When almost nothing was flying: Frankfurt Airport in mid-2020. Tens of thousands of flights were canceled in the first months of the pandemic.
Many airlines took a long time to refund the ticket price.
Photo: Andreas Arnold / dpa
In view of thousands of canceled flights and the sluggish reimbursement of ticket costs by many airlines, the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection is considering checking advance payment for flight bookings.
According to the "Welt am Sonntag", a spokeswoman for Consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) appealed to the airlines to proactively fulfill their "legal obligation to reimburse within seven days".
»Otherwise you will have to review the advance payment practice in its current form.«
When booking flights, consumers usually have to pay the cost of tickets in advance.
The Air Passenger Rights Ordinance stipulates that repayments for flights canceled without replacement must be made within seven days.
In practice, however, this does not always happen.
In the corona crisis, Lufthansa, among other things, repeatedly attracted inglorious attention.
At times, 500,000 customers of the partially nationalized airline waited for their money, sometimes for months.
Consumer advocates have long been calling for the prepayment practice to be abolished.
The fact that flights usually have to be paid for in advance can mean a considerable financial risk for customers: not only in the event of flight cancellations, but also in the event of airline bankruptcies.