In Europe consumer protection rules normally require substantial cash compensation to passengers when flights are cancelled. However the EU recognized that in the current pandemic those rules don’t apply. Customers who flights are cancelled due to government regulation, or because airlines are scaling down due to lack of demand, won’t receive normal payments.
IATA, the International Air Transport Association – the international trade association for airlines, currently led by the former CEO of Air France KLM – says this isn’t enough.
They also want EU rules relaxed so that they do not have to provide extensive “care and assistance in the event of cancellations” during the pandemic and the airline trade group doesn’t think airlines should have to refund a customer’s money when flights are cancelled.
- That’s consistent with what United is doing regardless of what the law may say
- And with British Airways hiding the ability to secure a refund
Airlines around the world are seeking government bailouts – they want customers and even who don’t fly to pay – at the same time they want to keep customers’ money while not delivering the product that was purchased.
They want airlines to be able to offer rebooking onto other flights, or travel vouchers, and not refunds when a customer’s flight is cancelled. Their argument is precisely that airlines need the cash, so should be entitled to keep it.
IATA speaks for the world’s airlines. As governments prepare to bail out airlines, who speaks for you?