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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 27, 2020, 2:46 am
  #91  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
That said, I agree they should sweeten the pot with a bonus on the voucher, although there's a good chance that's already built in given fares will probably be lower a year from now than they were when the tickets were purchased.
I'd like to think that may be the case, but I wouldn't rely on it.

I think that for the rest of this year, and maybe even well into the next, travel will not have recovered. The airlines will probably be cautious at adding back capacity, so while there may only be a fraction of the original numbers travelling on any particular route, there may be an even smaller fraction of the original capacity assigned to those routes.

I think, therefore, there is every chance that prices across all routes will go up, rather than being comparable to the fares originally paid - so the vouchers people receive back will in many cases not fully cover a new ticket on the same route.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 4:13 am
  #92  
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Originally Posted by carnarvon
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.
Can you clarify which decree this is supposed to be? I am not aware of any decree to that effect so it would be helpful if you could point me in the right direction. I would, incidentally, point out that such a decree would in any event be illegal as a Member State cannot unilaterally set aside an EU regulation.

Originally Posted by brunos
It is interesting to see how posters react differently depending on their nationality and, maybe more importantly, the extent their country has been affected by Covid.

People who have been in strict lockdown for weeks have a different appraisal of the situation. Especially as they start hearing of parents or parents' friends gone and witness the economy going into very slow gear.
It will provide countless PhD theses in all fields.A wild guess, is that the strict reliance on legal proceedings in some countries could hamper an economic restart unless the current crisis does not hit that country as bad as forecasted by some experts. Not two crises are similar, but the Great depression might be too far away to be remembered even if conditions are very different today.
Can we have a little bit of a reality check here?

The idea that AFKL will go under unless it illegally keeps sums that belong to its passengers than to itself is complete nonsense. We all know that the French state will ensure the survival of AF in any event. The idea that economic recovery is going to be hampered unless AF keep money that belongs to their passenger rather than AF is, with all due respect, ridiculous. What is going to prevent economic recovery from being hampered is governments in the major economic powers acting together in a coordinated manner and taking measures that are commensurate to the gravity of the situation. Airlines unlawfully keeping money which belongs to their passengers is not going to cut it as a solution to the problem that they and we face.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 4:21 am
  #93  
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bravo.

Here is the link-https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/arti...4450_3234.html
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 7:04 am
  #94  
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Originally Posted by bostontraveler
Thanks. So the relevant legislation is the Ordonnance n° 2020-315 du 25 mars 2020 relative aux conditions financières de résolution de certains contrats de voyages touristiques et de séjours en cas de circonstances exceptionnelles et inévitables ou de force majeure published yesterday. What I said still stand, though: the ordonnance cannot set aside application of Regulation 261/2004 so, to the extent that it attempts to do that, it is inoperative.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 7:05 am
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You are misrepresenting my words.
I have no doubt that AF will be saved by the French Government and that pax will ultimately be refunded.
What I find silly is that some are crying wolf because they don't get their cash back in 7 days and threaten immediately suing the airline.
Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and mine is to find those repeated legal threats ridiculous.

NickB, I hope that your grandiose view of a global coordinated financial action across continents will materialize, as opposed to a country by country approach.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 7:31 am
  #96  
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It is not about suing AF on the 8th day after a refund it is requested. Rather, it is about taking measures to protect one's financial position. This includes initiating a chargeback with one's card issuer (bank) and assuring that the chargeback strictly complies with local law and contains the appropriate supporting documentation, e.g. the e-ticket, the cancellation and a reference to the specific basis for the chargeback.

It is entirely appropriate for France to bail out AF as it is for other national governments to do so for their respective carriers. What is not appropriate is for the burden of the bailout to fall disproportionately on individual customers. Ultimately, taxpayers will foot the bill for a bailout and the cost is apportioned however a nation's tax system works. That is a far cry from depriving an individual customer of money that is rightfully his.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 8:06 am
  #97  
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Well I just received a call from AF Customer Relations. They told me “We saw the thread and article on FlyerTalk” ok??
They were clearly ready with their arguments.
So here they go:
1) In the view of their legal team
the ordonnance and French law supersedes EC 261/2004 (to which I responded that this is not accurate);
2) non-refundable tickets are non-refundable
(to which I said nonsense- if the airline cancels a passenger is due a refund and a specific guidance document was issued on 18 March to this effect;
3) their response- that AF actually did not cancel the flights; it was the US government that did so;
4) that they came to this agreement with the French government (yeah clearly);
5) if I want to pursue further conversation to take it up with their legal department

So zero accountability and zero resolution.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by bostontraveler
Well I just received a call from AF Customer Relations. They told me “We saw the thread and article on FlyerTalk” ok??
They were clearly ready with their arguments.
So here they go:
1) In the view of their legal team
the ordonnance and French law supersedes EC 261/2004 (to which I responded that this is not accurate);
2) non-refundable tickets are non-refundable
(to which I said nonsense- if the airline cancels a passenger is due a refund and a specific guidance document was issued on 18 March to this effect;
3) their response- that AF actually did not cancel the flights; it was the US government that did so;
4) that they came to this agreement with the French government (yeah clearly);
5) if I want to pursue further conversation to take it up with their legal department

So zero accountability and zero resolution.
So will you be taking up with their legal department and reporting to the EU?
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by Donsyb
So will you be taking up with their legal department and reporting to the EU?
You think I would reveal that online?
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 8:51 am
  #100  
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Originally Posted by brunos
You are misrepresenting my words.
I am not the one who has linked the current discussion of a consumer requesting a refund to the prospect of economic recovery being hampered by such actions IMO, such a linkage is entirely inappropriate.

There is an undertone in the discussion in this thread that makes me very uncomfortable. Some posters seem to want to make those seeking to obtain the refund that they are owed by AF ashamed or guilty of doing so. This is uncalled for and it seems to me that those posters are getting their Davids and Goliaths mixed up.

Yes, we are in a very difficult situations and many businesses are going to struggle to survive the covid-19 crisis. I currently pay for a gym membership that I cannot use as the gym is closed (and even if it were not, I would not be allowed to use it nor want to use it in the current situation). I suppose that I could probably get a refund for my enforced unused membership and could probably suspend it. It has not even occurred to me to do that. I know that they are going to struggle to survive and it is not like the monthly membership fee is going to leave me on the breadline. I am also currently owed a refund from a shop and I am supposed to get in touch with them to arrange it. I have not bothered to do it yet. I am sure that they would refund without making a fuss if I did contact them but I see no urgency in doing this. There will be a time to sort that out in the future and they have enough on their plate to deal with. It may even be that I never see my refund if the sop does not recover. It won't be the end of the world.

So, yes, I would agree that it is appropriate for us in the current situation to be patient and show understanding. But the point is that it is a decision for us to make, not one that should be forced on us, moreover in breach of legal requirements. It is perfectly OK for AF to offer its customers a travel voucher and invite them to accept that instead of a refund but that has to be a decision by passengers to make. It is fundamentally not OK for Air France to retain money that does not belong to it without the consent of those to whom that money belongs. Personally, I find this outrageous and I also find it deeply disingenuous to suggest that this is required for the survival of the airline when this is patently false.

I hope that your grandiose view of a global coordinated financial action across continents will materialize, as opposed to a country by country approach.
I am not sure that I have suggested that I viewed a grand plan of perfect global coordination as likely . FWIW, I believe that some degree of coordination is achievable (i.e. it is not an all-or-nothing binary of total perfect coordination vs total absence of coordination and countries pulling in opposite direction), notwithstanding the lack of enthusiasm (to put it mildly) of the current occupant of the White House towards international cooperation.

But that was not the point I was making. The point I was making is that things like presence or absence of such coordination and the measures taken by governments and central banks in the major economies are going to be major factors towards facilitating or hampering economic recovery. By contrast, the question of whether consumers go to court or not to enforce their consumer rights will be of trifling insignificance to the issue.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by brunos
You are misrepresenting my words.
I have no doubt that AF will be saved by the French Government and that pax will ultimately be refunded.
What I find silly is that some are crying wolf because they don't get their cash back in 7 days and threaten immediately suing the airline.
Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and mine is to find those repeated legal threats ridiculous.

NickB, I hope that your grandiose view of a global coordinated financial action across continents will materialize, as opposed to a country by country approach.
I think you have confused some basic concepts and that your comments smack of condescension.

First, do you know what crying wolf means in English? I don't think that is the spirit of what is being discussed here. This is a real issue-- a large company has in fact, unilaterally decided to confiscate its customers' money. Do we know when we will be able to fly again? No. Do you lend money to companies interest-free for 18 months? I highly doubt it.

Second, AF will likely receive assistance from the French government. But how are you certain that pax will be refunded? You can't be.

Thirdly, it is not up to you to determine whether someone should or shouldn't demand a refund or whether the money is significant or not. This is not a discussion of relativism. The point is simple--- the law is clear. Flight cancelled--> refund due. Period. What AF is doing is in effect using moneys that do not belong to them.

Fourthly, citing the law does is not a "legal threat". It simply states what is fact. Where is the discussion of lawsuits? I don't recall anyone here saying they were taking legal action-- what was discussed was about credit card disputes to recover moneys that have not been legally refunded. Again, something well within their rights.

I find it interesting that there are a few posters, like you, who seem to think it's a superficial issue. I wonder if your employer or client didn't pay you if you'd feel the same.

Last edited by bostontraveler; Mar 28, 2020 at 7:58 am
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 9:30 am
  #102  
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Originally Posted by brunos
It is interesting to see how posters react differently depending on their nationality and, maybe more importantly, the extent their country has been affected by Covid.

People who have been in strict lockdown for weeks have a different appraisal of the situation. Especially as they start hearing of parents or parents' friends gone and witness the economy going into very slow gear.
It will provide countless PhD theses in all fields.

A wild guess, is that the strict reliance on legal proceedings in some countries could hamper an economic restart unless the current crisis does not hit that country as bad as forecasted by some experts. Not two crises are similar, but the Great depression might be too far away to be remembered even if conditions are very different today.
FYI you can't presume people's nationality... a lot of us live outside of our home countries.

In my case I have been living in lockdown. I have actually had Coronavirus and recovered. I spent the whole month of March sick and have a business loss of revenue which will likely worsen as a result of this crisis.
Perhaps in that context you can understand why I might be pissed off that a large company is holding onto my money in violation of the law?
As NickB said very well- some people are confusing David and Goliath.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 9:34 am
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For those who have access to a foreign jurisdiction, use it. For a cancelled CDG-LHR return, pursue the matter in the UK MCOL (with a UK address) or directly in small claims with a telephonic hearing. This does not help anyone with a ticket directly to a destination outside the EU, although it would be interesting to see whether the use of a card based in a Member State (+ others adopting the Regulation into local law) or who booked through a TA located elsewhere in the EU, might have luck in local small claims outside France.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by bostontraveler
You think I would reveal that online?
You've revealed everything else, I wouldn't have thought that was particularly confidential..... your prerogative not to of course.
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Old Mar 27, 2020, 10:55 am
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Donsyb
You've revealed everything else, I wouldn't have thought that was particularly confidential..... your prerogative not to of course.
I don't think it would be prudent of me to do so.
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