KLM ordered to provide refunds to customers faster

Editorial

The Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) imposes a deadline on airlines for repayment of customers who were unable to travel due to the corona crisis. This affects airlines including KLM, Transavia, Corendon and TUI.

The authority is talking to the airlines about a deadline and states that those talks are “not without obligation”. When a flight is cancelled, passengers are normally entitled to a refund of the ticket price. Not all airlines adhered to this during the corona crisis. KLM, Transavia, TUI and Corendon changed their policy after they were corrected by Dutch and, primarily, European authorities.

Airlines should actually refund customers within seven days of the canceled trip. However, according to the companies, this is currently not always feasible, since they receive a huge number of refund requests as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. To ensure that consumers still get their money back within a reasonable period of time, the Dutch authority is now in talks with the airlines. These talks take place in July and August. Airlines that do not comply with the agreements will first receive a warning and then a penalty payment.

The inspectorate is further investigating Vueling Airlines. The airline says it allows passengers to choose between a refund or new booking, but customers paint a different picture. Therefore, the ILT is now conducting an interventional conversation with the company.

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