Old Mar 17, 2020, 1:00 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: oliver2002
Air France's rebooking policy: https://www.airfrance.nl/NL/en/common/page_flottante/hp/news-air-traffic-air-france.htm?_ga=2.60869669.82286185.1584471569-101309917.1487618201 KLM's rebooking policy: https://www.klm.com/travel/nl_nl/prepare_for_travel/up_to_date/flight_update/index.htm

Worksheet/flowchart for Travel Agents: http://image.email.bluebiz.info/lib/fe9013727c62017f75/m/4/575524f1-d29b-4548-b393-eb5ab0eee26b.pdf

European Commission EC261/2004 guidelines in context of COVD-19 dated 18 MAR 2020 US DoT Enforcement Notice regarding refunds dated 3 APR 2020.

Some additional information:
1) North American ticket holders can typically request chargebacks from their banks.
2) Furthermore, for flights that touch US soil, they may also file complains with the US DOT.
3) American Express in France and in the Netherlands reportedly refuse to open chargeback disputes for cardholders. Unclear whether other banks are following this policy.
4) At this stage, 14 EU member states out of 27 support amending EC261 regulation (which mandates airlines give the consumer the choice of a refund) for the duration of the crisis. Some of these member states have already suspended the enforcement of the regulation with respect to the obligation for a refund. Air France/KLM supports the proposed amendment.

Statement by 12 of these 14 EU member states: https://www.aviation24.be/miscellaneous/passenger-rights/coronavirus-twelve-eu-member-states-ask-commission-to-amend-regulation-ec-261-2004-to-allow-issuance-of-vouchers-in-lieu-of-refund/

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COVID-19: AF/KL rebooking/refund policy

Old Mar 16, 2020, 11:16 am
Join Date: Oct 2006
Programs: AS, FB, MB, MR, HH
Posts: 347
Originally Posted by majik
You can request a refund for flights to/from the following countries, China, Italy, Bahrain, Kuwait, Singapore and South Korea. It's clearly indicated on the link you posted!
As of this morning 830CET, Italy, Bahrain, Kuwait and Singapore removed from the refund list. There seems to be a real push to keep peoples money.
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Old Mar 16, 2020, 11:27 am
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by Jeppo10
I rebooked a flight yesterday at a cost of 90eur.

I assuming the 'no extra cost' means just no 'rebooking fees,' but you still pay the difference. Am I correct?
Yep, you are correct. If there is a difference, you should to pay the difference.
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Old Mar 16, 2020, 3:39 pm
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 122
Originally Posted by Jacotey
So officially there's no limit on how long you can wait before flight to cancel? That's a bit weird from their end, I could imagine they'd set some limit like 12 hours or something.
IDK if we understand each other or not. I am talking about getting the full ticket price refunded based on EC261 following a cancellation or flight change. It has nothing to do with AFKL's waiver policy.

Their strategy is to inform you as a passenger very late in the game. I've seen numerous reports on FT and elsewhere they often inform you just 2, 3, or 4 days prior to departure. If you tell them you want the ticket refunded any time before check-in closes, you should be on the safe side from a legal perspective.
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Old Mar 16, 2020, 4:02 pm
Join Date: Feb 2018
Programs: FB Platinum
Posts: 281
Hi, we have a flight from Europe to Colombia in April with Klm. Now Colombia have banned all entry until 30th May. Will we be refunded automatically when/if the flight is cancelled, assuming no national policy change?
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Old Mar 16, 2020, 4:43 pm
Join Date: Feb 2018
Programs: FB Platinum
Posts: 281
Vouchers are no good if airline cancels the flight imo. A refund is valid forever and has flexibility, a voucher only 1 year and lacks flex.
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Old Mar 16, 2020, 6:03 pm
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PlatMM, BA and Alaska Emerald, HHonors DIA, Accor, Marriott Titanium, IHG Plat Amb, UA Silver, AA
Posts: 4,533
With all of the uncertainty I'd prefer just a refund. I will accept the voucher if I have to.
Flights are for 27th March, reservation still showing in the KLM app, but all four flights don't exist if I search on google flights.
Should I keep waiting for KLM to cancel my reservation?
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Old Mar 17, 2020, 2:38 am
Join Date: May 2010
Programs: Delta Silver, HH Gold, Accor Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 5,344
KLM has updated the rebook policy with a cabin-to-cabin requirement instead of fare class:

1. Change your travel dates

  • You may change your travel dates without having to pay the change fee.
  • Until and including 30 November 2020, you can change your travel dates if the same travel class as mentioned on your original ticket is available.
  • From 1 December 2020 onwards, you can change your travel dates if the same fare type as mentioned in your original ticket is available. If you change to a higher fare type, you may need to pay the fare difference.
Do I understand correctly that rebooking now is completely free of charge until 30 November, as long as the same travel class is available? I.e. no fare difference is to be paid?
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Old Mar 17, 2020, 5:24 am
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: FlyingBlue (Platinum); AA (Executive Plat); BAEC (Silver), SPG (Platinum); Hilton (Diamond)
Posts: 704
Originally Posted by Stuttgart21
AF-KL playing games, I strongly disapprove.

If you look at CDG-WAW, they haven't officially cancelled any flights except the ones that were scheduled for today and tomorrow.

But obviously, the decision to cancel all or almost all flights CDG-WAW between March 18 and March 28 has been made. They have been cancelled. All availability has been zeroed out. They just haven't gone public with it.

I understand gaps between the cancellation decision and communication to the customer of a day or two. But this is BS. Inventory has been completely nulled out for days. It stands to reason they hope people take the voucher as opposed to waiting for official cancellations so they can take the money. DON'T fall for it.
Totally agree; slimy tactic on their side as they are basically playing a game of chicken with customers to ensure they're effectively given an interest free loan on our backs to keep operating.

Either a) we take the voucher, which let's them keep the money while we take on their credit risk and hope we can use the voucher in full and eventually fly (and guess what, if you happen to use it on a flight that they cancel or if they eventually go under, you have absolutely no recourse to get your money back) or b) at the very least they wait until the last minute to actually cancel the flights, holding our money the whole time while fully knowing they will not provide any service.

I've got over 6k worth of business class flights over the next month involving flights between Amsterdam and the US (one leg of which involves a transfer between SEA and YVR on Delta) that most certainly will not be able to operate (Canada has just closed their borders to non-citizens) given all the restrictions in place and the publicly announced reduction in schedules and staff. Yet, here I wait. I was also told by a KLM agent not to worry when I expressed concern about actually being able to get a hold of someone at Amex (who I booked my flights with) to process the cancellation when eligible: "If you aren't able to request a cancellation in time, we'll automatically convert your booking to a voucher".

I feel fortunate I can at least personally stay afloat during these times...I know some desperate to hold on to whatever cash they have so they can get by during this time. Not cool KLM.
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Old Mar 17, 2020, 6:18 am
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zanzibar
Programs: Flying Blue
Posts: 1,319
I think we should except the mess it is and the vouchers we will get. the airlines are in dire Sh*t and cashflow will be very problematic so I understand the hesitation to refund the tickets. I have also quite some money spend on tickets (all via American Express) and I am going to consider them a write off until proven differently.

This is part of the risk of living, traveling and paying in advance.

My work has vaporized but luckily I can also financially take the burden. My thoughts are to all who have less fortune at the moment.
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Meneer Guggenheimer is offline  
Old Mar 17, 2020, 8:06 am
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by kyushuman
With all of the uncertainty I'd prefer just a refund. I will accept the voucher if I have to.
Flights are for 27th March, reservation still showing in the KLM app, but all four flights don't exist if I search on google flights.
Should I keep waiting for KLM to cancel my reservation?
Similar situation for my family and me. LHR-AMS-LHR booked for early April but no chance of travelling now. While we would most likely use the voucher (family in AMS), I'd prefer money back due to the flexibility. I'll wait for a week or two I think and hope the flights are cancelled in the meantime.
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Old Mar 17, 2020, 8:31 am
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
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Posts: 50,261
If your flight is cancelled, EC 261/2004 (as well as the COC) provide a refund option. This is without penalty.

I cannot imagine why one would want a voucher in its place. Cash is cash. One might choose never to fly, the carrier may become insolvent, or any number of eventualities might occur. On the other hand, if one takes the refund and does to choose to travel, one simply purchases a new ticket when the time is right.
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Old Mar 17, 2020, 8:52 am
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Paris
Programs: Flying Blue Gold
Posts: 574
Choose a cash refund ASAP.

IATA President, former AF-KLM president, said on the french TV yesterday that their are pleading for an easing of EC 261/2004 rules. We don't know what will happen next.
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Old Mar 17, 2020, 9:12 am
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Berlin
Programs: BA Silver, LH FTL, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Club Carlson Gold, Accor Silver
Posts: 56
I am trying to re- schedule our return flight from SJO (as PTY-AMS) is canceled but I always get this error:
"We are sorry, but selecting these travel dates is not possible due to the change conditions of your ticket type. You can find these conditions in your booking confirmation e-mail. If you would like to change flights due to a flight disruption, special rules may apply, see: KLM.com > Flight info > Flight disruptions. Please select other travel dates, or contact us."
This happens for all travel dates, despite the fact that SJO-AMS is still scheduled
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Old Mar 17, 2020, 9:50 am
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 43
Wow, it seems that Air France change the policy.
No more cash refund for non-refundable tickets even for canceled flights :


If your flight has been canceled and you no longer wish to travel, you can obtain request a refund of your ticket from your sales agent.

If you purchased your ticket directly from our website or at an Air France point of sale, please complete the online form below to obtain a travel voucher. This non-refundable voucher is valid for 1 year on all Air France, KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic flights.
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Old Mar 17, 2020, 11:44 am
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SE England
Programs: AF-KL Platinum, ALL Platinum
Posts: 801
I am in a very similar situation as the OP. I bought a KLM Light Economy ticket (FB Platinum give free seat selction etc.) for LHR-AMS-BKK departing on 4th April for just under 800GBP. Buying a KLM ticket in February might seem risky but this was a replacement for my original LHR-BKK ticket I purchased in October 2019 with XiamenAir (MF) via AMS and XMN. When the covid-19 news started hitting the airwaves I got a refund from XiamenAir to avoid potential transit in China problems - little knowing at the time this situation would be as it is today.

Are KLM actually declaring flights to be cancelled? AFAIK, that is the only way to get a refund. So far my ticket is still listed as scheduled.

Likewise, I have a Korean Air January purchased non-refundable business class ticket for LHR-ICN-MNL in May. Still do not know how KE are going to treat this.

Not to mention the 6 hotel reservations I am trying to cancel and get refunded, with no responses from booking.com and pointshound (both via the Flying Blue partners website).
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