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 Jun 20, 2020, 12:50 pm
  #811  
 
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Originally Posted by mlin32
It takes a couple months.
I've been waiting over 3 months and still nothing. I finally disputed the charged with AMEX (Canada) but KLM disputed the dispute and I was re-charged the full amounts.
I have now provided further information to AMEX but have no idea what the outcome is going to be.

If KLM would have issued the vouchers, I would have been completely ok but it's been 3 months and 10 days and absolutely nothing from them which is not acceptable.

If you do a chargeback, just be prepared that it might get reversed again by the credit card company which looks like has been the experience from others as well.

Last edited by yvrcnx; Jun 20, 2020 at 1:37 pm
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Old Jun 20, 2020, 1:33 pm
  #812  
 
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Originally Posted by Benjh
Anyone with an update on the vouchers refund process? It’s been 10 days and we still know nothing...
See my previous posts #789 and #803

Last edited by Reload; Jun 21, 2020 at 12:36 am
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Old Jun 20, 2020, 2:30 pm
  #813  
 
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Originally Posted by mlin32
It takes a couple months.
how can you know they’ve only announced they’d refund previously issued vouchers 10 days ago?
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Old Jun 20, 2020, 3:31 pm
  #814  
 
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Originally Posted by Reload
See my previous posts #789 and #803
Thanks but I was asking about booking an award ticket now, will it come with free cancellation, should I want to cancel it 11 months from now? Some (US) airlines allow free changes/cancellations for a limited time to get people to book now. Hope this makes sense.
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Old Jun 20, 2020, 4:02 pm
  #815  
 
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Originally Posted by Benjh
how can you know they’ve only announced they’d refund previously issued vouchers 10 days ago?
If the pace of how they issued vouchers in the first place is an indicator, keep your expectations low.
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Old Jun 21, 2020, 12:32 am
  #816  
 
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Originally Posted by michael_v
Thanks but I was asking about booking an award ticket now, will it come with free cancellation, should I want to cancel it 11 months from now? Some (US) airlines allow free changes/cancellations for a limited time to get people to book now. Hope this makes sense.

My bad, quoted your post by mistake, meant to do the one above it apologies for the confusion
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Old Jun 21, 2020, 11:44 am
  #817  
 
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Originally Posted by af fp
An update on the above: I got two e-mails today, one for each reimbursement request, from the US Refunds Department, telling me the money should be refunded to my card within two weeks. So in total it would have been ten weeks. Let's see...
Money is in. So it took two months after the flights were canceled.
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Old Jun 21, 2020, 12:05 pm
  #818  
 
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Originally Posted by af fp
Money is in. So it took two months after the flights were canceled.
I had the money back on my card but it was re-debited by KLM for the full amount last week. I have now submitted further communication with KLM to AMEX to proof that nothing has been done by them for 3 months but AMEX could not confirm that I would get my money back.

Hopefully your money stays in your account and is not debited again but it looks like your case has been finalized and closed which is good news.
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Old Jun 21, 2020, 3:17 pm
  #819  
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Originally Posted by bostontraveler
I think they are proactively giving preference to higher-tier members... I get an answer fairly quickly-- within 20 minutes but my sister who has no status has been waiting over a week and nothing.
I called the Plat line for the umpteenth time about a reservation that DL keeps messing up by changing and canceling flights, and they answered within seconds, as they have every single time I called during this pandemic.

This time I was offered a full refund without even asking. I suspect that the agents are very relieved that KL has finally come to its senses and is no longer foisting vouchers on everybody, so they are eager to preempt complaints by informing callers straight away that they can now get their money back. I did not accept the offer, because it turned out that the affected segment had only been canceled by KL, not by DL (don't ask, I don't get it either). The flight was still operating exactly as scheduled, but my reservation had to be reinstated under the DL flight number.

Johan
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Old Jun 21, 2020, 7:18 pm
  #820  
 
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Originally Posted by yvrcnx
I had the money back on my card but it was re-debited by KLM for the full amount last week. I have now submitted further communication with KLM to AMEX to proof that nothing has been done by them for 3 months but AMEX could not confirm that I would get my money back.

Hopefully your money stays in your account and is not debited again but it looks like your case has been finalized and closed which is good news.
It is different for me I think: I did not claim the money from AmEx, I claimed it from AF. In fact I told them I would be perfectly happy with vouchers but they did not do that, I have not understood why, and they told me, after a lot of back-and-forth, that they would credit my card. It took two months, I contacted them and they said that they could not prioritize payments and that I could only wait. I cannot say that I am happy about all the legwork I had to put into this but hopefully that’s it, this is closed.

Because I have a long-standing position as a client of AF, I decided that I should trust them and that they would eventually get it right. It took them that long and I think this whole thing was very poorly managed by AFKL, and most airlines. They are taking advantage of the many people who will give up.

I was also expecting refunds from two other airlines, Delta and TAP. Delta were absolutely fair, paid me fast and with no fuss. TAP were as painful as AF, and as I have no status with them and do not fly them often, I did not waste my time pleading my cause with them. I did what you did, put it in AmEx’s hands and I am seeing refunds coming through chargebacks now. And there too I will be very careful, I would not be surprised if TAP tried to reverse the chargebacks... we will see.
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Old Jun 25, 2020, 5:09 am
  #821  
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Please be aware that Wirecard has filed for bankcruptcy today.
Wirecard is KLM's major acquiring bank for Visa/MasterCard payments.
So even if KLM was willing to issue cash refunds, with the bankcruptcy of the acquirer it will be even harder to receive a refund.
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Old Jun 25, 2020, 11:17 am
  #822  
 
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LA flight mid September

We purchased a flight to Los Angeles for mid September but it hasn't been cancelled, can we request a voucher for future use?
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We have the Economy class ticket. which was originally purchased last year.

Thank you.

Last edited by finchy165; Jun 25, 2020 at 11:51 am Reason: Incorrect information
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Old Jun 26, 2020, 3:27 am
  #823  
 
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Originally Posted by finchy165
We purchased a flight to Los Angeles for mid September but it hasn't been cancelled, can we request a voucher for future use?
​​​
We have the Economy class ticket. which was originally purchased last year.

Thank you.
For tickets purchased before April 21, 2020 they are only offering the voucher option for flights departing before Aug 31. Two things to keep in mind though: they may revise these dates in the future depending on how travel restrictions change (in the early days of the pandemic they extended these cut-offs many times), and the schedule is currently only updated to the end of Aug, so your flight still may end up getting cancelled.
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Old Jun 28, 2020, 1:09 pm
  #824  
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I rebooked a trip originally scheduled in April/May for September. Since then, DL has been driving me crazy with flight cancelations and schedule changes. Today I received yet another notification, this time saddling me with a 8+ layover and a late evening arrival at my destination. That straw broke the camel's back, I called the Plat line and canceled. The agent was more than happy to offer me a full refund (I bet that voucher nonsense has been driving them up the wall). For some reason she first had to get an authorization from somebody, which only took a minute. A confirmation e-mail arrived seconds later. Now I await the money with bated breath. Supposedly within 7 days, but I have my doubts. Fortunately, I can afford to wait.

The airlines are desperate to entice passengers back on board, but as far as I'm concerned they are not exactly doing a good job. The C-19 risk mitigation measures are no doubt intended to reassure the fearful, but have the effect of making flying even less appealing that it was for those for whom the pandemic is not a concern.

I understand that they have to deal with the fact that pax numbers will remain very low for perhaps the next year or so, but they really need to get their scheduling act together. Changing and canceling my booked flights at least once a week does nothing to reassure me that I will be able to travel when I want or need to. I had a fairly straightforward KL/DL open jaw itinerary comprising of six legs, yet DL managed to mess it up over a dozen times in recent weeks. Had I not canceled, I could have looked forward to KL doing the same with their legs once they got around to sorting out their September schedule.

Hey airlines! Guess what? I need a modicum of certainty when traveling. I actually plan ahead, and have other commitments that constrain me and prevent me from adjusting my plans at the airlines' whim.

Johan
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Old Jun 29, 2020, 4:09 am
  #825  
gkl
 
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I'd like to share my experiences with rebookings at the Platinum hotline. I had quite a couple of bookings for Q2 which obviously were all cancelled.
I fully understand that for persons with tight working schedules the current offering (often only one daily flight f.e. ZRH-AMS, ZRH-CDG) does not provide much flexibility. I'm in the good situation that I have some flexibility when flying and can somehow arrange around the offered flight schedule which seems to be stable now for July/August. Within these given restrictions, I must applaud the Platinum hotline for the flexibility which they provided to me. I looked up my desired new flights before I called and they booked these without any problem, but they even went beyond this (what I was anyway entitled to). 2 very positive examples:
- In two instances the flights for July or August were not cancelled by the airline, but I wanted to change the date. I was prepared to pay the fare difference, but the Platinum hotline just rebooked me into Z and D even though the original booking was in O. Thank you for this flexibility which saved me some money!
- in another example, a rebooking for my specific desired date would have required an overnight stay in CDG connecting to the morning flight to ZRH. I was prepared to pay for the hotel because it was the only date when I could fly. The agent proactively offered me a routing through VIE on OS which allowed me to return to ZRH same day. This is really not something which I would have expected or what I was entiteld to and I was very positively surprised about this flexibility.

Given these very positive experiences which I made with them, I'm happy to keep my future business with AFKL. These are not easy times for both, the airline and the passenger, and when both show some flexibility, solutions can be achieved.
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