Airlines beg passengers to take vouchers over refunds

Airlines beg passengers to take vouchers over refunds
Credit: Belga

Airlines are asking for help from passengers by accepting vouchers instead of refunds for flights cancelled during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director-General Alexandre de Juniac said Wednesday.

“We are asking for help from passengers (…), it’s true, and we are asking for it on our knees,” de Juniac said on BFM Business.

Airlines are refunding tickets for cancelled flights only in the form of vouchers while promising a cash refund if customers demand it, but with at least a nine-month delay in order to preserve their finances, which have been damaged by the crisis. EU rules, however, give passengers the right to a refund within two weeks.

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The airlines’ position has been attacked by consumer associations. At the beginning of July, the Commission launched an infringement procedure against ten European Union countries to defend the right of travellers to be reimbursed if their stays are cancelled because of the coronavirus.

“We are still trying to get the European Commission to give us the power to present assets to (…) defer reimbursement,” de Juniac said Wednesday, acknowledging that it was a “difficult” position and “not appreciated by everyone.”

The Brussels Times

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