What about plane tickets? Is money being lost?
During this turbulent, unstable and uncertain period, more and more people are complaining that they are stuck with the money stuck at the airlines and do not know how and if they will recover their money.
Normally, had it not been for this COVID-19 pandemic, a canceled flight (due to the company's fault) would have led to the company's obligation to offer passengers alternatives, including a refund if the trip was refused at a later date. There is The rights of air passengers, which regulates these scenarios very well.
COVID-19 pandemic - force majeure
It's just that we're going through hard times because of the new coronavirus pandemic. Basically, since January, the pandemic greatly affected aviation and tourism, and everything goes into "Major force". Cancellations are due to travel restrictions imposed by different countries, territories and regions. In other words, the airline wants to lift the planes off the ground, but it can't because of the bans imposed by the authorities.
Millions of flights were canceled and tens of millions of passengers could no longer reach their destination. And airlines have been unable to reimburse the value of airline tickets in a short time. And then they came up with alternatives: vouchers or rescheduling. The EU also imposed reimbursement, only allowed companies to increase the payment term to between 30 and 90 days.
In April, IATA warned that at the time, it was impossible to return more than $ 35 billion to passengers for canceled flights. Currently, the amount has increased, the number of canceled flights has also increased, as well as the number of those affected.
Airlines are facing an imminent depletion of cash, this resource is so important to keep employees and be prepared for the resumption of post-coronavirus activities.
IATA officials demand that passengers have "patience". Airlines and travel agencies need time. They need government support, they need loans under favorable conditions. They need cash.
My flight was canceled, what solutions do I have?
For all canceled flights, the affected passengers are informed by sms and email, about the possibilities they have, respectively:
• Crediting the full amount paid for the canceled flight in the form of a voucher. Many airlines have automated this process and immediately, after the canceled flight is announced, issue the voucher to the customer's account. Wizz Air offers 120% of the ticket value. But you have the right to refuse it and opt for one of the other 2 options.
• Changing the travel date at no additional cost, within the limits of the seats available at that date. It's just that there is a risk that you will face other flight cancellations on that date. The authorities may at any time prohibit flights or the airline adjust the operational schedule. Here you only have to act if you are sure that the flight can be operated.
• You have the right to request a refund of the amount paid for the canceled flight. But you have to take into account that the return period has been increased.
CAREFUL: If you have purchased airline tickets through travel agencies or other intermediary sites, you should keep in touch with them. And, depending on the alternative chosen, take the right approach.
Buy tickets only if you are sure they can fly
Clearly this is not a good time for travel plans. We do not encourage the purchase of airline tickets until it is clearly stated, with subject and predicate, whether the flights to the desired destinations can be operated by the airlines. At the moment, authorities blocked flights to 12 countries until June 16 inclusive.
But it is not clear what will happen after June 16. Airlines are loading flights into the system and hope to be able to fly immediately after the restrictions are lifted. But there is also the possibility of the authorities blocking certain flights after June 16. We don't know for sure!
CONCLUSION: As long as the airline did not go bankrupt, there are all chances to get your money back. You can recover them as a voucher and reschedule other trips for the periods when the flights will be operated. In the EU, you have the right to request a REFUND, but you have to be very patient until the application is processed and the money will return to your account. During this period, it all comes down to PATIENCE.