European Airlines will Reimburse Vouchers for Flights Canceled during a Pandemic

After negotiations with the European Commission and the Consumer Rights Protection Representative, the sixteen major airlines were obliged to provide timely information and compensation in case of canceled flights.

According to Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, in the early stages of the pandemic, some airlines began offering vouchers to compensate customers for canceled flights. However, as the Commissioner points out, they were violating the rights of consumers. Reinders is pleased that an agreement has been reached through joint work and the airlines will return these vouchers and reimburse the amount.

Airlines have committed to provide better information to customers and to reimburse timely payments for canceled flights.

First of all, it should be found out whether the flights have been canceled by the airline or the customer. Customers can take a voucher if they wish. The unused vouchers will be returned by the airline management only if the vouchers are issued at an early stage of the pandemic.

Customers who have purchased a ticket through an intermediary and have problems with reimbursement can apply to the airline, which is obliged to reimburse them for the cancellation of the flight.

The Bureau européen des unions de consommateurs (Beuc), which led the original complaint against the airlines to the EU in July 2020, called on the Commission and national authorities charged with enforcing EU consumer protection laws to ensure that these commitments are respected.

The association’s director Monique Goyens said in a statement: “Airlines have breached European consumer rights on a massive scale during the pandemic.

“It’s time for airlines to clean up their act … Many consumers across Europe are still waiting for their money back, for flights canceled during the first lockdowns in 2020.”

Airlines are required to post payment information on their website.