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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 Jun 9, 2020, 3:11 am
  #451  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by KLflyerRalph
Where?


The fact that they deny you a refund in the first place, is a breach of contract on their part of the CoC, as they have bound themselves to EC261:
One of the main reasons that AMEX have relayed to me is that 'the flight was non-refundable but in light of the coronavirus issue, KLM have decided to offer me a voucher'. I booked the flight as a non refundable flight and AMEX cancelled that flight - I presume they're deliberately misleading amex, although annoying there's nothing in their terms and conditions I can find which states if they cancel a flight they will refund it even if it's sold as 'non-refundable'. I suppose I always assumed that if a vendor doesn't supply something they need to refund the money?

It's also quite frustrating that amex seems to regard a 12 month delay to a refund as being acceptable as an immediate refund.

It's just crazy the amount of ill-will these companies are building up.

Last edited by Marbles; Jun 9, 2020 at 3:49 am
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Old Jun 9, 2020, 3:19 am
  #452  
 
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Originally Posted by Marbles
Just a note to anyone who has tried a chargeback through AMEX. I'm UK based and initiated this back in March - was refunded the money for my flights with KLM... but as of yesterday, AMEX informed me that they had received 'proof' from KLM that I am not entitled to receive money back as KLM have 'force majure' clauses in the terms and conditions and KLM are going to provide me with a voucher.

The Amex customer rep refused to take things further.
What a shitshow. KLM appear have decided to fight these back no matter whether they have any ground to stand on. I had a fully flexible ticket issued in March, cancelled within 24 hour cooling off period and still not refunded. Dispute closed a month back and then reopened last Friday as KLM said they are offering a voucher AmEx obliged and took the dispute back to KLM, so the saga continues...
If disputes fail, I strongly encourage anyone left out of pocket with a useless voucher to take KLM to small claims court - in my experience airlines become much more responsive and come back to their senses once the legal system gets involved.
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Old Jun 9, 2020, 3:52 am
  #453  
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After calling AF today I found out that my voucher request was never registered (Even though I got an on-screen confirmation). They manually processed the refund; first only for the cash-part and after I checked also including the part that was originally paid for through an older voucher.

Asking about the extra 15%, there is some fine print.

- The 15% is added during the booking process after June 16
- Booking has to be completed before 31 October to get the 15% extra
- Flights have to take place before June 15 2021 to get the 15% extra
- The new ticket value has to be higher than the voucher

That last clause is important. If you had an expensive booking (e.g. 2000 euro) and you would like to use the voucher on mulitple cheaper bookings, you won't get the 15% extra. Only if you spend the voucher on one single ticket, with a price higher than the voucher value, then you will get up to 15% extra.

So essentially they have copied the LH/LX/OS policy, just with a dynamic percentage rather than a static amount. LH offers up to 50 euro when rebooking and there is a fare difference; with AFKL it is 15%. Only for long-haul flights that 15% will equal 50 euros or more. If your new flight is less than the voucher value I guess that you could add some options to your booking (seat reservation, upgrade, etc) to increase the price somewhat, and trigger the 15% to be given.
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Old Jun 9, 2020, 4:08 am
  #454  
 
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Originally Posted by Xandrios
After calling AF today I found out that my voucher request was never registered (Even though I got an on-screen confirmation). They manually processed the refund; first only for the cash-part and after I checked also including the part that was originally paid for through an older voucher.

Asking about the extra 15%, there is some fine print.

- The 15% is added during the booking process after June 16
- Booking has to be completed before 31 October to get the 15% extra
- Flights have to take place before June 15 2021 to get the 15% extra
- The new ticket value has to be higher than the voucher

That last clause is important. If you had an expensive booking (e.g. 2000 euro) and you would like to use the voucher on mulitple cheaper bookings, you won't get the 15% extra. Only if you spend the voucher on one single ticket, with a price higher than the voucher value, then you will get up to 15% extra.

So essentially they have copied the LH/LX/OS policy, just with a dynamic percentage rather than a static amount. LH offers up to 50 euro when rebooking and there is a fare difference; with AFKL it is 15%. Only for long-haul flights that 15% will equal 50 euros or more. If your new flight is less than the voucher value I guess that you could add some options to your booking (seat reservation, upgrade, etc) to increase the price somewhat, and trigger the 15% to be given.
And the annoying part of this is that they lured and mislead customers between May 15th and June 3rd by stating that if you take a voucher in lieu of a refund, you will be bonified of 15%. Only 3 weeks after the initial announcement they decided to add the fine print. This is just not acceptable, even by NL standards. (Of course for cancellations which have occurred before the 15th of May, you are just left with the voucher option).
Instead of furloughing and letting go crews and ground staff, they should start chopping down the fat with letting go some of the bs managers they must have in house and who cannot pull a consistent and clear policy in place.
Again, we are almost 1 month after they announced this rule and they are still not able to make it work consistently (or at all should I say).
I cannot imagine how many people opted for a voucher between May 15th and now instead of a cash refund, thinking that they would get a 15% bonus and now realizing that KLM just sold them cr@p. I personally have a couple of friends for which their flights were cancelled on June 3rd (in C, to Colombia from Europe for a trip this July - total cost more than 5000 Euros) and who were tempted getting the bonified voucher for a trip next year. After the stuff hit the fan last week with their stupid policy change, I advised them not to take the voucher and ask for the cash refund instead.

Last edited by palmanfr; Jun 9, 2020 at 5:36 am
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Old Jun 9, 2020, 4:52 am
  #455  
 
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Originally Posted by Marbles
One of the main reasons that AMEX have relayed to me is that 'the flight was non-refundable but in light of the coronavirus issue, KLM have decided to offer me a voucher'. I booked the flight as a non refundable flight and AMEX cancelled that flight - I presume they're deliberately misleading amex, although annoying there's nothing in their terms and conditions I can find which states if they cancel a flight they will refund it even if it's sold as 'non-refundable'.
It says in their CoCs that for refunds the applicable regulations will be applied - in this case EU261.
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Old Jun 9, 2020, 6:13 am
  #456  
 
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Originally Posted by mfkne
It says in their CoCs that for refunds the applicable regulations will be applied - in this case EU261.
They've told me the flight was sold as 'non-refundable' and therefore a refund is their choice to give.
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Old Jun 9, 2020, 6:22 am
  #457  
 
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Originally Posted by Marbles
They've told me the flight was sold as 'non-refundable' and therefore a refund is their choice to give.
BS: if YOU cancel, then it's non refundable. If THEY cancel, EU passenger rights apply with choice of refund or rebooking.

Otherwise I open a business: I sell tons of non-refundable seats on airplanes and then cancel all the flights and keep the proceeds.
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Old Jun 9, 2020, 6:24 am
  #458  
 
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Originally Posted by Carpacchio
BS: if YOU cancel, then it's non refundable. If THEY cancel, EU passenger rights apply with choice of refund or rebooking.

Otherwise I open a business: I sell tons of non-refundable seats on airplanes and then cancel all the flights and keep the proceeds.

Which makes sense of course, but AMEX have asked me to prove that is the case.
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Old Jun 9, 2020, 6:44 am
  #459  
 
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Originally Posted by Marbles
Which makes sense of course, but AMEX have asked me to prove that is the case.
12.2 in KLM's CoC: https://www.klm.com/travel/nl_en/cus...iage/index.htm
plus:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight...n#Cancellation
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Old Jun 10, 2020, 8:00 am
  #460  
 
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Originally Posted by palmanfr
And the annoying part of this is that they lured and mislead customers between May 15th and June 3rd by stating that if you take a voucher in lieu of a refund, you will be bonified of 15%. Only 3 weeks after the initial announcement they decided to add the fine print. This is just not acceptable, even by NL standards. (Of course for cancellations which have occurred before the 15th of May, you are just left with the voucher option).
I contacted KLM on twitter about this exact issue (voucher issued when the only conditions for the 15% was that the booking had to be made in 12 months). When I mentioned that my voucher was non-refundable I got a copy-paste answer of their current policies, which was not relevant at all.

Summary: AF/KLM doesn't care about either the law or their customers
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Old Jun 12, 2020, 5:33 am
  #461  
 
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Looks like KLM are now offering refunds as cash - see their website: https://www.klm.co.uk/trip/refund
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Old Jun 12, 2020, 5:55 am
  #462  
 
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I had a booking CDG-BSL / GVA-CDG in which only the outbound flight CDG-BSL got cancelled two days ago.
It might be sheer luck - but when retrieving my booking I still had the option for an online cash refund. My credit card actually got re-credited this morning




Unfortunately, for other bookings CDG-BSL-CDG in which both outbound and return flights were cancelled, I do not have this option - just the link to the refund application form
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Old Jun 12, 2020, 2:16 pm
  #463  
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Originally Posted by Marbles
Looks like KLM are now offering refunds as cash
Correct. They have finally come to their senses, albeit very grudgingly and after severe pressure from all sides. All canceled flights and previously issued vouchers will now be refunded on request, although how long passengers will have to wait for their money is anybody's guess.

Johan
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Old Jun 12, 2020, 2:19 pm
  #464  
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Originally Posted by johan rebel
Correct. They have finally come to their senses, albeit very grudgingly and after severe pressure from all sides. All canceled flights and previously issued vouchers will now be refunded on request, although how long passengers will have to wait for their money is anybody's guess.

Johan

I contacted them on Twitter and they asked for my IBAN and BIC... I asked twice when this would be processed and still didn't get an answer... will post when I do (if I do!)
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Old Jun 13, 2020, 3:02 am
  #465  
 
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Just tried the online refund form for a various tickets.

​​​​When I enter my ticket number and move to next field, the form rejects my ticket number as it already exists in the refund system. I asked for a refund (without success) some weeks ago.

Looks like might need to call or go via social media if you already applied online and we're wet successful.
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