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Airlines Want To Cancel Rule Requiring Them To Refund Fares For Canceled Flights

"The key element for us is to avoid running out of cash so refunding the canceled ticket for us is almost unbearable financially speaking," IATA Director General Alexandre De Juniac said in an online news conference on Tuesday. ( More...

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John Anderson 28
If they issue vouchers they should never expire. Or at least go two or three years so the average joe can actually use one.
Pat Barry 4
John, a voucher is a promise, and is of little value. There are restrictions on how a customer can use them, and they usually apply as a credit towards a higher level of travel. The only airline that seems to have value if Southwest, where it offers a cancellation and cash credit for future flight.
Emphasis is …. READ THE CONTRACT. Read what the airline offers under its obligation to provide air carriage. Basically, if you accept a voucher the airline is deemed to have satisfied its obligation under its contract with you, and you take your chances when you try to use the voucher. They really are of less integrity than a junk bond, and I doubt if you would invest in junk bonds, yet passengers accept these vouchers!
Matt Kase 3
I travel quite frequently and have received many vouchers from numerous airlines when I've volunteered my seat. Every one has always functioned as a "same as cash" instrument for travel on that airline. The only restriction was the expiration date--usually 12 months from the date of its issuance. But none required me to purchase a "higher level of travel" or even spend an additional out-of-pocket dime, if the voucher's value exceeded that of the ticket I chose to purchase. Further, any remaining value was left available for additional purchases up to the expiration date. I can't imagine why the vouchers described in the article would function differently.
Tim Smith 42
Not returning money for canceled flights is tantamount to not paying your debts. After all, they borrowed the money from you!
Pat Barry 9
Ironically, the money they will use to refund your money is the taxpayer's money - your money.
The major airlines are broke. In the last century, as the airline industry evolved, governments around the world started airlines and owned them so as to earn foreign exchange. Qantas, Air New Zealand, BOAC, Malaysian, Philippine, Japan, I could go on and on. They all flogged off the airlines to the public, profiting as they did. Now they should own them again if they are bailing them out.
Airlines have been screwing us over for years with diminished quality, seats pitch that I can't sit in, and I'm against a bailout.
The government's position is that the bailout will keep salaries going to employees - but it also rewards shareholders who should be the gainers in a good economy and the losers in a recession. The airlines should be allowed to fail.
How would i get to Hawaii?
Carlos Sanchez 60
I wonder how much cash they paid to their executive in bonuses last year I am pretty sure that it will cover all the cancelations
sparkie624 32
More than you and I will ever hear about...

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

All the insurers have a get out of paying pandemic clause
Dave Steele 18
Next time you go get fuel for your car, pay in advance. And if the station then says “sorry, we're out of gasoline” show your devotion to your narrative and just drive away without expecting a refund on that prepayment for product.

Yours is one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever seen on this board.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

srobak 3
in what reality would driving away without getting the gas or the money back make any degree of sense, Dan?
Dan Grelinger -3
When there is no alternative. If the station has no money or gas, are you just going to stand there forever?

The reality is that this pandemic is wiping out the airlines financially. What they are doing are attempting desperate measures for desperate times. If bailouts don’t come, the only alternative is everyone loses everything.
Pat Barry 10
Disagree - the shareholders get wiped out. The actual air carrier remains.
Every air carrier except Southwest has diminished quality and service since 9/11. Every aspect of service has been altered so as to ensure profitability for the shareholders, and with tight seat pitch many passengers are forced to pay double or more just to get a seat in which they can fit. Food is for sale (fine - bring our own). Frequency is diminished. We are forced to pay change fees, but if the carrier changes flights we have no choice, under the terms of contract, to swallow whatever they provide.
American and United both went broke. US Airways took United, and Continental took American. They kept flying. TWA was gutted by Carl Icahn and American acquired the shell. PanAm failed, and the routes were bought by United and the passengers were served.
The point is that the air carriers have been bullying their customer base. There are few majors due to mergers, and they did what an oligopoly does - they tightened the supply and raised prices, lowered quality, and now when an economic problem erupts they take out their tin cups and come begging for a handout.
What hasn't been discussed is that business aviation is flourishing - people who can afford it have their own aircraft and ignore the airlines. Unless the airlines improve quality that premium sector will never return.
Bill Seward 3
And this list is one of the two big reasons I haven't flown commercial since 2009. The other is the TSA.
What do you do then?
Just remember if you have even a dime in a 401(k), or in a mutual fund or any other investment that has holdings in stock, you are a shareholder.

There is incentive to keep the shareholder whole. For a company to cease operating only to sell the assets (and name) to another holding company to start a "new airline" with the old company's assets and name is paramount to not refunding the ticket-holders for a cancelled flight.

In these times that have never occurred in our current economy, issuing vouchers instead of refunds makes the most economic sense.
You sell me a service, for which by the way I have to pay in advance. You do not deliver the service, but want me to insure your business.

It's your decision to either get insurance to cover your business or be ready to refund customers for not delivering what they have paid you in advance.

Hypocrite? Arrogant? Plain stupid? Choose what better describes you.
You are right. Our return flight to the Us was canceled by Aor France. We are stranded here and have been trying to rebook for 10 days. We cannot do it on line, except if we pay for a new ticket and the Air France phone number never answer. They put you on hold for an hour and never get you connected to an agent.
Shameful practice
srobak 2
You are not on the hook for rebooking a flight the airline cancelled. They are. This doesn't cost you a dime.
Scott Sample 1
(see my reply above)
Airlines spent $45B buying back their own stock to artificially enhance the price. These decisions were made by executives on the hunt to line their own pockets given the hefty options they receive. They made a choice and choices have consequences. The only way any airline should receive any taxpayer $$$ is for the executive management staff to be forced out(à la Rick Wagoner at GM In 2008)without a golden parachute and prevented from contaminating any other carrier moving forward.
Adi Rabadi -6
You seem to understand nothing:

1. Insurance companies would not cover a over encompassing item. They are in the individual risk business.
2. The airline is not taking your money, nor giving it back, they are holding it. So from their perspective.
3. Why add in a right wing bias? What does the green new deal have to do with this conversation?
srobak 6
1> That's not how insurance works. Think floods, apartment fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. All (paid) individuals must be covered - even if it is a result of an over-encompassing situation.
2> "They are holding it". Possession is 9/10ths of the law. If I gave it to them and they took it from me and they are holding it - then they are in possession. Not me. If I didn't get what I paid for - then I need the money returned for services and/or products which I did not receive. Period.
3> Nobody said anything about the green new deal, nor the right wing. Stay on target.
strickerje 1
The "green new deal" reference was from Bill Babis' comment (now hidden due to >10 downvotes).
Nigel Wootton 33
When times are good, there is no lienency if I need to cancel. Now that we are assisting them to survive with our tax dollars they want to keep my personal money as well. A lot of people need their own money back to survive.
James Werner 15
No. The airlines shouldn't get a bye on the backs of their customers, who are also being squeezed in the current economy, and who shouldn't be forced into being de facto lenders. It also sets a terrible precedent of allowing companies to be paid for involuntary undelivered goods and services. Let the airlines struggled along with all of us.
Mike Mohle 29
Think of all the billions they made in the past several years charging for bags alone, not to mention snacks, meals, flight changes, etc......... Maybe they should have saved some of it for a "rainy day"!
jmilleratp 16
They also did all these stock buybacks, where they ended up paying WAY more for that stock than they would have after everything came apart.
dohspc 28
As much as I support the airline industry this is just disgraceful. The airlines should be thankful they’re getting bailouts after the billions they spent in stock buybacks during the good times. The gov should have really forced the airlines hand and imposed a ton of pro consumer laws in that bill. No bag fees, full reimbursement for lost luggage, ban overbooking, refunds for delayed flights.
And insurers should not be allowed to have pandemic clauses. I get nothing for my cancelled flights, airlines won't pay, insurers won't pay
ORDUnited -1
The employees make up the airline and the so called "bailout" that you refer to is not a bailout at is going to pay the employees salaries for those who have lost their jobs; its not going into the pockets of the CEOs. Airlines are considered essential service, and go an extremely long way to keep the economy of the U.S going. If all the airlines go out of business, it would certainly take you a very long time to drive to your destination, particularly if you travel from coast to coast. If the airlines went out of business, millions of people would lose their jobs because there are a countless number of businesses that rely on the airline industry; hotels, rental cars, food vendors, fuel suppliers, etc. Airline employees work extremely hard and are extremely dedicated to their profession and to their passengers. So, next time you use the term "bailout" remember that that "bailout" is actually going to pay the people who fly you to your destination safely and to keep the airlines and many other businesses afloat during this most difficult time ever in our U.S. economy.
Pat Barry 9
Oh, here we go!
The employees work at the airlines - the shareholders own the airlines. Any enterprise should be allowed to fail, as United and American did in the last merger period. United was the surviving name, as was American, but US Airways and Continental were actually the surviving carriers.
I passionately disagree that the government should be the "bank of last resort".
If the air carriers here fail then they will reorganize, shareholders and creditors would be wiped out and the airlines will rise from the ashes, and the same employees will be employed since they are trained and qualified under the operations certificate of their respective employers.
While commercial demand exists for air transportation, an enterprise will rise to fill the demand, and that's the cycle.
However, every time there is an economic hiccup should the taxpayers be in there, feeding the airline's shareholders and management who stand with their empty purses, begging for salvation?
Rob Palmer 2
Agreed. In attempting to operate any business there is RISK, which may not be totally obvious up front before investing/beginning. We all love aircraft which get us there, but are these companies with their large executive salaries, so special as to deserve special treatment?
ORDUnited 0
To answer you question.....Yes, airlines are so special as to deserve special treatment because they are a majority of the reason why the economy runs. There are many many businesses that touch the aviation industry, and if the airlines fail, then hundreds of thousands of businesses also fail......which equates to millions of people being without jobs. Agreed, executive salaries are out of control and they are way over paid......just like many many other industry executives. However, take the aviation industry down, and the entire economy of the U.S. will fail. So, Yes, they are more deserving of special treatment than your local clothing store or local coffee shop; so every taxpayer in the U.S has a reason to help support the airlines and the aviation industry.
dulaney glen 2
ORDUnited -1
Agreed! Pat Barry's statement is Hogwash!!
Highflyer1950 30
If you paid by credit card mandate the company to reverse the charges. You paid for a service you did not receive in a timely manor.
Robert Cowling 10
I think this is about passengers canceling their trip, not the airline canceling it. They want to make the fares 'non-refundable', and likely not able to be rescheduled for a later flight.

But either way, they cancel, or the passenger cancels, it's pretty draconian to say 'we got your money, buzz off'. It might turn into a boon for the 'travel insurance' racket, but it just plain sucks hard. It could have a huge impact on the recovery of the travel industry, especially given that researchers are saying this coronavirus could be around throughout the year, and possibly into next, with spikes and surges in numbers of infected and dead...
John D 7
I have a flight to JFK in early May and I already know I am not going, but waiting the airline out to cancel the flight. They technically have already cancelled it as I had a non-stop and they reworked it to connect through ATL. If they cancel any of those segments, I'll ask for my fare back, if they don't I'll take the credit and use it later.
Keith Caley 9
The downside of accepting credit is the possibility that the airline might not be in business in 6 months time.
Pat Barry 1
John, not quite. If you read the contract you will find that the air carrier has an obligation to get you to the destination and does not guarantee a non-stop flight.
This comes down to the quality argument again - the screwing that we get from air carriers, change fees if the customer wants to change, baggage fees, the contract is a loaded contract in total favor of the air carrier.
srobak 3
Robert - please read the article. It specifically states in the opening paragraph that this IS in relation to airlines cancelling the trips.
Easier sais than done because if you bought a round trip and flew the outbound portion , you need to get back home and a refund on an economy ticket does not cover the cost of a return flight home.
It is what happened to us. We flew Air France from New York to Paris end of February. Our return flight on March 31 was canceled by Air France and we are unable to rebook.
A refund would be around $300.00 for an economy fare booked 5 months prior departure.
A regular one way ticket for the same flight would be $1700
Shame on Air France
srobak 3
It's on the airline to book you on a flight to get home if they are the ones that cancelled your original flight. That doesn't come at any cost - or effort - to you - but you will need to hold their feet to the fire on it.
Beatrice, Delta handles Air France in the US. Recommend you try calling them (use Skype or some other app for free) and see what they can do. They're pretty good at things like that.

And if hold times are long, try contacting them via Twitter. I did the latter and was working with an agent within a few minutes (and had my entire planned trip refunded without fee in about 10 minutes, including 2 intra-Europe flights on KLM which were booked separately).
Thank you for your suggestion.
This is finally what we did , reached them thru Twitter and Facebook and they rebooked us.
I should have started there instead of spending so much time on hold on the phone.
I am not terribly adept with all the social media’s ..I am older and not used to all the technology.
Scott Sample 3
Hi - Just checking that you've looked into EU261 compensation which, if applicable, is a heck of a lot more than $300! If the airline cancels, even in the Corona situation, they may have to pay you this compensation, depending on the timing of the cancellation and other things. There is a good article here:
sparkie624 29
So basically, they want to steal good earned money from people who earned it and wanted to travel somewhere.... that is just wrong.
Adi Rabadi 7
I am out $1k right now because of this. I am afraid they will declare bankruptcy and somehow my money (credit) will disappear!
Dan Grelinger 0
Which is exactly what the airlines are trying to avoid. It is a desperate measure in desperate times.
George Rafael 20
The cash reserves the airlines are talking about is not their money. They have not delivered service that has been contracted. COVID is not an acceptable reason for keeping money that doesn't belong to them. I wonder if someone who robs a bank if they lost their job and needs food can claim that they will give the money back before the end of the year?
Andrew Hunter 10
Airlines giving credits have a caveat that while there will be no change fee for a re-booked flight, any new flight booked will be at an adjusted fare. No doubt they will exploit this and screw us all.
If the are not willing to offer refunds, they should at the very least allow you to make the same journey as the canceled flight for the original price paid i.e. the amount of the credit they give.
Ryan Hodges 35
Too freakin' bad. I cant believe they actually think its OK to take money for a service they did not provide and claim they can't bear it financially. I would imagine 95% of people who personally paid for their ticket needs that money right now as well. It's not like its just an extra $20, its several hundred PER PERSON.
sparkie624 13
The individuals probably need it more.
vladamier 8
It is wrong and against DOT regulations to take money and not issue refunds for services that were not provided. If the airlines had any good sense, they would not spend cash that, although was technically in their pockets, could have needed to be refunded for any number of reasons. They have been through 9/11, the 2008 crash, the 737MAX, and other hard times and should have learned that they are not invulnerable to hard times.

It should not be a financial problem to issue refunds for flights that have not even been flown yet.
dulaney glen 2
Agreed. The newly-graduated MBAs, now scantly employable, will realize that creatively swindling the travelling public may have its drawbacks/backsides (as they package groceries).
onjuku20 18
I am a retired cargo pilot. Before FedEx and UPS, it was common for the same pilots to be flying the exact same N numbered airplanes for years with the airline name changing every few years. Maybe it's time to let the airlines go out of business. The same pilots, mechanics and support staff can put on a different uniform for the new airline. Flying was about the passenger and not the investor. Kind of like the old slogan. "Going out of business in the same location for the over 50 years!" Time to clean house in this crooked business.
Hiflyer421 -1
What happens when they go broke and the Chinese buy the assets?
Pat Barry 2
That's a germane thought - the Air Operator's Certificate is cancelled if the carrier cannot fly a scheduled route within thirty days, so all that a Chinese interest would get would be the "bones" - planes, hangars, parts. Employees would get other jobs.
Every airline (except Alaska) has gone out of business, one way or another. It's a poor business model (capital intensive, labor intensive, with no fixed or assured income or rate of return). Yet the "essential service" continues since other air carriers rise from the ashes of failure.
bigkahuna400 9
I thought all fares are held in a "holding account" that airlines cant touch until a flight is actually taken. All of those fares paid should be immediately sent back to customers without question.
kfdeken -2
And the Easter Bunny delivers all those eggs?
strickerje 1
Why such a flippant response?
Rick Amerson 22
Airlines could keep much of the cash if they stopped being so arrogant. For example, we'll give you back your cash OR you can get twice that amount in vouchers OR you can get a voucher plus 10x miles for the canceled trip OR you get a voucher plus no baggage fees forever, etc.

Instead they say you get a refund only on their terms-- a requirement to fly on their terms in the future with all the restrictions and charges they have today. They expect us to be thankful they're not collecting baggage fees you would have paid on the flight they canceled.
Mark Jenkins 5
Exactly my feelings as well. I was told I HAD to accept a cash voucher that the airline offered that a) expired only one year from when I purchased my tickets (not the date of my canceled flight), and b) was only good for the cash value (and not the equivalent flight at a future date). I was repeatedly told that I had to accept this even though I specifically requested a refund under Rule 22 of Delta's Contract of Carriage. I was repeatedly told that I just didn't understand how things worked and that my understanding of the contract and the law was wrong. If I had been offered a cash or trip (same flight origin/destination) voucher with a two or three year validity I would probably have acquiesced instead of calling back repeatedly and requesting that I get the refund required (until a supervisor finally agreed).

The logic astounds me - the longer the airline has had my money in their bank account (paid in advance) the less time I have to use a cash voucher? Whether intended or not, I perceive this as arrogance on the part of the airlines and not an attempt to come to a solution that benefits both parties.
srobak 3
you might want to read the article. it discusses the vouchers.
strickerje 1
Some cruise lines are offering a full refund or a voucher for 125% of the fare paid (of course, they've also raised prices for next year by about that much, but let's ignore that for the same of argument). Airlines could do something similar rather than only offering a voucher for the amount paid when they legally owe us a cash refund. What we object to is that, instead of making an offer that some customers would accept, they're making a unilateral change to the contract that's counter to the law.
Tim Smith 3
Agreed Rick! Excellent points.
John Hanlon 20
Seriously?? how can this even be a discussion... listen to what i am about to say..I give you cash for a dont give me that service.. you then give me my cash back...what is unfair about what i have just stated ...
You are so right..I want nothing more than the same flights at another available date to get home but Air France makes it impossible for us to rebbok
This, plus bailouts. Those CEO salaries don't pay themselves.
sharon bias 7
A voucher isn't any good of the airline goes belly up. In 2008 when all the banks went to heck and the government bailed them out, they, for the most part, repaid 100% of the loans plus interest. I'd be willing to consider a loan to the airlines.
Matt Kase 7
Last I checked, there's a term for a company unable to cover its debt obligations--BANKRUPT. If the airlines refuse to cover their lawful debt, then they must be forced to declare bankruptcy. If they don't wish to do that, they must pay their debts, full stop. There are no two ways about this.
George Bell 6
Fraud is fraud... airlines are going to take one on the chin just like the rest of us.
D. W. 6
Let me make sure I understand: I walk in to a high-end car shop (shoppe?), put down $150,000.00, in cash, for a Bentley (used, of course); and arrange to return the following day after it's been "detailed" (whatever the hell that means) to pick it up.

Next day, the oily and unctuous and scammy car salesman says:" I'm so, so sorry, but we had a break-in/fire/earthquake/invasion by Mongols last night, and your car was stolen."

"Damn!," says I. "I really wanted the car. Well, what the hell. Then, just go ahead and return my money.

Says the Bernie Madoff of the car world:"Nope. Can't. Won't. We've already booked it is profit, and we can't afford to bring our numbers down. Our bank'll pull our line of credit."

Is there any industry more scammy and grabby and cheaty than BigAir, these days?
Philip Lanum 0
Very poor analogy, try this:

Walk into a high-end car dealer.

Order a new car to be delivered in say a month. (Similar to the flight I booked to Norway)

Two weeks later the dealer calls up and says the Factory burned down and production has stopped and all the completed cars were stepped on by giant trolls.

You say - well, I guess I can't get a car now and the dealer says - that's right ---- but I am keeping your money. Thanks for all the Fish.

However, I did get a full refund on the flight.
Greg Daley 6
American gave 90+ % of the 10’s of billions they earned from outrageous fees and their ludicrous tax cut back to the shareholders instead of settling their long-standing labor disputes with their employee’s unions or saving anything for the predictable rainy day in the industry, and then placed orders for tens of billions in new aircraft with borrowed money. No sympathy from this occasional traveler. Let them borrow more or go bankrupt. And seriously, what in the business strategy above justifies the disgusting compensation their CEO pulls in?
Passengers should get a partial refund for having to be assaulted by CNN at the airports.
Insured with Allianz - Exclusion clause for pandemic, insurance is a waste of money if a pandemic breaks out. I have lost count of the ignorant comments in reference to claiming insurance for covid19 cancelled flights. If you have actually had a sucessfull claim please let me know the name of the insurer so I can use them in future.
Sh Bu 11
It is NOT the Airlines money!!! The experience of attempting to get a credit to my Visa was met with a RESOUNDING NO! Either a credit to Airline account or later rebook- Have another flight coming up and to deal with airline again is about as appealing as getting a toothe pulled.
C Corse 10
This annoys me - after these money grabbing airlines have been nickel and diming us for baggage fees, extra leg room seats, even picking a seat at the time of booking - making millions - and now won’t give me my $$ back???Grrrr
Mike Monk 9
I think we need to regulate the industry again.
Deregulation has brought a lot of this on, the pandemic was the catalyst that brought the problems out into the open.
Deregulation allowed budget airlines to prosper which has caused the full service airlines to make drastic cuts to their fare structures and their service to their customers in order to compete and to survive. That in turn has caused airline profit margins to shrink.
It is only right that travellers should be refunded if the airline is unable to meet its contractual commitment to its customer, regardless of the cause.
Insurance companies are the scrooges that sit back and watch but nearly always find a way out of honouring their commitments. Perhaps they need more regulation too.
Unfortunately it is always the customer that losses out!
Jakob Xanther 4
I can highly recommend to everybody - get the money back if you can. No one can say which airline will survive the next couple of weeks. We individual travelers are not the welfare organisation for the Airline industry.
calvin smith 7
They should be treated just like the passengers are treated by them. They made billions in extra charges, now it is their turn to sick it up.
ADXbear 7
This speaks to the financial methods the airlines use to operate.. its like us living on credit cards.. poor plan.. this will kill many airlines..
Open more desert spaces.. alot of pkanes heading for bank repos..
john kilcher 6
What unmitigated gall. While the likes of Muillenberg gets a golden parachute instead of the slammer, now the airlines wants to screw it's customers?
Unbearable financially,,,really? What about for the individual? Bailouts and low cost loans are much more likely to be offered to Airlines rather than a passenger.
kfdeken 3
I bought some tickets for August on Delta and AirCanada. In essence, I gave them a loan. Now I realize that loan was to deadbeats. On me, I guess, out the $1,500 with vouchers as useless as you know what.
Greer Kemp 3
So the airlines are happy to take the money when you book and pay in advance, but then, at their own discretion, can cancel a flight (as being perhaps not profitable), and they want to keep the moneys paid in good faith by the travelling public? I don't think so. That is simple corporate theft.

You cant advertise to provide a service, imply that by paying for the service, it will be provided, and then, when you have the money in hand, decide not to bother, and run away.
Bryan Lockey 3
"almost unbearable financially speaking," just like the guys who've given the airline their fare money for nothing. It's devastating, ley alone unbearable, to ordinary folk to lose 2 months salary to bail out a multi million dollar company;s CEOs
Gary Moore 3
The Federal Bailout is being paid by the taxpayers of this country....your customers. Cash refunds is the ONLy fair solution. Who knows when regular folks will be able to safely fly again!
Air FRANCE n’a toujours pas mis sur leur site un système permettant de rebooker une réservation pour un vol annulé par Air France
Howard Welsh 3
Wont go into all the details but been dealing with several different airlines about my own travel and our daughter who was in Europe when all this started. British Airways so far only offered voucher- good for 12 months for one of our daughters cancelled flights that was booked after this started. Ryannair a complete joke non responsive. United been mixed they gave me a full cash refund on a flight to Vegas I cancelled. Have another open flight to Dublin for early May waiting for now for them to cancel in hopes of getting cash refund not a voucher. Bottom line if they are getting bailouts need to take care of their employees and customers.
An ideal opportunity for all airlines to display professional transparent ethical excellence and refund all fares for cancelled flights. Non negotiable.
Allan Bowman 3
Sue the airlines and seize their assets. The aluminum is always worth something unlike their management.
If the airline goes belly up, you lose your money.
M20ExecDriver 3
I'm rescheduling my flight for when fuel is two to three times what it is now.
Fred Bailey 5
Greedy fn dirtbags
azorie 4
Companies are not people. going out of biz, sucks for those working there, but it is part of biz. Some one else will carry on after they die. The rich make out as always. the peons get screwed.
RC Pate 2
They spent their cash the last several years buying back their stock. This rule Should not change. I have over $17,000 in June business class travel into countries that do not even currently allow United States citizens entry. Flights are being cancelled about a week out as time does by but I don’t see this thing lifting as the Southern Hemisphere goes into its winter.
LW P 2
We just gave them 50 billion, this is the least they could do in return.
kyle1234 2
I say let the bastards fail! They take our tax dollars then give us the finger. This is just one bridge too far.
Yes, it will suck for the employees, but if management really cares about them they'll do the right things to prevent a total collapse. Stop allowing the fat cats at the top to hide behind the little guys when this is a doing of their own.
If there truly is a demand, new carriers will emerge from the ashes and will hopefully learn from the past.
Airlines and their piranha like executives should expend less energy at making themselves so despised and hated. Buying back stock to artificially raise the price and line their own pockets should not be rewarded with money from taxpayers. Now they seek to double down on stupid. They failed to fulfill their contractual obligations, period. Here's a news flash, you don't get to steal someone's money and than offer a worthless IOU. You want to conserve cash, sell some of the stock you threw away money on when prices were high.
Rob Palmer 2
Basic Business 101: No tickee, no laundry. Company not supplying the marketed service in no way deserves to be paid. What ever happened to business ethics?
Edward Bardes 2
Are there insurance policies for this kind of thing?
Mark Jenkins 2
Trip insurance is available; what is covered depends upon how much you pay. Basic trip insurance only covers certain travel-related issues, such as missing a connecting flight, lost luggage, getting sick while traveling. Government travel prohibitions were specifically NOT included on the basic trip insurance contract I reviewed. "Cancel for any reason" coverage is available, but if I recall correctly the cost was about 1/3 the cost of the entire trip. However, in my case the airline's "Contract of Carriage" as well as US FAA regulations require a refund of the full fare paid if a) the airline can't provide the flight sold (or another within 90 minutes of the originally scheduled flight), and b) the customer requests a refund. It is not normal for a customer of a business to have to insure themselves against the business failing to deliver what was purchased (no matter what the reason why it can't be delivered).
Alan Macdonald -6
There sure is and not really expensive either especially for domestic travel. There is quite an old adage which says "if you can't afford insurance you can't afford to travel" but in this day and age where everyone wants everything for nothing, or not much more, then complain because they then have to forkout for a bag.........why would they even think of 'lashing out' on travel insurance
Well that's how I feel about it. Maybe if you want to travel on the cheap then take a bus or Amtrak (and BTW Amtrak is still running).
Greg S 6
Do you purchase insurance when you buy a refrigerator in case the company just decides to keep your money and their refrigerator?

Of course not, because there is substantial law protecting your rights not to be cheated.
strickerje 3
Yep. By that logic, I should take out third party insurance every time I buy anything, and if I don't, then it's on my when the merchant fails to deliver. Absurd...
Michael Cole 4
Can we erect a statue of you on top of Mount Sanctimonious? You obviously think you know it all, but you don’t. Travel insurance doesn’t seem to cover cancellations due to pandemics. There’s also another old adage, which applies to you, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
Travel insurance is not worth a goddamn in pandemic - does anyone actually read them!!!
Nous sommes hostages d’Air France depuis 10 jours car notre vol de retour Paris New York du 31 Mars a été annulé .
La seule façon de rebooker est d’appeler 1 800 375 8723 qui ne répond jamais.
Nous avons essayé tous les jours depuis le 30 Mars et n’avons jamais pu avoir un agent.
Le mail d’’Air France annonçant l’annulation du c
Vol indiquait clairement que nous pouvions réserver le même vol pour une date ultérieure sur le Web.Il n’en est rien .
Les seules options en ligne pour un vol annulé sont un crédit ( voucher ) ou un remboursement.
John OConnell 2
Another big issue with credits, travel banks, etc. is where do you stand if the airline goes into bankruptcy? Not sure where the credits come in the pecking order. The airlines could give us an incentive to help. Issue preferred class of shares. Guarantee any credits will be converted to casg before any EXECUTIVE BONUSES are paid out.

Although there are some exceptions, most of the airlines have adopted a tough attitude towards there customers in the last decade. If they want help they should ask us, not try to screw us by asking lawmakers.
Pramen Singh 2
CheapOair will simply not refund. We have tried reasoning with them and it seems to fall on deaf ears
Finally Air France rebooked us on same flights at a later date for the March 31 flight they canceled.
At no extra charge but it took a lot of efforts to get there.
had to go thru their twitter and Facebook account as the phone were never answered by an agent.
This option to rebook a later return flight should have been offered to all their passengers on the website.
Instead , customers saw a red banner advising «  you were not present at the gate for boarding on one of your flight » intimating that they were at fault..
Passengers were not present because Air France had notified them that the flight was canceled. ..

Stranded passengers who had their return flight to the US cancelled should have an easy option to rebook.
It is a different story if the trio has not started yet, in which case a full refund is an acceptable offer without further damage.
Jean Johnson 2
All I've gotten is credits from Southwest. Southwest is issuing vouchers via email for Early Bird check in.
I've received all points back from United and cash back on my credit card for taxes and fees on two international flights. Truthfully, I was surprised at the ease of doing and getting that.
More Southwest flights, one American, and another domestic United flight to deal with. Not fun.
I'm now waiting till close to my flghts to attempt cancellations.
Why should any of them keep my money? I am not using their services. Gary Moore is right. The bailout is being paid for our tax dollars. No one is bailing out my flight cost.
Tridens 3
If i had my way i would let them all go Bust Bankrupt no Billion $$$ Bailouts from Goverments
Paul Freeman 3
Typical thieving airlines want everything their own way. They stuff us into smaller and smaller seats and find more and more extra charges and they don't want to give money back even though they have not provided any service. Filthy crooks. If they want to save some money, how about not paying the CEOs obscene amounts of money.
Tridens 3
Robing Bastards i paid for airline ticket you dont fly but want to keep the money fraud dalight robbery what about all the people that lost their jobs no work no money stop you fat million $$$ bonuses
Alan Cordery 3
All utter rubbish, they collect the money, they do not provide the service nor incur in any variable costs, they sure as hell have to refund, end of story.
strickerje 3
No sympathy from me... the already onerous and one-sided Contract of Carriage (along with DOT rules) stipulates that if the airlines cancel, they owe me a refund even on a non-refundable ticket. I guarantee they wouldn’t budge on their terms in the event that I face hardship that prevents me from traveling, so why should we do the same for them?
Ali Baba et les 40 voleurs
Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.
patrickmalone 2
I bet they do. Maybe they should have saved up some cash over the past 10 years of glee for them instead of pissing it away.
Isaac Shalom 2
I bought insurance for a flight and was denied payment because the contract has a clause which reads "cancellation for any reason is not covered". They are all thieves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pat Barry 2
Travel insurance varies by air carrier. It pays to actually read the policy before buying the insurance since they do vary from airline to airline. Generally, there are so many out clauses that it becomes frustrating to get a payment.
srobak 2
please tell me you are taking this to court. a contract that contradicts itself.
Mark Jenkins 1
My wife and I bought tickets 2/28 on Delta as part of a travel package for 4/24-5/6. The week after we grew concerned that government travel restrictions could keep us from taking our trip, and reviewed the trip insurance program offered by the travel agency. The phrase "cancel for any reason" referred to a level of trip insurance that is more expensive than the base level insurance. The base level insurance specifically bars recovery of money due to government travel prohibitions, i.e. it is not "cancel for any reason" trip insurance.
Don Elford 2
I paid $6,500 to get my family from Scotland to Australia on Emirates. The flight back was cancelled due to Covid-19. Their offer of a refund was $400 for the return leg. Logic is that the fare out was value component and the return just a fraction. The cost to get them home on Bristish Airways was $12,000 (Premium Economy only availability). Just want to manage expectaions of refunds from Emirates here.
Manuel Cruz 2
I'm with CarlosS. Return ALL Golden Parachutes! It'll cover more than enough.
Extend flight vouchers past 2022!
I don't understand what the airlines are using to support their debate. I do not pay money "Just" to "Get a ticket". I pay money for "A seat on their airplane providing transportation from point A to point B". If the airline does not take me from point A to point B, then they have not fulfilled their obligation. It's one thing if I chose to not take my seat and the plane flies. It is a totally different thing if plane doesn't fly. Not my problem as to why. So why are they debating? If there is a situation where the customer is justifiably afraid to fly (such as 9-11 or COVID-19) and the plane still goes, the airline may have a debate. But my understanding is they want to "Not return" a fare (not even a voucher) even if they don't fly. Whether their debate has merit or not is a no-brainer to me. Take your losses, do what is correct for the customers, then take your medicine afterwards. Just my thoughts.
Matt Kase 3
"I pay money for a seat on their airplane providing transportation from point A to point B" **...on a given date at a given time!**

Don't forget that part.
Simple theft.
they should refund everyoe for tickets
Highflyer1950 2
If they run out if money they can apply to the Feds for a bail out.
Not only the refunds but also the credits are cancelled, I call this a crime!!!!!!!!
josef Sonntag 1
Essy way to make money-HOPE PEOPLE INSIST of getting their money back, should cut the payment to the managers in these companies
I want to cancel and get my full refund Alaska Air. $788 I need NOW, not for future travel.
mike bednar 1
Tough luck airlines! You squeeze us all in like sardines in a undersized can so you can maximize your profits and now you're crying poverty?! Cry me a river of the sweat I have to smell from my seatmate! Jeez! I don't sleep that close to my wife!
Pa Thomas 1
How are we going to steal their money if you people are going to be watching?
chitta 1
Recently, I had two flights (Thailand to Australia) cancelled by FlyScoot due to Covid-19. I was only offered a credit voucher with 12 months validity. Conditions of the voucher were that it could be used only for one booking and if the new fare was less than the credit, the balance would be forfeited. I was less than happy with this, so contacted my bank who quickly arranged a charge back - money was returned to my account in a few days.

By the way, I think most travel insurance policies exclude pandemics and don't cover changed flights, medical expenses related to Covid-19.
chitta 1
TO avoid confusion re my post, I was offered a credit voucher for each cancelled flight.
Ivan Kaiser 1
Nonsense. WE pay upfront for flight tickets, peanuts, baggage, water, seats, and even the airports! With a couple of exceptions, airlines have forgotten all about customer service.
Joseph Sede 1
It is ALL about them
Bill Seward 1
I suppose that it isn't an issue if their customers run out of cash. I believe we're making a grave mistake bailing them out. Let them go under and someone else-smarter, more customer oriented, whatever-can pick up the pieces.
tom mcdo 1
THAT would be the end of air travel as we knew it.
WhiteKnight77 1
They need to pay their customers back, period. If they cannot sustain themselves on the profits they made from charging for baggage, extra leg room, food, etc, then they need to fail, end of story.
Ron Friedman 1
Example. One big airline, our hotel has closed, both states are shelter in place until after April 30. Event cancelled and flight already changed. WE have had to talk several times about what they will be doing and several times talking with an overseas operator who is only reading a script and doesnt have a clue what we are really trying to say.

Requested a USA based agent and was told if the Airline cancels they will refund the money. Hope so, we dont need a $600.00 credit on books for who knows how long!

Everyone needs to do the right thing or they will loose passengers.
kfdeken 1
Like the Roach Hotel, the money checks in but it won't check out.
erik godo 1
Alaska refunded $450 from a $550 fare and you have to use it by January 2021. They have figured out how to make money, so no need to listen to whiners.
Ken Lane 1
If the airlines are not charging a rate which allows them to build cash reserves and remain afloat in difficult times, that's their problem. They are not the low wage earner living from paycheck to paycheck.

They deserve to go under.
a1brainiac 1
Probably want the money to buy back their own stock to enhance the CEO's compensation that's what they'll do with their "Bailout" money
Pat Barry 1
In Australia, I was involved with airlines and ANZ Bank was a lender to Compass. The carrier wanted to take cash from a seat sale to buy a spare engine, and ANZ Bank refused to let them wire the purchase money, having opined that the cash is the customer's cash until the transportation has been provided. They had a legal opinion and government support for their opinion. The same should apply here - no airline should withhold a refund if it is unable to fulfill the contract.
Scott Smith 1
American capitalism at its finest. The airlines are just one example of how capitalistic environments encourage this kind of public response, “Please sir, may we rip off our customer base?” There is no preparation in most industries for times that go South to protect employees and business. Even though the pandemic is not the same event as the bail-outs over a decade ago, the results are just the same. Lessons are never learned and Profit at all costs for a select few the almighty god of capitalism in America. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Rob Palmer 1
Why is the capitalism process to blame here? Capitalism is merely a group organizing to raise funds for a large innovation, and has nothing to do with a bunch of crooks who may be using it for their purposes. Do all large corporations need better supervision from whistleblowers/police and honest politicians? Yes.
Refunds are cheaper than lawsuits, because now your talking about court costs, lawyers fees, etc.
Edward Bardes 2
Lawsuits leave a longer legacy than refunds.
srobak 1
absolutely not. this is absolutely ludicrous.
Phil Howry 0
In our advanced "age-of-technology", the current pandemic has revealed domestic airline travel is not an absolute necessity/requirement; consequently, I wonder why these 20/20 hindsight, all-knowing airline business commentators, didn't purchase "trip insurance"? If they had, refunding of subject airfares would be the insurance company's problem.

This crisis could end up benefiting the insurance industry.
Mark Jenkins 1
Ordinary trip insurance only covers ordinary risks, such as lost luggage, missed connections, and someone falling ill while on the trip. Government travel prohibitions are specifically not included under ordinary trip insurance. "Cancel for any reason" coverage is substantially more expensive; it allows for someone to just decide not to go. People make economic decisions based on their risk tolerance; most would not purchase "cancel for any reason" because of a) its cost and b) their ability to control most of the circumstances under which " cancel for any reason" might be used in ordinary circumstances.

An airline's "contract of carriage" is a contract that states when and how any fares paid might be refunded, and are fairly one-sided in favor of the airlines. The exception is when the airline can't provide the flight that they have sold, or another equivalent flight within an hour and a half (90 minutes) of the flight they sold. In this case US law requires that they refund the fare collected. In the case of this risk, which a consumer can't control, the law has already mandated a remedy. That is why the "all-knowing airline business commentators" didn't purchase "trip insurance."

If the law changes and any money paid in advance to an airline become refundable solely at the airline's discretion, then I expect the insurance industry will have a new product to sell. Of course, other businesses might want in on the action as well. "Why no sir, the car that we required you to pay for fully in advance (so that we could build it in our factory) can't be delivered to you because our factory was closed down by the government, but we won't be giving you any money back. Please buy another car from us soon!" "Yes, sir, we know that you paid in advance for a meal in our restaurant to be consumed this coming Friday (so that we could afford to hire the cooks, buy the food, etc.), but we can't provide it to you because we lost power and had to close the restaurant. You won't be getting any of your money back, but please book again soon for next month!"
Let's do everything that we can to bankrupt the airlines, while we're at it, why not restaurants and barber shops. The airlines canceled the flights due to government closures. I was going to fly out west to ski, but the government closed the ski area. If you don't bite the bullet and take the risk of getting a cold, we will have no country to come back to. At what point do the deaths from suicide and family abuse exceed those from the Chinese virus. By the way, the Chinese are winning.
Dan Grelinger -1
In normal times, this is a no brainer, and the 95% of these comments make at least some sense.. But these are not normal times. This request from the airlines is reflective of reality. There are really only 3 options:

1. Airlines go bankrupt: People holding cancelled tickets are creditors. They get nothing.
2. Rules change and airlines are allowed to issue vouchers for future travel. People holding tickets are still holding tickets that MIGHT be worth something in the future.
3. The federal government bails out the airlines and do not change the refund rules.
Rob Palmer 1
O.K. Dan, we have sloppy refund rules; Don Trump and others are responsible for this and should watch their ways? O.K.
Maybe if some of these airlines stop making ghost flights (no passengers), they'd be able to save money and forego rebuking their cancellation rule.
If any airlines are offering a credit voucher in lieu of a cash refund, then they should at least allow the customer (passenger) to be able to redeem the voucher through Dec. 31, 2021. By giving them a redemption restriction only through the end of 2020 is not enough especially if their planned vacation or business trip is an annual affair or event (e.g. Sun 'n Fun canceled until 2021).
Barbara Henry 0
President Trump has made it clear that Airlines willrecvive a huge amount of money to save the industry. They should have a choice...either no government gifts to bail them out or allow refunds form mandated cancellation of flights. Lufthansa owes me $2000.00 and solar Inhave heard nothing!!! Corruption abounds already!
Rob Palmer 1
Maybe if in Germany you could file a lien and claim a piece of a Lufthansa-owned aircraft. This may be a good reason to stick to domestic corporations on international flights. When you get back you can keep calling them and filing court actions. With luck you could claim a piece of the tail or something.
Brian Huston 0
I have a feeling that a key element, for the prospective passengers whose money you’re holding, is not running out of cash too.
Jim Calle 0
AA wants the money to fix all the problems on the Max. Ridiculous!!! Just say no!
srobak 3
AA doesn't fix that. Boeing does - on their dime, not AA's.
Jim Calle 2
You're right! I should finish my coffee before commenting. Cheers!
Rob Palmer 1
And the flying public should not have to pay for Boeing's mistake. I (and most people) would not want to fly on any aircraft with this type of design (MCAS). By the way I used to work for FAA, Washington, but not in flight standards. I was just a lowly computer programmer.
bbabis -7
The only ones that should be made 100% whole are the travelers that purchased trip insurance and that would be done by the insurance companies. Everyone else is in the same boat with the airlines. They want to travel and they can't while the airlines would love to take them and they can't. An airline precanceling a flight is just doing the right thing. If an airline wanted to, they could simply not precancel any flights and cancel them at the gate. Then they would only owe a refund to the two or three people that showed up. All others would forfeit their money. The answer lies somewhere in between. As a ticket holder, I've got some skin in this game. So, let's all work together to see if we can keep this industry together to come back to when this all passes. Wether it's vouchers, discounts, partial refunds, or something else, it can be worked out.
Read the insurance small print - it's not worth a dime in a pandemic!
Rob Palmer 2
Let's just do it the old-fashioned way: pay at the gate when you pick up your ticket to board. Then if the flight is cancelled, you don't show up, no money exchanges hands, and no refund is due.
Mark Jenkins 1
Basic trip insurance doesn't cover a government prohibition on travel; trip insurance that does is substantially more expensive. In my case, the voucher/credit offered by the airline was wholly inadequate - the credit had to be used within 1 year of the original purchase date (not the originally scheduled travel) or it "expired" (i.e., airline just kept the money). It was only a credit for the amount paid and not for the flights I had scheduled, so I would have to pay any cost difference between what I had already paid and the future cost of the flight. With the current situation, all of the risk would be on me - it is unlikely that I would be able to travel within the 1 year from purchase limitation. The airline was also gaming the system exactly as you suggest they could - they had "suspended" flight service, but had technically not canceled the flight, so would not issue a refund.

There was no option to "be worked out" - the airline was going to keep my money, not transport me anywhere, and probably receive a government bailout to keep them running in any case. If the airline had offered a credit with a 2 or 3 year time limit I might taken the credit even though the airline's one-sided "Contract of Carriage" as well as US law clearly states that in this (one) case I should get a refund. However, the airline attempted to not only evade complying with the clearly written contract that they wave around in every other case against consumers, but to do so in a way that was practically useless to me.
Arrogance, unfairness and sometimes illegality docet, but we could not care less. We are iata and you are nobody.
This is the real and truth opinion that iata has of travellers and travel agents (as myself) who fightes daily in this very somber job against old stereotypes and absurd rules.
In a very famous italian picture (Il Gattopardo) Burt Lancaster says :

" Perché tutto cambi, nulla deve cambiare"
If you want life' changes , nothing must be changed.

This is the dogma that iata and her associated apply since the birth of association.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Highflyer1950 16
Please stop typing in capitals, it’s annoying.
bdarnell 6
vladamier 7
Returning an item that you already have in hand is not a fair comparison. This is a service that you were promised and was never delivered. Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that DOT regulations require a full refund for cancelled or significantly modified flight itineraries.

As you mentioned, there are people who are employed by these airlines and again, as you mention, part of the airline bailout agreement is that those individuals will continue to receive a paycheck through September. It is wrong for the airlines to STEAL hard earned money from families who are hurting and could use the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, they spent on flights that will not be flown. This is money that could be used for mortgages, car payments, groceries, etc.
Ray Conder 2
why are you yelling at me?
sparkie624 1
Please Don't Shot!
John Thacker 0
Refund or voucher, it’s only fair. Passenger paid for a service and the service was canceled. Pony up Airlines, any business comes with risk.
sparkie624 1
Depends on a lot of Circumstances really.... If the flight was canceled, they they should have to refund, if the passenger decided not to fly then it should be on the passenger
Ross Selvidge 0
So that's how they have been funding their working capital!!!
Are they nuts???
They should do it the old fashioned way.


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