Speedier airline refunds

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

From the EU at the end of last month came good news about how quickly airlines would refund monies in the event of flight cancellations.

Aer Lingus is missing from the commitment although other partner airlines are

It only involves sixteen airlines but, hopefully, others will follow.

For most holidaymakers there is a sting. The commitment that the EU has negotiated with the airlines doesn’t include flights booked as a package holiday so our two biggest tour operators, TUI and Jet2.com aren’t included in the agreement.

So any ATOL booked holiday will follow ATOL/CAA rules rather than this agreement.

But then Jet2.com was one of the better companies at issuing refunds last year. On the plus side, easyJet and Wizz Air are on the list and so is Ryanair so speedier refunds should come from all of them in the future

The sixteen airlines are Aegean Airlines, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, easyJet, Eurowings, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP, Vueling and Wizz Air.

Surprisingly, Aer Lingus isn’t on the list although its owners, IAG, do own BA, Iberia and Vueling which are on the list.
The commitment that the airlines have given the EU is that passengers will be refunded within seven days in the event of a cancellation which is EU law anyway, it just hadn’t been followed by many airlines during the pandemic and even before.

Although the UK isn’t in the EU anymore, it is hard to see that BA, easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air, for example, won’t follow the same policy with UK passengers.

In addition to the cancellation side of the agreement, the airlines concerned also agreed to only issue vouchers to passengers if and only if passengers asked for vouchers. Otherwise refunds must be made. This is a key point as many airlines assisted their cash flow by sitting on monies legally due to passengers.

Perhaps now that the airlines have raised loans, received government bailouts and guarantees feel that they can make the seven day deadlines and always give cash where wanted by passengers.

The proof, as ever, will be in the pudding and it would be nice in a year’s time to say that airlines met their commitment.

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