Air India is honoring its pledge to improve customer experience by redesigning its refund timeline. The airline has begun to process COVID-time refunds that have been owed since before the Tatas took over. Recognizing the challenges that customers experienced during COVID, Air India has extended the validity of its frequent flyer points until March of next year.
Air India has issued over 250,000 reimbursements totaling $18 million as a result of the global epidemic and has shared details on the efforts it has taken in the last three months to expedite the process.
The airline recognized that, like all airlines, Air India (AI) was significantly impacted by COVID-19, disrupting many travelers’ itineraries. AI has emphasized resolving the backlog of refunds as one of many actions done to better fulfill consumer expectations and address residual concerns post-privatization.
However, the process of progress does not end with COVID returns. Moving forward, the carrier has implemented a system that intends to cut refund processing time to two to three days. AI stated in a statement issued on Monday,
“As of today, an eligible refund request lodged on Air India website will typically be processed by the airline in 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 in their account. 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 traveler.”
During the epidemic, Air India, like many other carriers around the world, faced a severe financial shortage and was slow to issue refunds. However, with the Tatas in the picture, this is no longer a concern.
After acquiring Air India, one of the first promises made by the Tata Group was to improve customer experience. In another instance of putting customers first, the airline has chosen to extend the validity of flying returns (FR) points, tier status, and member status, as well as associated incentives, under Flying Returns, the airline’s ‘Frequent Flyer’ program, until March 31st, 2023.
The Times of India quoted Rajesh Dogra, Air India’s chief customer experience officer and worldwide head of airport operations, as saying,
“In the Covid induced pandemic, our customers couldn’t utilize our services in the last 2 years. As travel plans return to normal … they are our top priority and we continue to support our loyal Air India community by extending benefits under Flying Returns programme till March, 2023.”
These changes aren’t all that surprising, given that AI’s new owners recently disclosed their long-term strategy for the firm, which aims to transform the airline into a world-class product centered on Indian values.
Air India has established core objectives – network, fleet, customer service, technology, and so on – and has given itself five years to fulfill them in phases under the Vihaan plan. In Sanskrit, AI represents the beginning of a new age.