BENGALURU: A tour operator in the city was ordered to refund Rs 2 lakh and pay Rs 3,000 compensation to a family for a scheduled Europe trip. The family moved the forum as the travel agent did not consider their request to either postpone the tour or refund their advance, as one of their family members was hospitalised.
“It is proper to order the Chariot World Tours Limited (CWTL) to return Rs 2 lakh paid towards the Europe tour with interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum, along with Rs 20,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 as cost of litigation. Accordingly, the CWTL should comply this order within 45 days from the date of receipt of this order,” the forum comprising president R K Prathibha and Member N R Roopa said.
According to the complaint filed by Savithri, resident of Ashoknagar at BSK I Stage, and four others, they booked a 19 days/18 nights (3 star) Europe tour by paying advance of Rs 40,000 each, amounting to a total of Rs 2 lakh, on October and November 2017. The journey was scheduled between May 3 and May 21, 2018. However, a family member who was supposed to travel was hospitalised and was advised to take bed rest for six months. The complainant requested for the tour to be postponed and also produced the hospital discharge summary, via e-mail on March 15, 2018.
Alternatively, the complainant sought a refund of the entire amount of Rs 2 lakh with interest at the rate of 18 per cent and to pay damages of Rs 1 lakh.In counter, the CWTL contended that if for any reason these reservations must be done for another date of travel, new payments for the new date of travel must be made and the payments made by them for the previous dates would be forfeited. Hence, the complainant would not be eligible for refund of amount. To substantiate this contention, it produced terms and conditions of the policy.
However, it failed to prove that the said agreement was duly signed by both the parties. The complainant contended that the agreement was one-sided.Meanwhile, the CWTL started contending that the passports of two of them were new ones and hence they could travel on the said date which was against their assurance and promise.
This apart, the CWTL argued that it had booked air tickets, reserved hotel in the name of the complainants before applying for visa, as the same was necessary to obtain UK and Europe/Schenzen visa. Hence, the amount was not refundable. It also produced Visa appointment confirmation but failed to produce the document to prove whether the appointment was communicated to the complainants or not.