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Air France refusing refund

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Tij, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Tij

    Tij New Member

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    Hi OMAAT,

    I have a LIS --> BOS RT Air France flight that I had booked a while ago, and unfortunately due to COVID, Air France actually canceled my outbound flight. I called in to get a refund as per EC261 and they vehemently denied being able to give me a refund and said my only options are to change to another date or get a voucher. The operator actually lied to me and said that they updated the rules on March 18th and because it's due to COVID they don't have to offer refunds. When I corrected her and told her I am still entitled to a refund regardless of COVID and that was only in regards to not being eligible for compensation (even reading her the policy verbatim), she still refused to process a refund and said I could get a refund of the taxes only instead. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, she also refused. Has anyone encountered this? I've filed a complaint with DOT and will be filing a chargeback on AMEX, any other advise? Am I interpreting things wrong? Thanks!
     
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  2. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    Hi @Tij , sorry to hear about your troubles.
    You are indeed entitled to a full refund, per the latest EU clarifications since this is a cancellation.

    Air France is usually very difficult to deal with even under regular circumstances, so I'd say try calling again - that's if you manage to get through. You should still initiate a refund request with the online form on the website, so there is at least a track. And you can double down with Twitter/Facebook etc.
     
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    Gaurav likes this.
  3. Gia

    Gia Well-Known Member

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    I’m no lawyer, but I don’t believe foreign airlines are subject to DOT regulations with respect to ticket refunds. I have a SIL in the same boat with AF and she will probably end up with a voucher. I’ve researched it thoroughly with her and several phone calls later, it doesn’t look promising. Sorry for your hassles, I hope it works out for you.
     
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  4. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Well-Known Member

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    You are correct. Foreign airlines are not subject to DOT regs.
     
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    Gia likes this.
  5. Tij

    Tij New Member

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    Interesting, my understanding is that regardless of where the airline is based, if the destination or port of departure is based on the US they are required to issue a refund if the airline cancels a flight per US DOT. Nonetheless, I’m basing my experience off the EU regulations. After multiple emAils they have finally agreed to refund me.
     
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    Michael Kohlstrand likes this.
  6. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    Yes, regardless of whether or not DOT rules apply, the EU rules most definitely apply, which means you are owed a refund. Congrats on getting it done!!
     
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    Michael Kohlstrand likes this.
  7. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Well-Known Member

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    Update to my answer [and while a lawyer I have no experience with the FAA and very little DOT experience]:

    Rereading the DOT regs this morning (just for fun, you know, while watching Morning Joe) and while nothing (whether it applies to international airlines as well) is clear in the sections about cancellations or refunds, other sections do enumerate what foreign carries must agree to when applying to fly to the U.S. One is getting approval from the FAA (obviously) and there are few others - one specifically about adhering to the Montreal Convention. But nothing specific about compensation for cancelled flights. I would guess that if the ticket was bought in the EU for travel originating on an EU carrier from an EU airport that the DOT would point the ticket holder to EU261 and wash its hands. But that is just a guess.

    And it is moot. Congrats to the OP.
     
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