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Forum for airline passengers

Refunds or vouchers

Emblem of the US Department of TransportationOn May 13, 2020 authorities at both sides of the Atlantic warn airlines for the second time in 2 months. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) tells carriers they must issue refunds to passengers whose flights have been canceled or significantly changed. In March and April the DOT received 25,000 complaints compared to a 2-months average of 3,000. Travelers complain in droves that their airlines only offer a voucher and no refund.

Voucher or refund

The European Commission issues on the same...
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United breaks a promise

All middle seats taken on United flight Newark-San FranciscoDr. Ethan Weiss is a cardiologist and a scientist at the University of California San Francisco. On May 9, 2020, he tweets a remarkable photo (see on the right). It shows the cabin of a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco. The flight is packed, all seats are taken. However, only 10 days before the flight United’s Chief Customer Officer sends a message to all passengers. It reads: "We're automatically blocking middle seats to give...

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The end of air travel

mask in the cabinMost airlines now require passengers to wear face coverings and crew masks on board aircraft. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the mouthpiece of the airline industry - considers it a temporary layered approach to biosecurity. But it may also serve another goal, as IATA looks after the aviation industry’s interests. Most likely, IATA wants to avoid the dramatic cost increases to air travel that onboard social distancing would imply.

Virus transmission

IATA claims that limited evidence suggests that the risk of virus transmission on board is...
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Ejected from a fighter jet

Plane and parachute in the airA 64-year-old man in France has no interest in flying. However, he gets a gift from his employees in the form of a flight in a fighter jet, a Dassault Rafale B. At 2,500 feet above the ground he is flung into the air with a parachute because he presses the ejection button. The picture on the right shows the plane (bottom left) and the parachute (top right).

Parachute

Investigators with France's Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety write a  report about the...
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Don’t count on refunds from Lufthansa

Boarding a Delta planeWe received a number of messages from readers about their attempts to get refunds for canceled flights. Several of them are happy because they received cash refunds from Delta Air Lines within a month. Given the numerous gloomy stories of travelers about other carriers, this is a very favorable experience.

Liquidity

Small wonder that Delta is working to improve its liquidity position. On April 22, 2020, the airline announces it will enter into 2 different loans, each to an amount of $1.5 billion (€1.4 billion). It will be...
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Dutch government breaks law

KLM cabinOn April 21, 2020, the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad publishes an interview with Adina Vălean, the European Commissioner for transport. The newspaper asks her opinion about the Dutch government’s infringement of EU regulation 261/2004 concerning airline passengers’ rights. That is a relevant question, for the Dutch minister van Nieuwenhuizen tolerates that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is breaking the regulation. Although the carrier has canceled flights, it refuses to pay refunds to passengers. Rather, it offers passengers only vouchers.

Refund or vouchers

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