The EU regulation on air passenger rights establishes that passengers have the right to reimbursement of their unused flight tickets within 7 days, when a flight is cancelled. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many passengers have experienced a long wait on their request for reimbursements.
TBST has shown understanding towards the air carriers during the unusual and difficult times, in which the air carriers have had to face an enormous amount of complaints from passengers.
TBST notes that several air carriers continue to have challenges in adhering to their obligation to reimburse the tickets. On this basis TBST has completed a hearing of several air carriers with the purpose of identifying which measures the air carriers have initiated to adhere to the 7-day deadline for reimbursement.
Based on the hearing TBST has informed the air carriers that TBST intends to issue public administration orders with the following conditions:
- Reimbursement claims, which the air carriers have received before October 1, 2020, shall be reimbursed no later than November 15, 2020.
- Reimbursement claims, which the air carriers have received from October 1, 2020 to November 15, 2020, shall be reimbursed no later than December 1, 2020.
- Reimbursement claims, which air carriers receive from November 15, 2020, and onwards shall be reimbursed within 7 days.
These conditions give air carriers a time frame to finalize the already received reimbursement claims. The conditions also give the passengers clarity as to when they can expect to receive their reimbursement.
TBST expects to send the abovementioned public administration order to the following air carriers: Aegean Airlines, Air France, Brussels Airlines, easyJet, KLM, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair, SAS, TAP Portugal, Thai Air and Vueling.
The public administration order applies to all tickets canceled by air carriers and which were planned to start from a Danish airport. It will furthermore apply to flights from a third country with an EU-carrier to a Danish airport. If a journey is a single booking the order applies when both the outgoing and return flight is cancelled or if the outgoing flight is cancelled and therefore makes the return flight redundant.
TBST will continue to monitor all air carriers and their handling of reimbursement claims to assess if there is a need to issue a similar public administration order to other carriers than the abovementioned.
If an air carrier does not comply with the public administration order TBST will consider whether there is basis for escalating the order to the Danish prosecution service for non-compliance with the EU air passenger rights.