The survey by Checkkie.nl also shows that 65 percent of the voucher owners do not know that they can whistle for their money if their airline falls. Unlike the travel organizations, airlines do not have a guarantee fund. Consumer organizations ANVR, ANWB, Consumentenbond and Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden (SGR) have often urged Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen to do so, to prevent consumers from being left out in the cold.
The package travelers appear to be somewhat better informed about their rights in the event of bankruptcy. For example, 85 percent know that their voucher is covered by a guarantee fund should the travel organization collapse in the meantime. But when it comes to when the vouchers can be redeemed, this group is also very confused.
From a legal point of view, consumers are entitled to an immediate refund, but this spring the ANVR and the consumer watchdog ACM have agreed that travelers can only request a refund six months after the date of issue of their voucher and receive their money back within a year at the latest. The six-month period in particular leads to a lot of confusion.
Tour operators and travel brokers have been receiving significantly more claims from travelers in the past few weeks who assume that they can now redeem their voucher, but in most cases consumers appear to be denied access. “The agreement is that they can submit the request after six months, but the agreement is also that travel companies do not have to repay the money earlier than 365 days minus one day after issuing the voucher,” explained ANVR spokeswoman Mirjam Dresmé from. This therefore falls under the agreement with ACM.
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