Airlines Cancellation and Refund Regulations (1985), “Refund will be made only against documents surrendered and no claim will be entertained against lost documents”, therefore, there is statutory bar on refund of lost tickets.
- Theft- If the flight tickets are stolen then the person can be charged for ‘theft’ under Indian Penal Code, 1860. According to Section 378, “whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft.” Punishment for theft as per Section 379 is imprisonment for a term which may extend upto 3 years, or with fine or with both.
- Forgery- If the flight tickets are stolen and used by any other person which his/her identity then person can be punished under Section 465 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. Forgery is an offence under Section 463 of IPC. It states, “whoever makes any false documents or false electronic record or part of a document or electronic record, with intent to cause damage or injury, to the public or to any person, or to support any claim or title, or to cause any person to part with property, or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed, commits forgery.” Accused as per Section 465 of IPC, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term extending upto 2 years, or with fine, or with both.
One should be very careful while handling the important documents. Now-a-days, most of the travel companies issue e-tickets where the chance of misplacing ones’ tickets diminishes. However, if you are issued the paper tickets for your flight and have misplaced the tickets then the information to the airline company and police station should be given. After that application for refund of the lost ticket price should be made to cover the financial loss.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i]Air India, FAQs: Refund, Cancellations, Rebooking http://www.airindia.in/refund-cancelations-rebooking-faqs.htm (Last visited August 19, 2019)