Travel

Travel cancelled in Europe or via European airlines?

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  • May 2nd, 2020 1:46 pm
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Jul 17, 2008
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Travel cancelled in Europe or via European airlines?

Stop waiting for the promised refund and start the chargeback process with your card before it's too late

https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/29/a-d ... r-cancelle

Currently under EU regulations you are due a refund and you can push your credit card for a chargeback with this regulation
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content ... 61&from=EN
https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/tr ... pdf#page=4
11 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
1379 posts
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Toronto
If France and Germany exert enough pressure, the EU will likely bend.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
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West
Any idea if credit card companies actually care about EU legislation for the grounds of a chargeback? What about the Canadian legal system? So far, airlines are using their tariffs & written refund policies to defend against chargebacks. They are essentially saying this is "Force Majeure", and therefore aren't to be held liable for damages, almost shaping it as they are doing consumers a favour by offering credit/vouchers. For example, this is what's stated in WestJet's international tariff:
Application of traveller's rights provisions (see rules 60,75,100 and 110). In the event of a conflict between traveller's rights provisions and those of any other rule in this tariff, the traveller's rights provisions rule shall prevail, except with respect to force majeure. The traveler's rights provisions do not make the airline responsible for acts of nature or the acts of third parties. The carrier is legally obligated to maintain the highest standards of aviation safety and cannot be encouraged to fly when it is not safe to do so. Similarly, the carrier cannot be help responsible for inclement weather or the actions of third parties such as acts of government or air traffic control, airport authorities, security agencies, law enforcement or customs and immigration officials.

[For reference, Rule 75 cites the right of a passenger to receive a refund in the event of a cancellation/delay]
EU air passenger regulations say that if airlines don't comply, you'd have to pursue the matter with the EU member country's transportation agency and/or in court (likely in the EU). Neither of those things bode well for us on this side of the Atlantic.
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2017
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Phonophoresis wrote: Any idea if credit card companies actually care about EU legislation for the grounds of a chargeback? What about the Canadian legal system? So far, airlines are using their tariffs & written refund policies to defend against chargebacks. They are essentially saying this is "Force Majeure", and therefore aren't to be held liable for damages, almost shaping it as they are doing consumers a favour by offering credit/vouchers. For example, this is what's stated in WestJet's international tariff:



EU air passenger regulations say that if airlines don't comply, you'd have to pursue the matter with the EU member country's transportation agency and/or in court (likely in the EU). Neither of those things bode well for us on this side of the Atlantic.
Force majeure just means they’re held blameless for cancelling the flight. You can’t show up at the airport and demand transport to your destination or sue them because they didn’t get you there. It’s not a license to benefit financially. Force majeure doesn’t mean keep the money.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
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West
benjicash wrote: Force majeure just means they’re held blameless for cancelling the flight. You can’t show up at the airport and demand transport to your destination or sue them because they didn’t get you there. It’s not a license to benefit financially. Force majeure doesn’t mean keep the money.
We know it doesn’t mean keep the money. But it may mean that their tariffs that stipulate how they handle cancellations are void (I.e. credits are acceptable).

That is what airlines are arguing, and so far, limited data points are suggesting the airlines are using that as a way out. Whether or not it’s right, doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the credit card companies seem to be allowing them to do so.

And of course, it’s very clear our government doesn’t want to go anywhere near this situation, or are also siding with the airlines.

Once again, does an EU law matter to a credit card company? Because the thing they keep coming back to is the airline’s policies.
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2017
2132 posts
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Phonophoresis wrote: We know it doesn’t mean keep the money. But it may mean that their tariffs that stipulate how they handle cancellations are void (I.e. credits are acceptable).

That is what airlines are arguing, and so far, limited data points are suggesting the airlines are using that as a way out. Whether or not it’s right, doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the credit card companies seem to be allowing them to do so.

And of course, it’s very clear our government doesn’t want to go anywhere near this situation, or are also siding with the airlines.
True enough. Airlines, banks and insurance companies use all seem to get a pass when shouldering some of the pain.
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May 10, 2005
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Ottawa
Phonophoresis wrote: We know it doesn’t mean keep the money. ......

..........All that matters is that the credit card companies seem to be allowing them to do so.

..........

Once again, does an EU law matter to a credit card company? Because the thing they keep coming back to is the airline’s policies.
Thing here is, you used a credit card to pay an airline. (as opposed to paying the airline directly with cash)
You claim a charge back for services not rendered. The credit card company has to get the money for the service provider before it can give money back to you. If they do not get it, for whatever reasons, they have nothing to give you.
The credit card companies do not have any control or power or authority to change the vendors policies or procedures or processes so, they don't "allow" them to do anything.
As someone posted "The traveler's rights provisions do not make the airline responsible for acts of nature or the acts of third parties. The carrier is legally obligated to maintain the highest standards of aviation safety and cannot be encouraged to fly when it is not safe to do so". Read into that whatever you wish.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
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Toronto
I don't think it says any where either that the airline has the right to keep your money.
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2017
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lpin14 wrote: I don't think it says any where either that the airline has the right to keep your money.
Basically they are saying 'hey if we eliminate this clause and that clause due to force majeure then there is no clause dealing with refunds left remaining. They take that to mean they can unilaterally create a new clause that allows them to keep the money. It's a completely unlitigated position to take and gives them all the leverage, mainly because they have the money. The one with the money tends to have the upperhand and often simply acts out of self interest rather than fairness. Just imagine the difference in attitude if the airline industry was pay after the flight was taken. Like a restaurant. They'd have to give a shit about you. The one holding the money holds the power. See passengers could say well now that you've eliminated the refund clause, our policy as passengers is to accept cash refunds or 200% never expiring vouchers. Anyone can have a policy. It's not law. Having the money in hand makes it seem that way though.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
1610 posts
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West
lpin14 wrote: I don't think it says any where either that the airline has the right to keep your money.
Airlines have policies in their respective tariffs regarding "schedule irregularities", and what actions to take when these arise (i.e. refunds, vouchers, compensation, etc.) depending on the situation. They are using their "force majeure" clause to void these schedule irregularity policies, which means, as per the agreement of the ticket, they do not have to provide these items to the customer.

The only problem is there is nothing in the tariff that says what consumers are entitled to in the event of force majeure. Essentially, consumers are in no man's land, because on a theoretical basis, the airlines are not breaching their tariff, which is what most of us are trying to argue with a chargeback. Credit card companies seem either powerless or unwilling to override this, since the airlines are arguably still executing their respective policies (except cases with Lufthansa, where it will be hugely beneficial their policy is to issue a refund).

benjicash is correct when he/she says that money = power. The easiest thing for them to do is status quo, since there is really zero penalty to doing so from the government, and they have consumers in this stalemate where they essentially have no recourse at the moment. Hopefully chargebacks are successful, but we know in the short-term airlines will stall and drag this out as long as they can so they can hold onto the capital.

They do not have a right to keep your money - I agree. That said, there is nothing them stopping them from doing so. If all CC companies care about is the tariff/terms & conditions of the ticket, then chargebacks/disputes will fail, and consumers will pretty much be only left with the option to pursue this in the legal system, or accept credits/vouchers. Of course, I still remain very optimistic that airlines will come to some interim arrangement that will see sides meet in the middle, it is just frustrating that they won't formally announce they are working on solutions. I suppose WestJet has, but they have been doing so for a long while already, and still have "no further details" to announce.
Pete_Coach wrote: Thing here is, you used a credit card to pay an airline. (as opposed to paying the airline directly with cash)
You claim a charge back for services not rendered. The credit card company has to get the money for the service provider before it can give money back to you. If they do not get it, for whatever reasons, they have nothing to give you.
The credit card companies do not have any control or power or authority to change the vendors policies or procedures or processes so, they don't "allow" them to do anything.
As someone posted "The traveler's rights provisions do not make the airline responsible for acts of nature or the acts of third parties. The carrier is legally obligated to maintain the highest standards of aviation safety and cannot be encouraged to fly when it is not safe to do so". Read into that whatever you wish.
I suppose I should re-phrase. The question is not about CC companies "allowing" airlines to do claim they are upholding their contract. The question is do CC companies take into account legislation & foreign law into their decisions? Because if they don't, consumers will be hooped.
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May 10, 2005
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Phonophoresis wrote: .........
I suppose I should re-phrase. The question is not about CC companies "allowing" airlines to do claim they are upholding their contract. The question is do CC companies take into account legislation & foreign law into their decisions? Because if they don't, consumers will be hooped.
The credit card companies do not have to deal or account for legislation in any country. They are a "middleman" when it comes to this. They are only a convenient and expedient way of paying for something. They transmit funds from buyer to seller....period. The insurances and other things that they offer and sell is just that, extras. It is like when buying a car and the manager tries to upsell you warranties and whatever else.
Their obligations are not to work for you or be your advocate, They are only a payment (and in some case a lender at 21% per annum) system.
So, I think you may be right, consumers may be hooped.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
1379 posts
731 upvotes
Toronto
I agree that consumers are probably hooped. However, I think the travel industry needs to do better to assuage customers. A voucher is not good enough as it takes away flexibility and provides a time limit on use. If the industry wants to recover quickly it will either have to offer refunds or sweeten the pot with vouchers in some way to get people to accept them.

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