How to get a refund for your ticket?

In the event of a strike by a company’s employees, flights are often paid. Patrick Kosmider / Adobe Stock

to practice – Between strikes and staff shortages, many flights may be canceled this summer. A question arises: Can passengers be refunded? Most of the time, yes.

Strike at Paris airport on 1ster July, Lufthansa flight cancellations due to lack of staff, Ryanair staff strike in Spain at the end of June, reduced number of flights at Gatwick Airport, increase in Covid-19 cases… Due to the strike of Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport staff after a quarter of flights were canceled last June 9, departures during the summer holidays There is uncertainty over In case of cancellation of a flight by the company, is there a guarantee of reimbursement? Most of the time yes, but it depends on the reason for cancellation. We take stock.

My flight was canceled by the company, can I get a refund?

In France, as in all EU countries, it is Article 8 of European Regulation n°261/2004, which defines the rights of air passengers. It provides that in case of cancellation at the initiative of the airlines, the latter shall give the passenger a choice between Return ticket within 7 days or Another flight to the final destination under comparable transport conditions.

The company, in addition, must pay the passenger an indemnity €250 for flights less than 1,500 km, €400 for flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km and €600 beyond, if there is at least a 4-hour delay. Passengers are entitled to food and drink, two telephone calls, fax or e-mail and accommodation unless the alternative flight leaves until the next day.

Please note that this compensation is not applicable if the passenger is informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before departure, if the departure of the proposed replacement flight is less than 2 hours advanced or its arrival is delayed by 4 hours. There is no compensation if the cancellation is due to exceptional circumstances, such as natural disaster or war. According to the European Consumer Center (CEC), some grounds for cancellation may be disputed, e.g The company’s workers are on strike. But more often than not, this is followed by compensation.

The Airport workers strikeAir traffic controllers or security agents, on the other hand, are events external to the airline that it does not control. As a result flight cancellation will not be compensated in principle., specified the CEC in a press release. In all cases, even if compensation is not paid, the companies must refund the ticket.

If the flight is maintainedThe company does not refund passengers except in the case of cancelable and refundable tickets: then the cancellation of the ticket needs to be requested before the flight takes off.

What to do to get the money back?

The airline may reimburse at its own initiative. If not, it’s better to use it Claim Form Available on its website. CEC lists links leading to forms for European airlines This applies to disputes relating to companies based in an EU country, Iceland or Norway.

In recent years many companies have also been created (AirHelp, Air Indemnity, Flightright, etc.) which must be subject to a commission to deal with requests for compensation or even compensation on behalf of travelers. Finally, it is possible to contact an intermediary through tourism and travel mediation.

What about reservations on online platforms?

As mere intermediaries, reservation platforms are not obliged to re-route or pay the price of the air ticket. However, they must inform their customers about flight cancellations and any offers from the airline. They are also required to communicate your request to the air carrier.

And in case of package trip (flight + accommodation)?

If the travel agency (or booking site) cancels a package holiday, i.e. combines at least two different types of services in the same trip (transportation, accommodation, car rental, visits, etc.), it has the obligation to return all the money to you within 14 days. If you want to cancel your trip at your own will, you do not have to pay any fee and will be paid within 14 days under two conditions provided by the Tourism Code: if in “extraordinary and unavoidable” circumstances (bad weather, epidemic, attack, etc.) occurs on the site or near your destination and if it has consequences for the performance of the contract provided for.

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