This summer, airports will enter a zone of turbulence.
Between the lack of staff and strikes, the "mess" is expected with possible cascading flight cancellations, thus jeopardizing the holidays of some French people.
Faced with a staff shortage, EasyJet, for example, has already announced plans to cancel flights during the summer period.
Here's everything you need to know about getting your tickets refunded and other costs if your airline cancels your flight.
If the company cancels fourteen days before the flight
Your plane ticket is automatically refunded, in full.
A European regulation obliges the company to transfer the funds to you within seven days.
It can also offer a credit note, but the decision is up to the customer.
This regulation applies to all flights departing from an airport located on European Union soil, regardless of the company, and return flights to European territory, only if the airline is itself European. .
Concretely, if your return flight from Montreal (Canada) to Paris is canceled by Air Canada, you are not entitled to anything.
If you have gone through a tour operator (Expedia, Opodo, Kayak, etc.), the regulations are the same.
However, the procedures are more complex.
“It can become a real obstacle course!
warns Raphaël Bartlomé, head of the legal department of UFC-Que Choisir.
There is often a game of ping-pong between the company and the intermediary.
“And the refund can drag on.
In the event of a problem, the individual has every interest in contacting the airline's customer service directly, to demand their due.
“Be careful, he will only be reimbursed for the price of the ticket, underlines Raphaël Bartolomé.
Sometimes you pay 100 euros on the tour operator's site, but there is the commission or administration fees included, and the company only receives 92 euros for example.
Read alsoThe hassle of canceled Easyjet flights: “We had to find a hotel room ourselves, at 153 euros per night”
Added to this is the reimbursement of “ancillary costs”, up to 4,500 euros.
It is, for example, the week of hotel that you had reserved on your place of vacation, or the hiring of a car on the spot.
“It is absolutely necessary to prove that it is linked to the flight cancellation, insists the legal director of UFC-Que Choisir.
It can quickly become a real showdown.
The companies do not have a reimbursement deadline to respect.
Often, they play for time to get consumers to wear it.
“If this scenario happens, it is advisable to turn to the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC), to achieve pressure.
If you have purchased a "package", technically called a "tourist stay", including the flight and the hotel, or the flight and a rental car at the same time, on the site of a tour operator, the whole sum is reimbursed by the travel agency that sold it to you directly.
If the company cancels less than fourteen days before the flight
The European regulation imposes the reimbursement of the ticket, under the same conditions, if the carrier does not offer a "re-routing" allowing to arrive at the destination at most four hours after the initially scheduled time.
Added to this are “additional allowances”.
The amount varies depending on the distance.
They are 250 euros for a flight of less than 1,500 km, 400 euros between 1,500 and 3,500 km, and 600 euros if the plane had to travel more than 3,500 km.
“Only an exceptional meteorological event, which is not due to the company, can prevent the payment of these indemnities, specifies Raphaël Bartlomé.
Like a bird in a reactor that forces the plane to turn around, or a storm.
Strikes, for example, do not fall within this scope.
Read alsoEasyJet: French pilots warn against the risk of massive flight cancellations this summer
The "additional costs", which arise from the cancellation, are also reimbursed, up to a limit of 4,500 euros.
If your company cancels your flight the day before and you had to take an extra night's hotel, it will be reimbursed to you, such as a restaurant in the evening or a taxi ride.
On the other hand, if you buy a new plane ticket at the last moment, more expensive, it will not necessarily be supported by the carrier.
“You have to prove that you had to travel for a compelling reason, unless it is a return flight, explains Raphaël Bartlomé.
If, for example, you buy back a gold-priced ticket because you absolutely want to spend your holiday week in Athens, this will not be considered a compelling reason.
It's a personal choice, up to you.
“In the case where it is a business trip, this time the company that canceled your flight will have to reimburse you for the new ticket, within the limit of 4500 euros dedicated to “additional costs”.