Complaints and queries regarding flights that have been cancelled months ago have continued to arrive from the beginning of the year in ECC-Net. In some cases, passengers have been notified of the cancellation of flights scheduled to take place in 2020 with tickets purchased back in the months prior to the pandemic, which is why a chargeback is no longer an available option.

Voucher or new flight offered over a year ago – are you still entitled to the amount?

Should a flight have failed to take off on company’s decision, all passengers concerned are entitled to choose between refund or a voucher that can cover a new flight at a nearer or farer date. Pursuant to the European Commission’s Covid 19 referred Recommendation about EU Regulation 261, which provides for passenger rights in the event of cancellations, the operating airline should offer passengers that choice.

For passengers to be able to take advantage from the Regulation protection, their outbound flights have to be set to take off from an EU, Iceland, Norway or the United Kingdom-based airport.  Rules in this case apply to all airlines however ECC Net can offer assistance if the carrier is registered in a member state, or Iceland, Norway, and UK. The Regulation also applies in favour of passengers set to take off from a third country-based airport to a member country in case an EU-registered company operates the flight.

Was the outbound flight affected only?

Consumers should to be offered the choice if the inbound flight is on the same reservation even if not operated by the same carrier.

Vouchers need to be valid for at least 12 months. The amount should thereafter be refunded if the holder does not cash it. Passengers may need to apply their preferences again by filling in a form.  

One is planning a flight on a date following voucher validity expiration?

One may cover any new reservation made within the voucher’s validity period even if the flight is about to take place in the months to follow. Validity period and passenger’s rights have to be indicated on the voucher no matter if it is offered in print or electronically.

Particular conditions, terms and ways for having vouchers cashed in the event of cancelled flights are indicated in the airlines’ Terms and Conditions. Voucher’s validity can be extended by the airline therefore ECC advises passengers to regularly check the information updated on carrier’s web site and their email related to the reservation.

Is the airline directing you to an intermediary?  

In the event that a ticket has been purchased via an intermediary (be it a platform or an agency) and not from the airline’s desks or website directly, the right of a choice about cancelled flights remains in force however one should address their request to the intermediary. This is the trader who should therefore address the airline on behalf of the customer and some fee may apply for the service. Once the request is approved and the payment is processed by the airline to the intermediary, it is with the respective platform to direct the payment to the customer’s account.  

Outdated bank account or deactivated email address?  

Some consumers report circumstances of various nature, which may obstruct their access to information about the development on their particular request. ECC advises you to immediately contact in written the company who sold you your tickets in case you experience some technical issues making it difficult for you to ascertain what was communicated to you and when, what your response has been and what objectively followed.   If your account has been closed or deactivated, you are encouraged to check with the bank if the trader may have processed the refund payment.  

The flight was cancelled over a year ago, is it too late for you to seek help?  

Register your reference in case you have not done so yet and keep all files together including the reservation, the payment statement, cashed voucher confirmation copy or refund request as well as the cancelled flight-referred notification and your complete communication with the airline or the intermediary. If you have applied your preference a couple of months ago and the feedback is still pending, you can consult your local ECC free of charge.