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 21, 2020, 9:11 am
  #211  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul74
That's right but if the company is out of money you can't get any money.
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That's why refusing a refundable voucher and going for chargeback is the safer option.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 10:13 am
  #212  
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Originally Posted by mfkne
That's why refusing a refundable voucher and going for chargeback is the safer option.
exactly
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 10:31 am
  #213  
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That's right but if the company is out of money you can't get any money.
Not true!

With a credit card chargeback the acquirer bank is technically paying you back the money.
It's then up to the acquirer bank and the bank to sort things out. The acquirer account balance of the airline may be even below zero. Therefore, it doesn't matter to you, if the airline is out of money or not.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 2:45 pm
  #214  
 
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AF not cancelled? but, moved my flight to over 7 hours earlier.

AF I'm not sure what to do. Have flights booked from Edinburgh to Tokyo via Charles de Gaulle on 1st April.
i was waiting to see if AF would cancel my flights, but have just received an email from them saying that the departure time of the first flight EDI to CDG has been modified for operational reasons. ( Obviously combining flights )
The flight time is now 7 hours 10 mins earlier than originally, but they've kept the flight no/ code the same.
Where do I stand? This isn't the flight I booked. Does it count as AF cancelling?
Should I still just wait and see what happens next?
Definitely don't want a travel voucher and do have travel disruption insurance, but the insurance company want me to have made sure I've done everything possible to get a refund from the airline.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 2:45 pm
  #215  
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Rebook your flight
If you have booked a flight with a scheduled departure until 31 May 2020, please see below rebooking options we can offer you.

Please note that this policy does not replace the existing policies for specific destinations. For KLM Package Deals, a different policy applies.

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.
This implies that flights can be changed until end of November irrespective of the booking class. If you booked Economy, you should be able to change to any other Economy flight without any kind of penalty.

I have a KLM voucher that is expiring very soon. So I'm thinking to book one of the extremely cheap flights in May. Then, when in May things are more clear regarding travel restrictions, I'll rebook to a future summer date that I actually would like to travel. Perhaps not the most ethical thing to do..but it seems to be allowed?

The alternative is to use the voucher for a flight in the summer - but that flight may not be covered by a flexible change policy, and right now it's hard to say if the summer would be a time that I'd want to travel..
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 3:00 pm
  #216  
 
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Just checked my booking and the Paris - Tokyo flight is cancelled. Why not just email me that? Why would I want to use the first leg only.
Right now to try and get a refund, not a voucher.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 3:10 pm
  #217  
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You were entitled to a full refund when your EDI-CDG departure time was moved by seven hours. That remains now that your xCDG is cancelled. Simply make it clear to AF that you want a refund and it should be made to the original form of payment, e.g. credit card.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 3:38 pm
  #218  
 
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Thanks for the reply Often1.
I assume I should steer clear of the online request a voucher and attempt to get though on the phone?
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Old Mar 22, 2020, 2:55 am
  #219  
 
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Originally Posted by Xandrios
This implies that flights can be changed until end of November irrespective of the booking class. If you booked Economy, you should be able to change to any other Economy flight without any kind of penalty.

I have a KLM voucher that is expiring very soon. So I'm thinking to book one of the extremely cheap flights in May. Then, when in May things are more clear regarding travel restrictions, I'll rebook to a future summer date that I actually would like to travel. Perhaps not the most ethical thing to do..but it seems to be allowed?
That's how I read it too. Although the destination should be the same, so it cannot be any other Economy flight.
As long as KLM still has flights in the system that are bookable, one could search/book for the cheapest flight until 31 May for actual travel until 30 November. I wonder if this is a deliberate act by KLM to get people to book (and get cash!) or a desperate move to facilitate easier rebooking for tens of thousands of customers.
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Old Mar 22, 2020, 4:33 am
  #220  
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Indeed. I actually have one old booking (MUC-AMS AMS-VIE) for mid-may and the online change process allows me to change this flight to August for free. While the original ticket was 90 euros, and the new flight in august is currently being sold for ~250.

Of course there are many variables in this, and a whole bunch of risk - KLM can change their rebooking policy at any time for example. And while it does not specifically exclude tickets booked right now (for May), that may actually be a logical exclusion to the rule. On the other hand... without having the possibility to change I dont think anybody would spend a cent for a booking in May right now. So indeed, it may be an attempt to get people to book for late spring/summer indeed.

I don't think I'd be booking a whole bunch of flights for May right now, though tempting, way too risky...but as I have a voucher expiring in 10 days or so it'd probably be a good idea to spend that.
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Old Mar 22, 2020, 8:24 am
  #221  
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How long does the KLM refund process usually take? I cancelled two flights online and received a confirmation form by email. The flights/tickets were business class fully refundable so this shouldn't be a voucher matter. It's been four days now, so curious about the normal vs abnormal timeframe. (The flights still show on my reservations page and are two weeks out.)

I also have an AF flight in late June, but holding off on any cancellations for the moment.
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Old Mar 22, 2020, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by Xandrios
This implies that flights can be changed until end of November irrespective of the booking class. If you booked Economy, you should be able to change to any other Economy flight without any kind of penalty.

I have a KLM voucher that is expiring very soon. So I'm thinking to book one of the extremely cheap flights in May. Then, when in May things are more clear regarding travel restrictions, I'll rebook to a future summer date that I actually would like to travel. Perhaps not the most ethical thing to do..but it seems to be allowed?

The alternative is to use the voucher for a flight in the summer - but that flight may not be covered by a flexible change policy, and right now it's hard to say if the summer would be a time that I'd want to travel..
This is not the way I see it, unfortunately - for new booking, not existing one.
If you do not have already made your booking, then the following applies:
Book with confidence. For any booking made before 31 March 2020, you have until 30 September 2020 to postpone your departure date without change fees, subject to availability of the same fare. Your new trip must begin no later than 30 November 2020.


Therefore, I would say that you would have to pay the fare difference. Otherwise, it would have beeen to easy ! I would have changed a booking for a flight in may for a flight in july that i am interested in.

Last edited by canadavid; Mar 22, 2020 at 8:30 am
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Old Mar 22, 2020, 8:28 am
  #223  
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According to EC261/2004 article 8c you have to right to get moved to a later date for free - irrespective of fare class.
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Old Mar 22, 2020, 9:44 am
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I initiated an AMEX chargeback with a KLM ticket that was cancelled for this coming Friday. Couldn't get KLM on the phone (always 1+ hour on hold) and their online options only include these "vouchers" which possibly could include a cash option but is super unclear. I will let you know what happens.
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Old Mar 22, 2020, 11:42 am
  #225  
 
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Originally Posted by canadavid
This is not the way I see it, unfortunately - for new booking, not existing one.
If you do not have already made your booking, then the following applies:


Therefore, I would say that you would have to pay the fare difference. Otherwise, it would have beeen to easy ! I would have changed a booking for a flight in may for a flight in july that i am interested in.
The official rebooking policy does not distinguish when the booking was made.
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