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Coronavirus COVID-19 - Aegean policies, responses, help & advice ["noise free"]

Old Mar 11, 2020, 7:54 am
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To prevent thread drift and separation, this is a consolidated thread to document all A3 actions/issues/solutions etc related to the COVID-19 virus. Several previously raised threads have been consolidated into this one. Others where the information and/or advice is now outdated because of the speed at which events move have been closed.

Please use this thread to document actions related to A3 only. General COVID-19 discussions should be made in the dedicated FT forum: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/coronavirus-travel-773/

This is your wiki, so please feel free to populate it with useful information as it emerges and evolves.
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Coronavirus COVID-19 - Aegean policies, responses, help & advice ["noise free"]

Old May 12, 2020, 6:08 pm
  #241  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Programs: aegean gold , klm explorer
Posts: 501
Originally Posted by asnovici
Is Aegean still refusing refunds if they cancelled the flight? If so I'll just chargeback.

Called Aegean and they dont admit the flights are cancelled even though they dont show up on their own website anymore at all and neither in ExpertFyer. They keep saying the flights are operating but are full. is this a weird attempt at delaying the refunds by not admitting its cancelled? How does one get notified when a flight is cancelled?

On another subject, I came across two unprofessional agents on the Gold line, one claiming a flight was zeroed out (it wasnt and another agent was able to book me on it) and another (male agent for the first time at Aegean center) outright yelling at me to the point I hung up. I think this airline is showing its true colors. TK is looking a lot better. They may have their own issues but no one has yelled at me there. Just a yucky experience.
most cc don't chargeback over vouchers. Same reason as airlines not refunding in the first place.
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Old May 12, 2020, 6:40 pm
  #242  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: DFW
Programs: OWE AA EXP;*A TK Gold; Marriott LTT; Hyatt Globalist; IHG Plat; National VIP
Posts: 3,076
Originally Posted by Yreal
most cc don't chargeback over vouchers. Same reason as airlines not refunding in the first place.
Mine did with Brussels and KLM when they insisted on vouchers. Issue is that they dont even admit the flights are cancelled so not even an offer of a voucher.
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Old May 13, 2020, 1:45 am
  #243  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wedged somewhere between BTS and VIE ✈
Programs: Star Alliance Gold (A3 Gold), Oneworld Sapphire (BA Silver), Hilton Diamond
Posts: 6,334
Originally Posted by Yreal
are you gonna sue cash vs voucher?

unless you'r a bored lawyer, you won't.
Did I ever write that I wanted a refund?? Actually, I have requested vouchers, because it's financially advantageous to do so. That doesn't excuse Aegean from their disgusting unscrupulous behaviour by breaking EU law.

When I book a flight, I should have confidence that in unforeseen circumstances the terms and conditions (and laws) that apply to the booking (CONTRACT) are adhered to. Those are there to protect me just as much as the airline, so it's totally unacceptable for the airline to then turn around and say they will not follow the law. That leaves me with zero confidence. The fact that Aegean needs money, frankly is not my concern. If they want to keep people's money (at point of cancellation it's no longer their money), they should do something to encourage passengers to leave the money in their coffers. Other airlines are offering financial incentives - such as a cash bonus, or % discounts - they are not just point blank refusing to offer refunds - WHICH IS BREAKING THE LAW.

I had bookings with Lufthansa, Austrian and Virgin Atlantic, and although they all tried to wriggle out of their obligations (with the voucher c**p), they have all agreed to process a refund. The law is the law. Aegean's behaviour will leave a bitter taste in many people's mouths.
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Old May 13, 2020, 1:49 am
  #244  
Moderator: Aegean Miles+Bonus
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AMS / ATH
Programs: AFKL Plat, A3 Gold
Posts: 7,304
Originally Posted by irishguy28
At the risk of going OT, having had 2 AF vouchers issued so far, that has not been my experience.

The first was for a ticket for which I was informed on March 27 of the cancellation; I immediately requested the voucher, received a confirmation of the request 2 days later, and the voucher itself on March 30. That was handled by the Platinum Service line, which may explain the quick turnaround.
The second was for a ticket for which I was informed on April 16 of the cancellation; I immediately requested the voucher, received an automated "Waiting times may be longer than usual" reply the same day, and the voucher itself on May 1.
Unfortunately not my experience as a lowly gold. Requested the voucher early April, no communication whatsoever. When I asked about it on Facebook I was basically told 'we' re busy, don't bother us, just wait'. Maybe I will call them now that the call enters should be better reachable.
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Old May 13, 2020, 2:33 am
  #245  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Programs: aegean gold , klm explorer
Posts: 501
Originally Posted by headingwest
Did I ever write that I wanted a refund?? Actually, I have requested vouchers, because it's financially advantageous to do so. That doesn't excuse Aegean from their disgusting unscrupulous behaviour by breaking EU law.

When I book a flight, I should have confidence that in unforeseen circumstances the terms and conditions (and laws) that apply to the booking (CONTRACT) are adhered to. Those are there to protect me just as much as the airline, so it's totally unacceptable for the airline to then turn around and say they will not follow the law. That leaves me with zero confidence. The fact that Aegean needs money, frankly is not my concern. If they want to keep people's money (at point of cancellation it's no longer their money), they should do something to encourage passengers to leave the money in their coffers. Other airlines are offering financial incentives - such as a cash bonus, or % discounts - they are not just point blank refusing to offer refunds - WHICH IS BREAKING THE LAW.

I had bookings with Lufthansa, Austrian and Virgin Atlantic, and although they all tried to wriggle out of their obligations (with the voucher c**p), they have all agreed to process a refund. The law is the law. Aegean's behaviour will leave a bitter taste in many people's mouths.
yes, and under exeptional circumstances contract law becomes a lot more fluid. You have you right, and if they other party won't give it to you, you have to sue them.

which you won't. So stop "hur hur breaking the law".
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Old May 13, 2020, 2:44 am
  #246  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wedged somewhere between BTS and VIE ✈
Programs: Star Alliance Gold (A3 Gold), Oneworld Sapphire (BA Silver), Hilton Diamond
Posts: 6,334
Originally Posted by Yreal
yes, and under exeptional circumstances contract law becomes a lot more fluid. You have you right, and if they other party won't give it to you, you have to sue them.

which you won't. So stop "hur hur breaking the law".
Just stating a fact. And there is nothing 'fluid' about it at all. The EU have reminded the airlines of their legal obligations several times.

Last edited by headingwest; May 13, 2020 at 2:50 am
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Old May 13, 2020, 3:08 am
  #247  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Programs: aegean gold , klm explorer
Posts: 501
Originally Posted by headingwest
Just stating a fact. And there is nothing 'fluid' about it at all. The EU have reminded the airlines of their legal obligations several times.
yes. And they won't do it, for in my opinion at least, good reasons.

so... you have to sue them. And win. But 99.99% of the people won't do that.
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Old May 13, 2020, 3:10 am
  #248  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: PAS, Paros Greece
Programs: A3 *G
Posts: 1,362
Originally Posted by powergean
Not breaking europian low, from today. Eu comission said 12 month only voucher, not cash refund.
But is a law enforceable if it is backdated in such a way? The specific Greek law was passed on 13th April but came into effect for bookings cancelled from 25th February. I really don't see how it could stand up in the European courts if it ever came to that, which it almost certainly never will, unfortunately.

I actually just found the official Greek government text on this from the parliament website.

https://www.hellenicparliament.gr/en...pe=0_0_0_0_0_0

Good luck actually navigating that site, but if you Google A'84/13.04.20 you'll find plenty of English interpretations.

And here's the actual text in Greek:

https://news.gtp.gr/wp-content/uploa...-13-04-20-.pdf


On a positive note, I also found out something I didn't know. The credit vouchers are actually backed by the government, which at least allays the fear that they would become worthless if Aegean doesn't survive.

8. Credit notes issued under the provisions of this Act of Legislative Content from tourism companies offering packages under the Presidential Decree 7/2018 (A’ 12) are protected against the tourism company’s insolvency, as specified in art. 16 of the Presidential Decree 7/2018.
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Last edited by Knobbgb; May 13, 2020 at 3:17 am
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Old May 13, 2020, 6:24 am
  #249  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Cyprus
Programs: THY Elite Plus, Aegean Gold, LH FTL. Former BA Gold, Air France Platinum, Czech Gold, United PE.
Posts: 640
Originally Posted by headingwest
Did I ever write that I wanted a refund?? Actually, I have requested vouchers, because it's financially advantageous to do so. That doesn't excuse Aegean from their disgusting unscrupulous behaviour by breaking EU law.

When I book a flight, I should have confidence that in unforeseen circumstances the terms and conditions (and laws) that apply to the booking (CONTRACT) are adhered to. Those are there to protect me just as much as the airline, so it's totally unacceptable for the airline to then turn around and say they will not follow the law. That leaves me with zero confidence. The fact that Aegean needs money, frankly is not my concern. If they want to keep people's money (at point of cancellation it's no longer their money), they should do something to encourage passengers to leave the money in their coffers. Other airlines are offering financial incentives - such as a cash bonus, or % discounts - they are not just point blank refusing to offer refunds - WHICH IS BREAKING THE LAW.

I had bookings with Lufthansa, Austrian and Virgin Atlantic, and although they all tried to wriggle out of their obligations (with the voucher c**p), they have all agreed to process a refund. The law is the law. Aegean's behaviour will leave a bitter taste in many people's mouths.
'Disgusting unscrupulous behaviour' is a strong term but it is correct. Aegean are also deliberately lying. In my case, they promised to make refunds for two separate tickets. Now they have said that 'technical problems' prevent them making a refund to the credit card I used for the transaction. 'Technical problems' also apparently prevent them making a refund to the alternative bank account that I gave details of to them. I have now replied to them to be honest and admit that these 'technical problems' are that they have no money in their account. Being bust is no excuse for deliberately lying.
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Old May 13, 2020, 8:17 am
  #250  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: ARN
Programs: A3*G, SK*G
Posts: 336
Originally Posted by Knobbgb
On a positive note, I also found out something I didn't know. The credit vouchers are actually backed by the government, which at least allays the fear that they would become worthless if Aegean doesn't survive.
Well, the Greek governement has effectively gone bakrupt three times in the past decade, so I wouldn't take their guarantee at face value, but rather as an attempt to sweeten the pill. But even if it doesn't get to that (and based on the current outlook, it seems that most likely it won't), consider that $*** is just about to hit the fan all arounf Europe right now. And when it does, I can't see how EU governements would spend any cash on paying back airline voucher holders, amid a rising trend in unemployment, job destruction, business closures and their healthcare systems in dire need of funding...
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Old May 13, 2020, 8:21 am
  #251  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: ARN
Programs: A3*G, SK*G
Posts: 336
Bloomberg reports today (bolding mine):
  • Travel vouchers offered by airlines to passengers whose flights have been canceled should be made more attractive through, for example, a minimum duration period of a year, the possibility to transfer them for free to other people and government protection against insolvency of the carriers
  • NOTE: The commission is rejecting a demand by around half of EU governments to shore up the liquidity of airlines by scaling back their obligation to pay refunds for canceled flights. Rather, its standing firmly by a 2004 EU law that requires airlines to refund tickets for canceled flights within seven days unless affected passengers opt for another solution such as vouchers
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Old May 13, 2020, 8:44 am
  #252  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: MMX (CPH) / VIE
Programs: A3*G, LH*FQTV
Posts: 99
Originally Posted by Knobbgb
But is a law enforceable if it is backdated in such a way? The specific Greek law was passed on 13th April but came into effect for bookings cancelled from 25th February. I really don't see how it could stand up in the European courts if it ever came to that, which it almost certainly never will, unfortunately.
Found an English version here, hope it's accurate: https://contessinacollection.com/cov...lation-policy/

In any case, whether backdated or not, this law contradicts EC261/2004, which leaves no room for member states to add any additional provisions to the right to reimbursement. Any (local) court tasked with settling a dispute on this matter (e.g. between you and an airline refusing to reimburse you) would have to follow EC261, since it overrules any contradicting national provisions, and could only take non-contradicting parts of the national law into consideration.

(Theoretically, the national courts (which one specifically depends on the member state's justice system) could defer the question to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which would probably invalidate these provisions, because they weaken the higher-ranking EU law. Similarly, the Commission could start an infringement procedure against Greece and thereby force Greece to repeal the provisions. Both of which isn't necessary though, because already in the local court EU law will take precedent.)

Of course, no matter the legality of the provisions, it gives airlines enough cover to try and force you to take a voucher. It would be interesting to see how the National Enforcement Bodies (such as Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority - Passenger Rights) interpret the situation and whether airlines actually were to accept any arbitration leading to a cash reimbursement. If so, there's a rather easy (albeit not quick) way to get your money back without having to involve a court. Besides chargebacks of course, but their usefulness has already been discussed at length, it seems.

All that being said, this law looks very similar to the Commission's guidelines released today, just that the Commission knows that this can only be offered as an additional choice to passengers, not as a replacement to the existing right to reimbursement:

Making vouchers a more attractive option for consumers:

Under EU rules, travellers have the right to choose between vouchers or cash reimbursement for cancelled transport tickets (plane, train, bus/coach, and ferries) or package travel. While reaffirming this right, the Commission's recommendation aims to ensure that vouchers become a viable and more attractive alternative to reimbursement for cancelled trips in the context of the current pandemic, which has also put heavy financial strains on travel operators. The voluntary vouchers should be protected against insolvency of the issuer, with a minimum validity period of 12 months, and be refundable after at most one year, if not redeemed. They should also provide passengers sufficient flexibility, should allow the passengers to travel on the same route under the same service conditions or the travellers to book a package travel contract with the same type of services or of equivalent quality. They should also be transferable to another traveller.
Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/pres...l/en/ip_20_854
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Old May 13, 2020, 11:17 am
  #253  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 486
I dont unerstand, if somebody alredy chosen the voucher, can change his mine, and ask for money refund?
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Old May 13, 2020, 11:55 am
  #254  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: MMX (CPH) / VIE
Programs: A3*G, LH*FQTV
Posts: 99
No, once you've accepted a voucher, you voluntarily waived your right to reimbursement (though, maybe you could try to argue that you were tricked into taking the voucher, but once again, that's matter for the courts and not a straightforward case).

But: if your flight was canceled for any reason (incl. Covid-19), you have the right to be reimbursed in cash – not by voucher – within 7 days, because the relevant EU legislation (EC261/2004) is valid and takes precedent over national law for as long as it exists in this form (and once again, the Commission cannot and will not change this). If the airline does not comply, you can turn to the National Enforcement Body for arbitration and/or go to court. Of course, if you're not prepared to do so, you're gonna have to play by the rules of the airline, whether they are following the law or not.
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Old May 13, 2020, 12:18 pm
  #255  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 486
Thanks! But in thes case, i am sure, then 90% of the people alredy got the voucher, after the greek government said, that no cash refund, only voucher. I dont belive, that many people going to the court.....So the airline is still the winner.
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