Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Air France, KLM, and Other Partners | Flying Blue
Reload this Page >

COVID-19: refund provided as voucher (for non refundable fares)

COVID-19: refund provided as voucher (for non refundable fares)

Old Mar 19, 20, 8:51 am
  #16  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: FB AF Silver, BA Gold
Posts: 11,921
Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
It's not to easy for the EU Parliament to change a law and apply it retroactively. Basically, the parliament would need to scrap or rewrite EC261/2004 article 8, which (today) requires the airline to issue a full refund.
If the EU parliament pushes through a retroactive change, you can bet that pax and claim agencies will challenge that at the European Court of Justice.
I never said that the law would be changed. All I said is that airlines are seeking some relief from EC261.
The way I read the Commission notice is that airlines get some relief by clear waiving of the compensation and some leeway on rerouting "at the earliest opportunity".
I have several flights booked on different airlines, so I do hope for refund. I will be happy when I see the money on my credit card.
What will happen to airlines and the rest of the economy is quite unpredictable though.
brunos is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 8:51 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: GVA
Programs: A3 *G, LX *S, AF *S
Posts: 269
Just had the situation: AF canceled both flights of my reservation (more than 2 weeks before flight date, so no additional compensation).
I used the online form to ask for refund (even attached the cancellation confirmation of AF), and the email came back:
your flight is not refundable, but we can offer you a voucher. Please confirm this choice.

I wrote back that due to EU rights, I have the right to be refunded if the airline cancels and that they should reimburse me as soon as possible.

Let's see what happens... But I don't like those games, even if their situation is dire...
Carpacchio is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 9:15 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I have seen other airlines moving to this "voucher only" refund of cancelled flights.
There is little doubt that they have been communicating between themselves. I heard from a rather reliable source that airlines are asking the EU for some relief from EC261.
Currently, or In the near future, airlines are running out of cash and no banks will lend them more money. There are many possible scenarios. Among them:
- Airline honors their T&C until they run out of cash (let's call this bankruptcy as shortcut). Later they will restart in some leaner fashion.
- Airline will get nationalized as is considered by the French State.
- Many other scenarios.

Some very personal comments:
In countries where labor laws are flexible, airlines can adapt a bit better.
France had basically announced that the State would pick the whole tab for the pandemy (salaries, nationalization, etc...). They seem to now realize that it has many adverse effects and that the bill would be gigantic.
Relying on courts to obtain cash refunds is far from assured, even if the contractual terms are clear. The world economy cannot operate without airlines and countries might take emergency measures.
We are entering a WW3 period and nothing is assured.
EU states do indeed seem to be backtracking on EU261. The interpretive directive issued yesterday toward the end notes that some EU countries are requiring airlines to issue vouchers in lieu of refunds, but does not name the countries or airlines.

Iberia will only offer a voucher for my recently cancelled flight. My guess is they are doing so with tacit approval from regulators.
Sleepy_Sentry is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 9:18 am
  #19  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: London, UK and Southern France
Posts: 16,350
Originally Posted by brunos View Post
The way I read the Commission notice is that airlines get some relief by clear waiving of the compensation and some leeway on rerouting "at the earliest opportunity".
The Commission cannot waive anything. It is not within the Commission's discretion. All that the Commission did was to state the obvious, namely that the Coronavirus pandemic constitute an extraordinary circumstance and therefore does not give rise to compensation and second that, if there are no flights, the "earliest opportunity" may be in quite some time in the future.
NickB is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 9:40 am
  #20  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,945
Originally Posted by Carpacchio View Post
Just had the situation: AF canceled both flights of my reservation (more than 2 weeks before flight date, so no additional compensation).
I used the online form to ask for refund (even attached the cancellation confirmation of AF), and the email came back:
your flight is not refundable, but we can offer you a voucher. Please confirm this choice.

I wrote back that due to EU rights, I have the right to be refunded if the airline cancels and that they should reimburse me as soon as possible.

Let's see what happens... But I don't like those games, even if their situation is dire...
Simply initiate a chargeback with your card issuer (bank). Although stating the obvious, refer to both your rights under EC 261/2004 as well as AF's own COC (take a look at Rule 14.5, implementing the Regulation).

The benefit of this process is that it places the shoe on the other foot and assures that you get paid and that obtaining the funds to reimburse you becomes an issue between two matched commercial enterprises, while you have your money.

For what it is worth, card issuers hold back a percentage of revenue to inoculate themselves against just this sort of risk.

But, as with everything these days, getting all of this done may take a lot more time because the issuer's own personnel may not be available. Thus, the sooner you file your claim, the higher you will be on the hierarchy.
Often1 is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 10:34 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: GVA
Programs: A3 *G, LX *S, AF *S
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by Carpacchio View Post
Just had the situation: AF canceled both flights of my reservation (more than 2 weeks before flight date, so no additional compensation).
I used the online form to ask for refund (even attached the cancellation confirmation of AF), and the email came back:
your flight is not refundable, but we can offer you a voucher. Please confirm this choice.

I wrote back that due to EU rights, I have the right to be refunded if the airline cancels and that they should reimburse me as soon as possible.

Let's see what happens... But I don't like those games, even if their situation is dire...
Ok - that was quick: they sent me a reimbursement memo over the full amount without further comment. So not sure whether it was an erroneous assessment of the first agent, or they just tried with the voucher and gave up then...
Carpacchio is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 11:27 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: PVG, FRA, SEA, HEL
Programs: UA Premier Gold
Posts: 3,662
Neither the EU commission, nor national governments can rewrite EC261/2004. Its legislation.
For such kind of legislation the EU Parliament need to pass a new regulation. I doubt that such a new regulation can be applied retroactively - that means that article 8 protections are removed for cases that arose before the passing of a new regulation.

What it boils down to.
Airline will try every trick in the book to push pax for a rebooking or voucher. Most pax do not know the rules and may fall for it.
Only pax who insist, insist, and insist will receive actual cash money.

Airlines have been playing this game with article 7 compensation payments. Now they are starting this game with article 8 refunds.
warakorn is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 11:34 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: LEEDS, UK
Programs: flying blue, BAEC, FLYING CLUB, MILES & MORE
Posts: 13
I have YYZ-AMS-LBA with KLM today. Got notification that AMS-LBA cancelled. I have already flown outbound. This was to return home. I do not want to take YYZ-AMS either because I need to get to leeds, not amsterdam. The cancellation email say they are unable to reroute due to travel restrictions. I have submitted a claim online. Should I also cancel my YYZ-AMS online coz otherwise I will be deemed a no show?
BoiA is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 11:52 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: BWI
Programs: Starwood Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 40
We have a May flight to Israel on AF that is only 6 nights, less than the Israeli-mandated 14 day quarantine period. Has anyone had any experience requesting a refund based on the stay being too short in Israel or other countries requiring quarantine for a certain period?
Charmcity is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 11:53 am
  #25  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,945
Originally Posted by BoiA View Post
I have YYZ-AMS-LBA with KLM today. Got notification that AMS-LBA cancelled. I have already flown outbound. This was to return home. I do not want to take YYZ-AMS either because I need to get to leeds, not amsterdam. The cancellation email say they are unable to reroute due to travel restrictions. I have submitted a claim online. Should I also cancel my YYZ-AMS online coz otherwise I will be deemed a no show?
You should, of course, cancel. Otherwise there will be nothing to refund.

When you cancel, the refund ought to be an option, you ought to elect that and then await the refund. This will be a bit more complex as you have already flown one segment and may find that the refund for the return segment is very little.
Often1 is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 12:59 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: PVG, FRA, SEA, HEL
Programs: UA Premier Gold
Posts: 3,662
I have YYZ-AMS-LBA with KLM today. Got notification that AMS-LBA cancelled. I have already flown outbound. This was to return home. I do not want to take YYZ-AMS either because I need to get to leeds, not amsterdam. The cancellation email say they are unable to reroute due to travel restrictions. I have submitted a claim online. Should I also cancel my YYZ-AMS online coz otherwise I will be deemed a no show?
With the AMS-LBA cancellation, you are also entitled to the full refund for YYZ-AMS. Thats written in EC261/2004.
warakorn is offline  
Old Mar 19, 20, 1:48 pm
  #27  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life/Club2000 Ultimate, Accor ALL Diamond
Posts: 14,783
Originally Posted by Charmcity View Post
We have a May flight to Israel on AF that is only 6 nights, less than the Israeli-mandated 14 day quarantine period. Has anyone had any experience requesting a refund based on the stay being too short in Israel or other countries requiring quarantine for a certain period?
just wait for the flight to be cancelled. At the moment AF has cancelled all flights to Israel and they will extend cancellations if the restrictions continue.
Goldorak is offline  
Old Mar 20, 20, 7:52 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Programs: Delta DM
Posts: 1,035
My wife had a Flying Blue award for travel in about 2 weeks (IAD to CDG in J). Last night the flights were cancelled. In the e-mail she got the same "voucher" option:

"If you wish to cancel your trip, including all remaining flights, for all passengers in your reservation, you can immediately collect your voucher worth your ticket amount by clicking on the below link (one voucher per passenger)."

How does this work? Since she'd like to reschedule her trip, can we use the voucher to rebook the same flight on the same route at a later date? Will we have to pay additional miles to do that? If I call in, will I be able to get the miles redeposited in my account and taxes refunded? It was only 110k miles + $500 in taxes, so a voucher to fly the same route without restrictions would be more valuable than a redeposit/refund, but I'm guessing that's not how it works.
Billy Mumphrey is offline  
Old Mar 20, 20, 9:05 am
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Paris
Programs: AA Plat (4m+), AF Platinum, A3 Gold, Hyatt Explorist, Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,222
Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
My wife had a Flying Blue award for travel in about 2 weeks (IAD to CDG in J). Last night the flights were cancelled. In the e-mail she got the same "voucher" option:

"If you wish to cancel your trip, including all remaining flights, for all passengers in your reservation, you can immediately collect your voucher worth your ticket amount by clicking on the below link (one voucher per passenger)."

How does this work? Since she'd like to reschedule her trip, can we use the voucher to rebook the same flight on the same route at a later date? Will we have to pay additional miles to do that? If I call in, will I be able to get the miles redeposited in my account and taxes refunded? It was only 110k miles + $500 in taxes, so a voucher to fly the same route without restrictions would be more valuable than a redeposit/refund, but I'm guessing that's not how it works.
their response is annoying- this default “here’s your voucher” is borderline dishonest. You should be receiving money and miles back- not a voucher. But that said it sounds like you will have to start from scratch once you get the miles redeposited and then use the voucher for the taxes....

That said if you need to change dates yes you’ll have to contact them
bostontraveler is offline  
Old Mar 20, 20, 9:14 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: WAW and DUS
Programs: Gold: Flying blue / Silver: Club Accor
Posts: 1,012
Originally Posted by Billy Mumphrey View Post
Last night the flights were cancelled.
This is the only option which is relevant

If all options offered by AFKL dont match with your needs then you are allowed to have a full refund (miles + taxes)

forget about the automatic email sent to everyone, as your case is different , as rewards flights are not mentionned there
fifty_two is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: