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Aegeanís non refund policy for COVID cancelled flights illegal

Aegeanís non refund policy for COVID cancelled flights illegal

Old Aug 3, 20, 10:13 am
  #1  
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Aegeanís non refund policy for COVID cancelled flights illegal

The European commission has this to say:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/inf_20_1212


2 July 2020
ďCommission opens infringement proceedings against GREECE and ITALY for failure to comply with EU rules protecting rights of passengers

Today the European Commission launched infringement proceedings by sending letters of formal notice to Greece and Italy for being in violation of EU rules protecting rights of passengers. Both Greece and Italy have taken measures that do not comply with EU rules on air passenger rights (Regulation (EC) No 261/2004) and on waterborne travel (Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010). Furthermore, Italy has taken measures that do not comply with EU rules on bus and coach travel (Regulation (EU) No 181/2011) and rail passenger rights (Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007). Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many companies in the transport sector have been faced with unsustainable cash flows and revenue situations. Throughout this crisis, the Commission has consistently made clear that passenger rights remain valid in the current unprecedented context and national measures to support the industry must not lower them. While the European Commission is also assessing the situation in other Member States by requesting further information on the application of the rules, Greece and Italy have adopted legislation allowing carriers to offer vouchers as the only form of reimbursement. Under the EU passenger rights Regulations, however, passengers have the right to choose between reimbursement in money and other forms of refund, such as a voucher. If they are offered vouchers, the passengers have to agree to this solution. Greece and Italy now have two months to reply to the arguments raised by the Commission, otherwise the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.Ē

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/inf_20_1212
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Old Aug 3, 20, 10:39 am
  #2  
 
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Considering it looked at one time like there was no option other than accepting a voucher, most people probably have those now. Especially as there was a time limit on when you could apply (I think is was 2 months after the scheduled flight).

The problem is, how do you get refunds for bookings that you have received vouchers for? Pretty impossible I'd say.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 10:45 am
  #3  
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One would hope that Aegean in light of any potential fines may proactively or passively accept to cancel vouchers and issue refunds. Otherwise it will be an 18 month wait to get our money back. In any case this exposes the disgusting behaviour by Aegean and the Greek government.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 10:54 am
  #4  
 
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I believe that Aegean reduced the time to 12 months to cash in the vouchers. Still not acceptable though!
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Old Aug 3, 20, 12:48 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by eagle4121 View Post
One would hope that Aegean in light of any potential fines may proactively or passively accept to cancel vouchers and issue refunds. Otherwise it will be an 18 month wait to get our money back. In any case this exposes the disgusting behaviour by Aegean and the Greek government.
Aegean can't get fined, because they have to respect the law and they can't be punished for respecting it. Their country voted on a new law - it's not something Aegean can affect; their only option is to adhere to it. So the only side that can be "fined" is the government itself. It's a funny thing - they advised the government that they needed this law, but they are basically covered ha. Of course, nothing will happen out of this and I'm sure they'll start issuing refunds sooner than planned either way.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 2:09 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by atothepoweroftwo View Post
Aegean can't get fined, because they have to respect the law and they can't be punished for respecting it. Their country voted on a new law - it's not something Aegean can affect; their only option is to adhere to it. So the only side that can be "fined" is the government itself. It's a funny thing - they advised the government that they needed this law, but they are basically covered ha. Of course, nothing will happen out of this and I'm sure they'll start issuing refunds sooner than planned either way.
Aegean have to respect all laws they operate under including EU law that is above Greek law. The Greek law in any case does not force them to offer vouchers, it simply allowed it in breach of EU regulations. Aegean as a responsible business should understand law supremacy in the EU and elected to still offer refunds.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 2:51 pm
  #7  
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The Greek law did not prohibit the payment of refunds, it simply suspended the duty to pay them. EC 261/2004, under which A3 operates requires the payment of refunds and thus anyone who is due a refund can get one.

I would advise initiating a chargeback with one's credit card issuer (bank), doing it in writing, and if one was issued a voucher, advising that one was denied a refund and that A3 is free to revoke the voucher if it wishes. Be certain to supply a copy of EC 261/2004 Section 8 (not the whole Regulation), the EC determination, a copy of your e-ticket receipt, notice of cancellation, and request for cancellation.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 3:32 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2020
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I know I will sound like I am an employee of Aegean who is defending them/us left and right no matter what, but I want to give you a perspective of someone working in eCommerce where chargebacks/disputes/claims are plentiful.

Chargebacks are considered to be the outcome of a complete breakdown in communication and usually the last step taken before the relationship is ended for good.

Now, reading through posts here I saw a lot of posters bragging how they're for example using lounge access benefits in a way that is hurting Aegean financially and that your affiliation with M&B is there only for your gain (a lot of you do not live in Greece/Cyprus and/or do not visit regularly apart from milage runs or do not fly with them at all). So let's say Aegean's losses are bigger-than-expected this year and hence each and every department has to cut costs. FFP dept goes ahead and reviews who is actually causing them to lose money (FFPs are supposed to earn money for the carrier, even though they are marketed as a benefit to flyers). They encounter your FFP activity coupled with the fees they had to pay for your chargebacks (usually EUR 15-30 per chargeback on top of the chargebacked amount) and decide cancelling your membership in the program is the way to go. What would happen with the award is something that you should take into account (I guess status miles can be reassigned if you have all the details of your previous flights). They would not be vindictive in doing this, they would simply be saving money as you are aware you are a money burner for them with an added risk of pulling the chargeback trigger.

If you want your money because you will not fly Aegean again, of course you should go ahead and claim it. Personally, I'm not submitting chargebacks even though Aegean cancelled all July and August flights from my home airport. I'm not even convinced I'll be able to visit Greece this summer at all (we have been "re-banned" and by the looks of it I highly doubt we'll be allowed in). So Aegean has my money and it's very likely I won't be able to use the vouchers for the foreseeable future.

But considering a lot of FFs really care about their miles and program affiliations, I would not be so easy on the trigger. I worked at multiple eCom businesses (some of them huge) and they had a wide range of ways dealing with customers who submitted chargebacks. Some of those ways can affect customers even outside the company/platform in question. Don't think I'm wishing something bad to happen to your FF account/Star Alliance reputation, but you should definitely do a risk assessment before hitting Aegean with chargebacks. Again, I'm all up for you getting your money, but the age old question of who is right aside - just make sure you are prepared to jeopardize your relationship with them, possibly permanently.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 3:57 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by atothepoweroftwo View Post
I know I will sound like I am an employee of Aegean who is defending them/us left and right no matter what, but I want to give you a perspective of someone working in eCommerce where chargebacks/disputes/claims are plentiful.

Chargebacks are considered to be the outcome of a complete breakdown in communication and usually the last step taken before the relationship is ended for good.

Now, reading through posts here I saw a lot of posters bragging how they're for example using lounge access benefits in a way that is hurting Aegean financially and that your affiliation with M&B is there only for your gain (a lot of you do not live in Greece/Cyprus and/or do not visit regularly apart from milage runs or do not fly with them at all). So let's say Aegean's losses are bigger-than-expected this year and hence each and every department has to cut costs. FFP dept goes ahead and reviews who is actually causing them to lose money (FFPs are supposed to earn money for the carrier, even though they are marketed as a benefit to flyers). They encounter your FFP activity coupled with the fees they had to pay for your chargebacks (usually EUR 15-30 per chargeback on top of the chargebacked amount) and decide cancelling your membership in the program is the way to go. What would happen with the award is something that you should take into account (I guess status miles can be reassigned if you have all the details of your previous flights). They would not be vindictive in doing this, they would simply be saving money as you are aware you are a money burner for them with an added risk of pulling the chargeback trigger.

If you want your money because you will not fly Aegean again, of course you should go ahead and claim it. Personally, I'm not submitting chargebacks even though Aegean cancelled all July and August flights from my home airport. I'm not even convinced I'll be able to visit Greece this summer at all (we have been "re-banned" and by the looks of it I highly doubt we'll be allowed in). So Aegean has my money and it's very likely I won't be able to use the vouchers for the foreseeable future.

But considering a lot of FFs really care about their miles and program affiliations, I would not be so easy on the trigger. I worked at multiple eCom businesses (some of them huge) and they had a wide range of ways dealing with customers who submitted chargebacks. Some of those ways can affect customers even outside the company/platform in question. Don't think I'm wishing something bad to happen to your FF account/Star Alliance reputation, but you should definitely do a risk assessment before hitting Aegean with chargebacks. Again, I'm all up for you getting your money, but the age old question of who is right aside - just make sure you are prepared to jeopardize your relationship with them, possibly permanently.
I am sure that I am not the only one not wanting to fly with Aegean ever again. I hold no FF with any Star Alliance airline and I judge Aegean against itís competitors. They have elected to be robbers in a time of crisis withholding the money of thousands of travellers and no the must pay the price. Their reputation is damaged forever.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 7:40 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by atothepoweroftwo View Post
I know I will sound like I am an employee of Aegean who is defending them/us left and right no matter what, but I want to give you a perspective of someone working in eCommerce where chargebacks/disputes/claims are plentiful.

Chargebacks are considered to be the outcome of a complete breakdown in communication and usually the last step taken before the relationship is ended for good.

Now, reading through posts here I saw a lot of posters bragging how they're for example using lounge access benefits in a way that is hurting Aegean financially and that your affiliation with M&B is there only for your gain (a lot of you do not live in Greece/Cyprus and/or do not visit regularly apart from milage runs or do not fly with them at all). So let's say Aegean's losses are bigger-than-expected this year and hence each and every department has to cut costs. FFP dept goes ahead and reviews who is actually causing them to lose money (FFPs are supposed to earn money for the carrier, even though they are marketed as a benefit to flyers). They encounter your FFP activity coupled with the fees they had to pay for your chargebacks (usually EUR 15-30 per chargeback on top of the chargebacked amount) and decide cancelling your membership in the program is the way to go. What would happen with the award is something that you should take into account (I guess status miles can be reassigned if you have all the details of your previous flights). They would not be vindictive in doing this, they would simply be saving money as you are aware you are a money burner for them with an added risk of pulling the chargeback trigger.

If you want your money because you will not fly Aegean again, of course you should go ahead and claim it. Personally, I'm not submitting chargebacks even though Aegean cancelled all July and August flights from my home airport. I'm not even convinced I'll be able to visit Greece this summer at all (we have been "re-banned" and by the looks of it I highly doubt we'll be allowed in). So Aegean has my money and it's very likely I won't be able to use the vouchers for the foreseeable future.

But considering a lot of FFs really care about their miles and program affiliations, I would not be so easy on the trigger. I worked at multiple eCom businesses (some of them huge) and they had a wide range of ways dealing with customers who submitted chargebacks. Some of those ways can affect customers even outside the company/platform in question. Don't think I'm wishing something bad to happen to your FF account/Star Alliance reputation, but you should definitely do a risk assessment before hitting Aegean with chargebacks. Again, I'm all up for you getting your money, but the age old question of who is right aside - just make sure you are prepared to jeopardize your relationship with them, possibly permanently.
Sorry to be blunt here.

EU law has, since 2005, required that in the case where a Member State carrier cancels a flight, the passenger may have a full refund upon request and that the refund must be processed within 7 days of the request. This is binary and easy to understand. If A3 fails to honor a clearcut legal obligation, any smart consumer will immediately initiate a chargeback on the 8th day if the refund is not in process.

If you have one shred of evidence that A3 retaliates against customers who exercise their legal rights under EU law, please post it. Otherwise, this is fear-mongering.
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Old Aug 4, 20, 1:57 am
  #11  
 
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Yes, a3 has to provide refunds in case of cancellations as per eu law.

but let's not forget this is a complete meltdown of the airline system that has never happens before. Ever single airline in the eu has done what Aegean has done. Paying out 3 months of revenue with 0 income would have bankrupted every single one of them.

in the grand scheme of things, your ticket doensnt matter. Sure, if you would go for it now, and sued, you'd win. But it would not come to that. They would stall you so long to the point they are sure you would go through would it and then pay up.

across the board people are waiting for refunds from all airlines. What are you gonna do never fly again? Just save yourself the hassle and the work, sit back, and use your voucher to go to Greece like you would it in the first place.

and I don't work for a3.
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Old Aug 4, 20, 2:52 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by atothepoweroftwo View Post
I know I will sound like I am an employee of Aegean who is defending them/us left and right no matter what, but I want to give you a perspective of someone working in eCommerce where chargebacks/disputes/claims are plentiful.

Chargebacks are considered to be the outcome of a complete breakdown in communication and usually the last step taken before the relationship is ended for good.

Now, reading through posts here I saw a lot of posters bragging how they're for example using lounge access benefits in a way that is hurting Aegean financially and that your affiliation with M&B is there only for your gain (a lot of you do not live in Greece/Cyprus and/or do not visit regularly apart from milage runs or do not fly with them at all). So let's say Aegean's losses are bigger-than-expected this year and hence each and every department has to cut costs. FFP dept goes ahead and reviews who is actually causing them to lose money (FFPs are supposed to earn money for the carrier, even though they are marketed as a benefit to flyers). They encounter your FFP activity coupled with the fees they had to pay for your chargebacks (usually EUR 15-30 per chargeback on top of the chargebacked amount) and decide cancelling your membership in the program is the way to go. What would happen with the award is something that you should take into account (I guess status miles can be reassigned if you have all the details of your previous flights). They would not be vindictive in doing this, they would simply be saving money as you are aware you are a money burner for them with an added risk of pulling the chargeback trigger.

If you want your money because you will not fly Aegean again, of course you should go ahead and claim it. Personally, I'm not submitting chargebacks even though Aegean cancelled all July and August flights from my home airport. I'm not even convinced I'll be able to visit Greece this summer at all (we have been "re-banned" and by the looks of it I highly doubt we'll be allowed in). So Aegean has my money and it's very likely I won't be able to use the vouchers for the foreseeable future.

But considering a lot of FFs really care about their miles and program affiliations, I would not be so easy on the trigger. I worked at multiple eCom businesses (some of them huge) and they had a wide range of ways dealing with customers who submitted chargebacks. Some of those ways can affect customers even outside the company/platform in question. Don't think I'm wishing something bad to happen to your FF account/Star Alliance reputation, but you should definitely do a risk assessment before hitting Aegean with chargebacks. Again, I'm all up for you getting your money, but the age old question of who is right aside - just make sure you are prepared to jeopardize your relationship with them, possibly permanently.
This is very true! I used to work as Head of Antifraud for many years in ECom and there is no sympathy for a client who does chargebacks. However, having read the terms and conditions there is nothing in the M+B terms allowing them to cancel the membership due to a "legal" chargeback such as "credit not processed" or "service not provided"
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Old Aug 4, 20, 2:58 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Yreal View Post
Yes, a3 has to provide refunds in case of cancellations as per eu law.

but let's not forget this is a complete meltdown of the airline system that has never happens before. Ever single airline in the eu has done what Aegean has done. Paying out 3 months of revenue with 0 income would have bankrupted every single one of them.

in the grand scheme of things, your ticket doensnt matter. Sure, if you would go for it now, and sued, you'd win. But it would not come to that. They would stall you so long to the point they are sure you would go through would it and then pay up.

across the board people are waiting for refunds from all airlines. What are you gonna do never fly again? Just save yourself the hassle and the work, sit back, and use your voucher to go to Greece like you would it in the first place.

and I don't work for a3.
I am sorry but this is inaccurate. I had refunds from Lufthansa, BA and easyJet. Aegean seem to be on a league of their own.
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Old Aug 4, 20, 3:53 am
  #14  
 
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I had A3 M+B award travel booked on SQ in May. The flight was rescheduled twice before being cancelled by the carrier. Aegean refunded my miles within 7 days of the cancellation and told me the fees and taxes would be refunded in due course. It wasn’t a huge amount, so I waited. The funds were credited to me last week, about 10 weeks after the cancellation.

Compared to some other airlines this is great. I have just served legal papers on LH Group for an outstanding Swiss refund. Perhaps the EU should start action against Germany. No, thought not.
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Old Aug 4, 20, 3:56 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Yreal View Post
across the board people are waiting for refunds from all airlines. What are you gonna do never fly again? Just save yourself the hassle and the work, sit back, and use your voucher to go to Greece like you would it in the first place.
All very well for most of us who read this forum, we obviously fly Aegean often so getting vouchers is not the worst thing that can happen.

But what about those (and I'm sure there are thousands) who booked flights for specific work, meetings, weddings, celebrations, or endless other reasons, that do not plan on going to Greece in the foreseeable future?

If Aegean wanted to keep hold of people's money, it should have made the voucher option more attractive, i.e. offering a percentage bonus. Unilaterally deciding to keep the money in their bank account is not an acceptable business practice, and does nothing to endear the airline to passengers.
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