Thousands still waiting for refunds for Covid canceled flights
About 5,000 travelers are still waiting for a refund for flights that were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Especially foreign airlines and platforms that sell airline tickets are slow to pay back travelers' money, BNR reported after speaking with three large claim organizations. Travelers who want to take legal action should hurry - these types of claims are only possible within two years of the flight cancelation. The first claims expire this month.
"They cannot get that money back," Remco Kuilman of Aviclaim said to the broadcaster. "Airlines are often unreachable, or they hide behind voucher schemes." Foreign companies, in particular, are slow to pay, he said. "The highest amount is open with Ryanair." Passengers of Iberia and Royal Air Maroc also struggle to get a refund.
The same applies to people who bought plane tickets via online platforms like Cheaptickets.nl. "It is often unclear whether the intermediary or the airline has to pay. The money floats somewhere between the two," said Tom van Bokhoven of Vlucht-vertraagt.nl. For example, an airline pays the intermediary, who doesn't refund the passenger.
Dutch companies seem to be meeting their payment obligations, though their money also sometimes ends up with an intermediary instead of the traveler. Last month, consumers' association Consumentenbond called on Minister Mark Harbers of Infrastructure to force KLM and Transavia to repay passengers who booked through bankrupt intermediary D-Reizen.
"The companies have already paid the refund of ticket costs to D-Reizen, but D-Reizen has not passed the refunds on to customers. The funds have therefore disappeared in the bankruptcy," Paul Vaneker of EUclaim said to BNR.