Belgian consumers' club takes Air France-KLM to court

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Belgian consumers' organization Test-Ankoop is filing a lawsuit in Belgium against Air France-KLM, accusing the airline of causing customers unnecessary costs with its no-show clause. Travelers who did not use part of their ticket, are not allowed to board without paying a surcharge or buying new ticket, according to Test-Ankoop, AD reports.

The no-show clause applies to travelers who booked a trip that consists of more than one part, such as a round trip consisting of several flights, a train ride that is linked to a flight, or just a return flight. According to the clause, the ticket becomes invalid if the traveler misses part of his journey. For example, if he did not take the train to the airport, or missed a flight. 

"In that case, the person involved has no choice but to pay a hefty surcharge or even buy a completely new ticket", Test-Aankoop said. "An unjust and unlawful practice that must stop." According to the organization, these extra costs can range from 125 euros for a short-distance trip to 3 thousand euros for a long distance one. 

Test-Aankoop hopes that this lawsuit will prompt all airlines to delete this clause. 

In the past airlines including Lufthansa, British Airways and Iberia Airlines were condemned by courts in Germany, Austria and Spain, who ruled that the clause was contrary to national legislation based on the European Directive on unfair contracts, according to the newspaper.