Every day, Le Parisien mobilizes to answer your questions around the coronavirus. Today we are interested in the questioning of Romain, who asks us if an airline company has the right to refuse the reimbursement of an airline ticket.
The European regulations are very clear: in the event of an extraordinary consequence leading to the cancellation of a flight, the airline company must offer any passenger who so requests the reimbursement of their ticket or a new flight at a later date. This was recalled by the European Commission for the first time on March 18, the day after the entry into force of containment in France.
But many companies have preferred to offer only passenger assets, in order to limit the massive economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. "The financial situation of the companies is so serious that the immediate repayment would have led companies probably to bankruptcy," justified the director general of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), Alexandre de Juniac, on May 16. At Air France-KLM, these assets will only be reimbursed after twelve months if they have not been used by then.
Air France relaxes its position
The European Commission once again lectured air carriers on May 13, reminding them of their regulatory obligations regarding reimbursement. Two days later, Air France-KLM announced a relaxation of its policy. From now on, "the customers concerned will have the choice between a credit or a refund", indicates the company on its site. "However, given the scale of the crisis and the number of cancellations, processing these requests could take longer," she warns, however.
Not enough to fully satisfy the UFC Que Choisir, which had arrested 57 companies at the end of April. The consumer association criticizes the company for allowing reimbursement only for passengers whose canceled flight was scheduled from May 15, while those who had to travel before this date must always be satisfied with a credit. "This situation continues to cause prejudice to the very large number of passengers on flights canceled since the start of the crisis. It is not acceptable that consumers are discriminated against according to the date of cancellation, the latter being moreover fixed at the discretion of the airline company, "estimated the association which decided to summon 20 companies before the court of Paris.
#Coronavirus and cancellations of #flights: following the persistence of bad practices and trompe l'oeil announcements, the @ UFCquechoisir assigns 20 #aircompanies # aerial
👉 https://t.co/E4S1hIRDbI pic.twitter.com/ RsyZtXDjyn
If an airline does not offer a refund, you can contest it in writing by sending it a registered letter. If this does not work, you can call on an association or a lawyer to assert your rights.
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