I’ve written extensively about airlines breaking the law by refusing to refund customers whose flights are cancelled. There is no ambiguity in requirements by the U.S. Department of Transportation and also from European authorities.
- In some cases airlines are flagrantly ignoring the law, and offering vouchers but not refunds.
- In other cases they are hiding the ability to get a refund, hoping customers won’t know their rights, or making the effort to get a refund hard enough that customers won’t bother
- They’re also just not honoring their legal obligations even when asked
- Or taking refund requests, but just not processing those requests
One thing that many airlines have done to make refunds more difficult is removed the ability for travel agents to process refunds for their customers through computer reservations systems. The Amadeus system maintains a list of those airlines.
This is not a complete list of offenders. This is a list of airlines known to have removed the ability for “manual and Amadeus Ticket Changer Refund functionalities in the Amadeus system.”
Some airlines aren’t on this list – for instance consumers contacting JetBlue are being told no refunds, and I’m told Kenya Airways isn’t even refunding ‘refundable’ tickets. And an airline on this list might still process a refund on request after calling them, this is a list of those who have removed the ability for agents to do it in their system.
|Refund Capability Deactivated|
|Airline Name||By Point of Sale|
|BLUE AIR AVIATION||Globally|
|PLUS ULTRA LINEAS AEREAS||Globally|
|EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES||Globally|
|EVELOP AIRLINES||ES, MX, FR|
|AIR FRANCE||Globally except CN, KR|
|KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES||Globally except CN, KR|
|SWISS INTERNATIONAL AIR LINES||Globally|
|AIR COTE DÍVOIRE||30 countries|
|TACA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES||Globally|
|AVIANCA COSTA RICA SA||Globally|
|AVIANCA PERU S.A.||Globally|
|AVIANCA ECUADOR S.A||Globally|
|SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS||Globally|
|SINGAPORE AIRLINES||Globally except US|
Since airlines can deactivate refund functionality without even telling Amadeus, there may be other airlines that have done so which didn’t make the list. We’re in uncharted territory when the global distribution system Amadeus is asking travel agents to tell them what airlines have done so in their own system.