- EU air passenger rights: do you want a cash refund?
EU air passenger rights: do you want a cash refund?
EU air passenger rights: do you want a cash refund?14th April 2020 - Published by Kathryn Parrish
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, flights have been cancelled and planes have been grounded. The European Commission has helpfully reminded airline passengers that they have the right to a full refund under EU law.
EU Regulation 261/2004 places an obligation on EU airlines (and non-EU airlines departing from an EU country) to reimburse or re-route passengers in the case of cancellations. In such circumstances passengers can choose between being reimbursed their ticket price or re-routing to reach their final destination at a later stage (i.e. booking an alternative flight to depart later in the year). Press reports suggest that some airlines have attempted to circumvent their obligations by offering “credit voucher” refunds. There is nothing within the regulations to prevent airlines from offering “credit” based refunds, however airline customers are able to reject this type of refund and opt for a cash refund.
It is important to note that the European Commission have accepted that the current circumstances are extraordinary, and therefore certain rights, such as compensation in case of flight cancellation less than two weeks from departure date, may not be invoked.
For the EU Commission’s press release and link to their full guidance, please visit: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_485