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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 Mar 25, 2020, 4:27 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by warakorn
Unbelievable! A complete violation of EU rules.
This offer for a voucher has been confirmed by the French government in the latest series of decrees, specifically addressing this issue : voucher valid 18 months.

Let's be realistic. No one is going to go under because of 1 ticket which they had already decided to pay for.

On the other hand, airlines would go bankrupt if they had to refund.

This 18 month valid voucher is a fair compromise allowing the airlines to survive and most of the customers not to lose their money.

Last edited by carnarvon; Mar 25, 2020 at 4:38 am
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 4:31 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by carnarvon
First of all, the EU has now stated that a voucher instead of refund is possible during this troubled period, so it is NOT in complete violation of EU rules.

This has been confirmed by the French government in the latest series of decrees, specifically addressing this issue : voucher valid 18 months.

Let's be realistic. No one is going to go under because of 1 ticket which they had already decided to pay for.

On the other hand, airlines would go bankrupt if they had to refund.

This 18 month valid voucher is a fair compromise allowing the airlines to survive and most of the customers not to lose their money.
Where have they stated so?

Any communication I have seen so far is that compensation is not due, but refunds for cancelled flights are due, the customer may accept a voucher.
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 5:38 am
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk
Where have they stated so?

Any communication I have seen so far is that compensation is not due, but refunds for cancelled flights are due, the customer may accept a voucher.
I corrected my initial post before you had posted yours, but obviously you had already copied my original text.

I had heard it on the radio, but as I checked could not find any official statement, so I corrected my post.

I stand by the info that the French government has now ruled out refund by decree.
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 6:38 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by carnarvon
I corrected my initial post before you had posted yours, but obviously you had already copied my original text.

I had heard it on the radio, but as I checked could not find any official statement, so I corrected my post.

I stand by the info that the French government has now ruled out refund by decree.
Indeed, the French Government has taken an "ordonnance" where a refund is replaced by an "a valoir", i.e. a voucher valid for 18 months.
Sure the EU can take France to court for temporarily violating EC261. So what?
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 7:14 am
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The European Commission ruled on March 18 that refunds remain the consumer's right, even if a voucher is initially offered.
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 7:38 am
  #51  
 
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I wanted to give an update on my Air France flights.

MIA-CDG-LIS April 7-21, 2020

My latest post stated that my return flights were listed but no outbound flights.
The consensus was that my flights were cancelled but I received no notification from Air France.

Two days ago when I checked the AF web page with my reservation number I received the. Message your file is empty.

i had purchased my tickets on the Delta website and paid with my Delta AMEX CARD. So I decided to call Delta.
Within ten minutes I was connected to an agent, he contacted AF, told us our flights were cancelled and offered us a refund.

Shortly after hanging up we received an emai confirmation that our refund was being processed.
A happy ending all in all.
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 7:53 am
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Stick to your guns.

​​​​​​In the European Union, interpretative guidelines for EU261 has been released since the COVID-19 crisis surfaced. The guidelines state:

“It appears that various carriers are offering vouchers to passengers, who do not want to (or are not authorized to) travel anymore as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19. Passengers can use these vouchers for another trip with the same carrier within a timeframe established by the carrier.

This situation has to be distinguished from the situation where the carrier cancels the journey and offers only a voucher instead of the choice between reimbursement and rerouting. If the carrier proposes a voucher, this offer cannot affect the passenger’s right to opt for reimbursement instead.”
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 8:41 am
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Does the EU want all airlines to go belly up?
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 8:46 am
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Why should we be offering Air France, or any airline, a free loan for 18 months? Many of us have busy schedules, and I am not sure if I will be able to take advantage of that voucher in the specified time frame. Hope you get your refund, OP.
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 9:12 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by HalconBCN
Don't take it personally - everyone is in the same boat. I have had the same offer with multiple tickets.
Take it on the chin, accept the voucher. Air France is not going to disappear. France would never let it happen. The airline has to hang onto what cash it has. Better times will come, eventually.
the only thing personal is that they now hold 3500€ of my money. I shouldn’t have to finance AF. They can, and will, most certainly receive billions in government aid. I have bills to pay and will be taking a pay cut or lose my job.
above all, they are violating the law. They are obligated to refund per the EU directive of March 18th, section 3.2. Black and white. https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites...0201830_en.pdf
What angers me to no end is that they are blatantly lying and flaunting the law at my expense.

Last edited by bostontraveler; Mar 25, 2020 at 9:32 am
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by wanderingtraveler
Many of us have busy schedules, and I am not sure if I will be able to take advantage of that voucher in the specified time frame.
With lockdown and self isolation measures going to last for at least a few weeks (months?) in some or most countries around the globe, nowaday "busy schedules" can be interpreted very differently
But I get your point though!
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 9:44 am
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The law is clear and refunds are due. As others said, airlines will be saved by governments.

I'm quite baffled at the amount of people who think we should be lenient with airlines and allow them to keep our cash because times are tough for them, when airlines themselves will show NO mercy at all towards their clients when something happens to them. It's always a one way street with them. Don't get me wrong; I feel for the airline workers whose livelihood will be impacted. This is terrible. But we are talking about giant corporations here, they'll be fine (my stance is very different for small businesses).

And yes, some of us already paid for their tickets so technically it was already budgeted; however for a lot of us the future is also quite filled with professional and financial uncertainty, so I will take my money back instead of a voucher I may or may not be able to use in the future.

To the OP; I know some people who have been successful in getting their refund with AF, you just need to keep calling and pushing.
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 10:10 am
  #58  
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So I just called the Platinum line. No refunds for non-refundable tickets. Period.

I then called Amex France to request a chargeback. They refused to open the case stating that they have been instructed, as AF is a partner, to not open any cases.
All reimbursement cases have to be processed by Axa as an insurance claim.

So now even Amex Platinum is washing its hands. Unbelievable situation.
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 11:01 am
  #59  
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For those with US card issuers, generally a bank, you should not experience any problem filing a chargeback when the local law, e.g. EC 261/2004, contract, or fare rules, on the date of purchase, provide for a refund, a refund has been requested, and the merchant (carrier) has not timely provided it (or has outright refused). More importantly, it will likely be granted.
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Old Mar 25, 2020, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by Often1
For those with US card issuers, generally a bank, you should not experience any problem filing a chargeback when the local law, e.g. EC 261/2004, contract, or fare rules, on the date of purchase, provide for a refund, a refund has been requested, and the merchant (carrier) has not timely provided it (or has outright refused). More importantly, it will likely be granted.
Yes . Unfortunately AF has apparently cut a deal with Amex France not to accept chargeback requests.

So not only is AF not respecting the law, Amex France is also flouting its promise to its cardholders.
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