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

Old Apr 6, 2020, 8:58 am
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European Commission EC261/2004 guidelines in context of COVD-19 dated 18 MAR 2020
US DoT Enforcement Notice regarding refunds dated 3 APR 2020.
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COVID-19: refund provided as voucher (for non refundable fares)

Old May 8, 2020, 11:22 am
  #331  
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Originally Posted by Carpacchio
And why is this ? Because they ignore the EU regulation - i.e. they willfully do something illegal.
And because the local authorities that SHOULD be enforcing the legislation are doing NOTHING.
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Old May 8, 2020, 11:25 am
  #332  
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Originally Posted by mlin32
That would make sense, because AF/KLM sold you the ticket in the first place, so when they give you a voucher, it's on their books. Not Delta's- they don't owe you anything
Not entirely true.

First, because it is stated on the voucher that it is valid for DL flights.

Second, because on tickets to the US there is revenue sharing with Delta.

Of course, AF/KL have done as much as possible to obfuscate this matter.
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Old May 8, 2020, 11:26 am
  #333  
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Originally Posted by toonomadic
Despite my flight being canceled by Air France, my voucher also has the NON REF restriction on the voucher. I called Air France to have it removed and they checked with POS Italy, responding to me that indeed the voucher is refundable after one year *despite* the restriction listed.
He mentioned that the voucher numbers are attached to old reservations so the details are available in their system whenever I should make the refund request 12 months later.

Given that I've already spent 1 hour on the phone with Air France (called the US number x2), is it worth HUCA to try and get another agent to remove that restriction for peace of mind while memory is fresh?
My vouchers do not have the mention "Non refundable" however in the body of the email they sent with the voucher it says:

This non-refundable voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and can be used towards a purchase of an Air France or KLM ticket.
The voucher can only be used by the named owner. It may be refunded only after its period of validity has expired if it has not been used. The request for refund must then be made within 3 months of the expiry date.
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Old May 8, 2020, 11:31 am
  #334  
 
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Originally Posted by bostontraveler
My vouchers do not have the mention "Non refundable" however in the body of the email they sent with the voucher it says:

This non-refundable voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and can be used towards a purchase of an Air France or KLM ticket.
The voucher can only be used by the named owner. It may be refunded only after its period of validity has expired if it has not been used. The request for refund must then be made within 3 months of the expiry date.
I appreciate you sharing that detail. My email from AF is more generic it seems.

  • This document is a travel voucher valid for 12 months from the date of issue. It can be used to purchase tickets on Air France, KLM, Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways flights, on both the airfrance.com and klm.com websites. To do so, simply provide your travel voucher number on the payment page.
  • Your new travel dates can take place between the day your voucher is exchanged for a new ticket and 359 days later.
  • You can use up to 2 travel vouchers per person with a maximum of 3 vouchers per booking.
  • The ticket issued in exchange for the travel voucher must match the first and last names of the voucher itself. The voucher may not be transferred, exchanged or sold, which would render it invalid.
  • If your flight has been cancelled, your travel voucher will become refundable if it has not been used within 12 months after its date of issue.
  • A refund in accordance with the fare conditions of your ticket is possible at any time.
I'm stuck on what to do now. A lot of "ifs" in that clause.
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Old May 8, 2020, 11:33 am
  #335  
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Originally Posted by toonomadic
I appreciate you sharing that detail. My email from AF is more generic it seems.



I'm stuck on what to do now. A lot of "ifs" in that clause.
Why don't you send them a message on Twitter? That way you have the confirmation in writing.
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Old May 8, 2020, 11:42 am
  #336  
 
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Originally Posted by bostontraveler
My vouchers do not have the mention "Non refundable" however in the body of the email they sent with the voucher it says:

This non-refundable voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and can be used towards a purchase of an Air France or KLM ticket.
The voucher can only be used by the named owner. It may be refunded only after its period of validity has expired if it has not been used. The request for refund must then be made within 3 months of the expiry date.
My email text (from Air France in Switzerland) explicitely says: If your flight was cancelled, the unused voucher can be refunded 12 months after issuing date.
I kept the confirmation that the flight was cancelled, so should normally be able to get the money back in a year...
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Old May 8, 2020, 12:18 pm
  #337  
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Originally Posted by Carpacchio
My email text (from Air France in Switzerland) explicitely says: If your flight was cancelled, the unused voucher can be refunded 12 months after issuing date.
I kept the confirmation that the flight was cancelled, so should normally be able to get the money back in a year...
geesh.. it would be nice if they could coordinate their confiscation policies :-)
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Old May 8, 2020, 2:39 pm
  #338  
 
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My wife and I were booked on a flight from Prague to Berlin on June 6. The flight was cancelled on 4/16 and we applied for a refund. We received a response today:
We are very sorry for the late answer.

Your refund was rejected. You have 2 options:

1. You can get voucher for future flights. Voucher is for a full ticket price and is valid 1 year.

2. You can change free of charge your flight for date till 30 of November

I replied asking why my refund request was rejected:

Thank you for your reply. Could you please explain why my refund was rejected? According to Regulation EC No 261:

In the case of a flight cancellation by the airlines (no matter what the cause is), Article 5 obliges the operating air carrier to offer the passengers the choice among:

a) reimbursement (refund); b) re-routing at the earliest opportunity, or c) re-routing at a later date at the passenger's convenience.

I am requesting a) reimbursement (refund) since my flight was cancelled by KLM.
I then received another response from KLM:
The official statement of KLM is:

"Like all airlines, we keep in mind possible local or short-term disruptions when determining our fares and conditions. Legislation and regulations are developed the same way. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led to unforeseen travel bans and restrictions all over the world. Unfortunately, a massive cutback in flight activity was inevitable and a significant number of flights had to be cancelled.

We understand that this has a big impact on your travel plans and that a travel voucher is not what you had hoped for. At Air France and KLM, we believe that the issuance of a refundable voucher is a reasonable balance between the protection of passengers’ rights and the operational realities that airlines have to face because of these exceptional circumstances. We take our passengers’ rights very seriously. We see our travel voucher as a way to provide you with more flexibility and choice during these difficult times in which you’re unable to travel. Your travel voucher will be refunded after 12 months, if you haven’t used it by then.

Governments around the world have indicated that an approach like this is appropriate during this crisis, provided that these vouchers do not expire in an unreasonably short period of time and that the voucher is fully refundable if not used after 12 months. We are taking all necessary measures to deal with this crisis and, with the continued support of our customers, investors, and colleagues, to be able to bring you to your destination of choice again in the future.
My question is what is the likelihood that after a year KLM will decide to once again deny my refund?

Last edited by scottinaz; May 8, 2020 at 3:11 pm
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Old May 8, 2020, 4:52 pm
  #339  
 
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Quote: Governments around the world have indicated that an approach like this is appropriate during this crisis, provided that these vouchers do not expire in an unreasonably short period of time and that the voucher is fully refundable if not used after 12 months.

What a load of BS: governments have nothing to indicate as long as the EU regulation is in place that stipulates the articles you cited (and which has been repeatedly reiterated by EU officials).
Clearly a case where they think you are so stupid that you believe all what they say...

With regard to your question: as long as you have the voucher with the expiry date and the accompanying text that it's reimbursable, you can claim the account. Which you can obviously do today already: take a lawyer and sue them - clear win, just takes time.
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Old May 8, 2020, 5:20 pm
  #340  
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My question is what is the likelihood that after a year KLM will decide to once again deny my refund?[/QUOTE]

Like 100% sadly because they can get away with it.
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Old May 9, 2020, 3:17 am
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Pursue chargebacks to the fullest extent immediately, and take the airlines to court if need be. They deserve nothing else. In the Netherlands the transport minister instructed the oversight body not to engage at the moment, even though it’s in clear violation of EU laws. I don’t know if there’s any provisions in any laws that would allow for criminal charges to be filed against her, the government or her ministry, but if so, I think there’s a strong case for doing so.
bostontraveler and diburning like this.
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Old May 9, 2020, 3:36 am
  #342  
 
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I booked a fairly complicated trip for a relative through Expedia. The final leg, AMS>MAN has been cancelled by KLM. I assume the other legs will be cancelled at some point, but they haven't been yet. This is the only KLM flight on the booking. KLM is offering a voucher of course, but only in the name of the passenger. If the voucher isn't used in 12 months, the passenger can apply for a refund. But the passenger didn't pay for the flight, I did. I want a refund, but I would accept a voucher in my name because I'll probably use it at some point, but a voucher in their name is no use to either of us, and if I accept a voucher in their name and wait it out for 12 months, I still lose my refund.

Expedia says they haven't even been informed that the flight is cancelled and they bounce me back to KLM.

I can't be the only person in this situation, but KLM says the voucher can only be issued in the passenger's name. Any suggestions on what to do next?
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Old May 9, 2020, 3:36 am
  #343  
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Originally Posted by mfkne
Pursue chargebacks to the fullest extent immediately, and take the airlines to court if need be. They deserve nothing else. In the Netherlands the transport minister instructed the oversight body not to engage at the moment, even though its in clear violation of EU laws. I dont know if theres any provisions in any laws that would allow for criminal charges to be filed against her, the government or her ministry, but if so, I think theres a strong case for doing so.
in the meantime embarrass them. Tweet and copy the EC commission and the press. They are hoping people will forget.
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Old May 9, 2020, 3:45 am
  #344  
 
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Originally Posted by pboae
I booked a fairly complicated trip for a relative through Expedia. The final leg, AMS>MAN has been cancelled by KLM. I assume the other legs will be cancelled at some point, but they haven't been yet. This is the only KLM flight on the booking. KLM is offering a voucher of course, but only in the name of the passenger. If the voucher isn't used in 12 months, the passenger can apply for a refund. But the passenger didn't pay for the flight, I did. I want a refund, but I would accept a voucher in my name because I'll probably use it at some point, but a voucher in their name is no use to either of us, and if I accept a voucher in their name and wait it out for 12 months, I still lose my refund.

Expedia says they haven't even been informed that the flight is cancelled and they bounce me back to KLM.

I can't be the only person in this situation, but KLM says the voucher can only be issued in the passenger's name. Any suggestions on what to do next?
why lose your money...normally they will refund how you paid... so on your credit card
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Old May 9, 2020, 3:48 am
  #345  
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Originally Posted by pboae
I booked a fairly complicated trip for a relative through Expedia. The final leg, AMS>MAN has been cancelled by KLM. I assume the other legs will be cancelled at some point, but they haven't been yet. This is the only KLM flight on the booking. KLM is offering a voucher of course, but only in the name of the passenger. If the voucher isn't used in 12 months, the passenger can apply for a refund. But the passenger didn't pay for the flight, I did. I want a refund, but I would accept a voucher in my name because I'll probably use it at some point, but a voucher in their name is no use to either of us, and if I accept a voucher in their name and wait it out for 12 months, I still lose my refund.

Expedia says they haven't even been informed that the flight is cancelled and they bounce me back to KLM.

I can't be the only person in this situation, but KLM says the voucher can only be issued in the passenger's name. Any suggestions on what to do next?
In that case, you really need to obtain a refund (you will never obtain a voucher under your name). And you need to talk to Expedia and not KL
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