This morning, the EU Commission made new recommendations for airlines on how to encourage travelers to take vouchers instead of cash. While these are non-binding recommendations, the EU also started taking legal steps against countries over the issue of travel refunds.
The EU Steps Up with Legal Steps Over Vouchers
Some EU countries have made legislation to allow their airlines to give vouchers instead of cash on cancelled flights. This goes agains the EU rules regarding passenger rights and today, the EU is taking steps to keep those rights intact.
They had laid out suggestions for how to make vouchers more attractive to customers. It remains to be seen if the airlines and countries will adopt those but the EU did make it clear that customers are still owed their cash if they want it back – when flights have been cancelled.
According to the NY Times, the Commission executive vice president (Margrethe Vestager) said this: “As of today, where we have taken the Commission’s decision on this, letters will be sent to the member states who are in breach of this very fundamental principle. So these letters, they are going off as we speak.”
So, if your EU airline had previously denied you your cash on a cancelled ticket (by the airline or travel provider), give this a few days to see what the response is. This is why it is a good idea to wait when things happen instead of taking the hard sell from the airline on vouchers.
But, also be on the lookout for much more attractive voucher offers to come up in light of this as well. If your cancelled flight was with an airline you often fly, a new voucher offer could be even better.