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

Old Apr 6, 2020, 7:58 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 12, 2020, 1:47 pm
  #361  
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"EU airlines and travel companies should offer vouchers for flights and holidays cancelled due to the coronavirus that are valid for at least 12 months, the European Commission says in recommendations to help revive travel and tourism in Europe.

However, the law that protects customers regarding their travel rights is not suspended and the new guidance is not legally binding, meaning it is up to the consumer to accept a voucher or full cash refund.
"

Source

Johan
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Old May 12, 2020, 4:20 pm
  #362  
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Originally Posted by johan rebel
"EU airlines and travel companies should offer vouchers for flights and holidays cancelled due to the coronavirus that are valid for at least 12 months, the European Commission says in recommendations to help revive travel and tourism in Europe.

However, the law that protects customers regarding their travel rights is not suspended and the new guidance is not legally binding, meaning it is up to the consumer to accept a voucher or full cash refund.
"

Source

Johan
I can't say I am very surprised at this. A pretty useless, meaningless statement...

This is no "compromise"- this is caving into the airlines' demands.

I would encourage people to Tweet their dissatisfaction to Adina Valean. [MENTION=231149]Adina[/MENTION]Valean
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Old May 12, 2020, 4:34 pm
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Although a refund should be the right of the passenger when a service is not provided as it was intended, I like their conception of voucher which can be quite customer friendly:

"Subject to availability and irrespective of any fare or price difference, carriers should ensure that vouchers allow passengers to travel on the same route under the same service conditions as detailed in the original booking""With a view to limiting the negative impacts on passengers or travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic, member states should actively consider setting up guarantee schemes for vouchers to ensure that in the event of insolvency of the issuer of the voucher, passengers or travellers are reimbursed," the EU document says."
This means you could reschedule your trip without worrying about new fares, booking class availability etc. Of course if fares have dropped, you can ask for the fare difference as a voucher to be used for a later trip, but at least you are protected against revenue management tricks.
And if the airline does not comply, you can still request a refund. And if the airline collapses, the voucher would be secured by authorities.

To me, this kind of voucher is actually a good thing for the passenger.
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Old May 12, 2020, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by ranskis
Although a refund should be the right of the passenger when a service is not provided as it was intended, I like their conception of voucher which can be quite customer friendly:



This means you could reschedule your trip without worrying about new fares, booking class availability etc. Of course if fares have dropped, you can ask for the fare difference as a voucher to be used for a later trip, but at least you are protected against revenue management tricks.
And if the airline does not comply, you can still request a refund. And if the airline collapses, the voucher would be secured by authorities.

To me, this kind of voucher is actually a good thing for the passenger.
so that means, if such vouchers were to exist with no fare difference requirement, one could use them to rebook their trip to the same destination but at a better period (eg: peak period like christmas) without paying extra.
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Old May 13, 2020, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by hoipolloi
so that means, if such vouchers were to exist with no fare difference requirement, one could use them to rebook their trip to the same destination but at a better period (eg: peak period like christmas) without paying extra.
This is what it means and basically:
- what was in place for AF/KL tickets booked before April 21 and to rebook for a later date as long as the trip start before November 30th (so in fact limited in schedule...). However, for later departure, the only condition was to have the same booking class (at least for KL) so depending on your original booking, it can be pretty flexible as well except for last minute trip.
- Such modification can be made before June 30th 2021, which allow a lot of time to make up his mind

So it is like a voucher except there is no EMD voucher issued as everyone is used to. Probably people feel safer with a EMD voucher because they have a code which have a value. However, your booking number voucher can have an even greater value depending on how you match with the above conditions.

By the way, Easyjet also has a nice rebooking policy especially in case of cancelled flight when you can rebook on any flight on the network until EOS (may 2021 at the moment).

Last edited by canadavid; May 13, 2020 at 12:27 am
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Old May 13, 2020, 1:40 am
  #366  
 
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Emirates accepts current tickets for any flight, regardless of fare paid, to the same destination/region for up to 24 months!

I have compared the policies of most major international airlines and AF-KLM are worst in class. They do not make any effort to make the, illegal, voucher proposition a tad more attractive for customers. Even the LH Group offers a symbolic €50 of extra value.
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Old May 13, 2020, 12:08 pm
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EU opens legal cases against countries over travel refunds
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Old May 14, 2020, 4:50 am
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Well look at that, KLM is now offering refunds!

(Some PR blaba)[...]
De situatie in de luchtvaart is nu iets meer gestabiliseerd. In dit licht en ook gegeven de nieuwe aanbeveling van de EU Commissie, heeft minister Van Nieuwenhuizen besloten haar eerdere aanwijzing tot 1 juli aan ILT in te trekken. Dit betekent dat KLM haar beleid hierop zal aanpassen voor passagiers wiens vlucht de komende periode geannuleerd zal worden. Deze klanten krijgen de keuze tussen een voucher of cash refund indien men geen voucher wil. Gegeven echter de omvang van de crisis en de hoeveelheid annuleringen zal de verwerkingstijd langer zijn. Wij vragen begrip hiervoor. Ook komt KLM spoedig met een plan om alle vouchers aantrekkelijker te maken in de vorm van extra waarde.
Translation:
The situation in aviation has stabilized a bit. In light of this and seeing the new recommendation by the EU commission, transport minsiter Van Nieuwenhuizen has decided to retract per earlier instruction to ILT (the government oversight body). This means that KLM will adjust its policy for passengers whose flight will be cancelled in the coming period. These customers will get the choice between a voucher and a cash refund if they don't want a voucher. Considering the scale of the crisis and the number of cancellations the processing time will be longer. We're asking for understanding. KLM will also soon present a plan to make vouchers more attractive through higher values
Only gripe is the "whose flight will be cancelled in the coming period" - if they think this only applies going forward they're wrong.

Source: https://nieuws.klm.com/klm-past-voucherbeleid-aan/
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Old May 14, 2020, 5:09 am
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According to RTL Z, no refunds for any cancellations before today. Regardless if you have accepted/received the voucher or not:

Vanaf nu krijgen klanten altijd de keuze tussen een voucher of een cash teruggave. Het gewijzigde beleid geldt niet met terugwerkende kracht. Wie zijn ticket eerder geannuleerd heeft zien worden en een voucher heeft geaccepteerd, blijft met een voucher zitten.

Ook klanten van wie de vlucht al is geannuleerd, maar die nog geen voucher hebben aangevraagd of ontvangen, zullen nog onder het oude regime vallen, laat een woordvoerder weten. Dat betekent dus dat zij niet hun geld terug kunnen vragen.
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Old May 14, 2020, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by KLflyerRalph
According to RTL Z, no refunds for any cancellations before today. Regardless if you have accepted/received the voucher or not:
Well, if you have accepted a voucher already, that's understandable and okay in my book, but there is no reason to assume that cash refunds are only required as of today.
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Old May 14, 2020, 5:34 am
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Originally Posted by mfkne
Well, if you have accepted a voucher already, that's understandable and okay in my book, but there is no reason to assume that cash refunds are only required as of today.
Not really understandable IME as customers have been mislead that vouchers were they only option they had.
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Old May 14, 2020, 5:36 am
  #372  
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Originally Posted by mfkne
Well, if you have accepted a voucher already, that's understandable and okay in my book, but there is no reason to assume that cash refunds are only required as of today.
Well, no, as there was no other option than to accept a voucher until today. Even worse, vouchers were automatically given by KL/AF if your flight was cancelled and you didn't rebook it FAST, and there was not a thing you could do about it.
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Old May 14, 2020, 5:37 am
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Originally Posted by KLflyerRalph
Not really understandable IME as customers have been mislead that vouchers were they only option they had.
Fair point too, to be honest. Administratively it'd be a nightmare to have withdraw all vouchers and issue refunds instead, but at the same time it's a homemade problem.
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Old May 14, 2020, 5:51 am
  #374  
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so basically if you've accepted a voucher, too bad. Which affects 90% of people.

They should refund the vouchers.
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Old May 14, 2020, 6:45 am
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But depending on your future travel plans and airlines to use, a voucher might be the better option (if it is flexible and has the guarantee to be refunded after 12 months): as outlined above, the cash refund will only come in some months due to lack of funds high processing volume...
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