Indian Airline Faces Complaint For Refusing To Accept Payment in Rupees

A Delhi businessman lodged a police complaint, saying IndiGo refused Indian currency on a Bengaluru-Dubai flight.


A businessman from New Delhi has lodged a complaint against the IndiGo airline for not accepting Indian currency when he wanted to buy breakfast during a flight from Bengaluru to Dubai. Pramod Kumar Jain, in his complaint submitted to Sarojini Nagar Police Station, said that the private budget carrier “dishonored” the national currency with their refusal.

In his complaint that detailed the incident, Jain said that he boarded the IndiGo flight 6E95 at 7:20 am on the morning of Oct. 10. The IndiGo inflight menu, which has prices for food items mentioned in US dollars, had a last page mentioning that the airline accepts US dollars as well as the local currency of the country of origin and the destination of flight. A copy of the inflight menu was also submitted to the police.

Jain added that the crew had received directions to accept only foreign currency and that another passenger in the flight faced a similar situation.

In response, IndiGo released a statement saying no law was broken in their refusal to accept Indian currency. According to them, it is clearly mentioned in the onboard sales menu and the policy is in line with the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). They went on to say that they have asked the Reserve Bank of India to allow higher onboard sales in rupees (above Rs. 25,000).

IndiGo officials emphasized that the refusal to accept Indian currency for onboard sales is in line with FEMA regulation 3, Business Today reported. “We have filed a request for carrying onboard sales in INR (above 25,000) with Reserve Bank of India on February 26 2014 and June 05, 2014,” the report quoted an official as saying.

The letter written by IndiGo to the RBI stated that in order to carry on their onboard sales, the airline would need to import currency in amounts higher than the amount mentioned in FEMA regulations i.e Rs 25,000, the publication added. The letter also said that the use of the term “person” as per the regulations includes a “company” and that there is a lack of clarity whether the prescribed limit of import and export of Indian currency would apply “per flight” of IndiGo.

The airline had requested the bank to increase the limit of import of Indian currency to Rs 1,50,000. Originally, according to FEMA regulations, the limit for import of Indian currency was Rs 10,000. The limit was amended to Rs 25,000.

AirAsia and SpiceJet officials, however, said that Indian currency is accepted on their international flights, the report added.

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