The Netherlands has temporarily tolerated that airlines issue vouchers to consumers who were unable or unwilling to make their flight due to the corona crisis. Since May 14, companies must actively let passengers again choose between a voucher or a refund.
Seven-day rule practically not feasible
European rules require air carriers to refund the full ticket amount within seven days. ILT research shows that KLM, Corendon, Transavia and TUI do not.
Due to the ‘exceptionally high’ number of requests for repayment, the deadline is practically not feasible, the ILT admits. The inspectorate will therefore discuss a repayment term in July and August. If they do not keep to the new agreements, they can receive a penalty.
No money back temporarily tolerated
The ILT’s investigation also shows that KLM, Corendon, Transavia and TUI did not offer the opportunity to request a refund in the event of a flight cancellation by Corona at the beginning of the corona crisis, even though passengers objected to vouchers. At the beginning of the corona crisis, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure) temporarily instructed the ILT to tolerate the situation. Airlines, according to the minister, were otherwise in financial difficulties.
The companies have now adjusted the policy. Lufthansa, British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair and Delta Airlines did give passengers a direct choice between a refund and a redeemable voucher. The ILT is still investigating Spanish price fighter Vueling Airlines. Passengers are given the choice, but complaints received by the inspectorate paint a different picture.
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