Ayurshi Dutt, a second-year PhD student at Durham University, had booked her tickets just 10 days before the travel ban was imposed. To this date, her flight status is confirmed and she has not received any formal notification from the airline about the cancellation.
“These discrepancies will play out hugely when it comes to seeking a refund and students may have to face financial losses. While the local students are enjoying Christmas break, international students are unable to meet their families,” says Ayurshi.
Akhiljeet Kaur, an alumnus of London School of Economics (LSE) working with a consulting firm in the UK, was travelling to India on January 2, but the ban has got her worried about her travel plans.
“My flight schedules have not been altered yet as the suspension orders are effective only till December 31. There are chances of the ban getting extended if domestic or international pressure increases on the Indian government. I hope they still run the flights but have stricter quarantine and testing regulations,” Kaur tells Education Times.
Many students planning the India visit are worried about spending extra money on rent until flights are resumed again. Few students, including Ayurshi, were lucky for having their university accommodation contract extended.
“As per pre-Covid guidelines, once a student signs a contract to live in university accommodation, they cannot terminate the lease. But, many universities have made their lease agreements flexible and are processing refunds to those who have paid for the entire year or term and had to stay in their family homes,” adds Ayurshi.