NEWS: Airlines call for refunds to be excluded for cancelled flights, Accor status & cancellation policy, Qatar cuts London flights further &

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Airlines call for refunds to be excluded for cancelled flights

In a previous article, I am explained that EU261 no longer applies to cancellations related to coronavirus. The airline still has to refund your money if they cancel, provide you with reasonable care such as food and accommodation and get you back home if they can. What they don’t have to do is pay compensation for cancellations of less than 14 days notice. unfortunately, it means airlines are being sneaky and cancelling last minute, not informing you and then hoping you will request a voucher thinking it is still operating. 

Sadly airlines don’t believe this is enough and are calling for EU261 flexibility to allow airlines to offer rebooking or vouchers in place of refunds in the event of cancellations due to the pandemic. IATA, the airlines’ trade body has called the EU261 ruling disappointing as it did not cover all their demands which were originally:

  • Recognition that no compensation is due in the event of cancellations due to COVID-19; (this has been agreed)
  • A limitation on the extensive obligations to provide care and assistance in the event of cancellations due to COVID-19;
  • Flexibility to allow airlines to offer rebooking or vouchers in place of refunds in the event of cancellations due to the pandemic.

IATA said that “The Commission must accept that this solution (offering vouchers instead of refunds when flights are cancelled)– which many people would regard as reasonable in the current extraordinary circumstances – should be facilitated. ” Er, no I don’t think many people think it’s reasonable not to get a refund if the airline cancel the flight. Fair enough if the flight still goes, I can understand that a voucher is legally acceptable even if restrictions meant you could not travel (that’s what insurance is meant to cover) even if it feels unfair. But saying that you can’t have your money back when they can’t provide the service you paid for is not on. Particularly when many people are financially affected by the crisis. 

This is what is leading to some pretty shady practices from many of the airlines by making it virtually impossible to get a refund of your cancelled flight unless you ring them and were due to travel in the next 72 hours.

HT: VFTW

 

Accor status concession & cancellation policy

Pullman Maldives

Accor have been incredibly slow to put out an official flexible policy for bookings or to extend status. Finally they have adopted flexible conditions worldwide. 

  • Guests who booked a non-flexible rate with Accor with a stay planned between March 1 and April 30, 2020, may modify without penalty.
    • For hotels in Europe and the United Kingdom:
      • Guests who booked a non-flexible rate with Accor for travel between March 17, 2020 and April 1, 2020, may cancel their reservation and be refunded without penalty.
    • For hotels in Australia, Cambodia, Greater China (including mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan, China), Fiji, French Polynesia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, The Philippines and Vietnam
      • Guests scheduled to arrive prior to April 30, 2020 may cancel their reservation and be refunded without penalty
    • For hotel in the Middle East and Africa:
      • Guests scheduled to arrive prior to April 30, 2020 may cancel their reservation and be refunded without penalty.
  • In regions or countries affected by government-issued travel restrictions, guests may cancel their reservation without penalty by contacting the hotel directly. 
  • For reservations made via other travel sites or services, you need to contact them directly for assistance.

You can find the official announcement here.

 

Accor All Live Limitless Loyalty 

Accor will be crediting members with 50% of the status nights and points required to achieve your current status level, which is a decent result depending on how long the crisis lasts.

 

Qatar cuts flights by 75%

Qatar A350-1000

Qatar A350-1000

Qatar has further slashed flights to 75% of capacity. The UK flights changes are as follows:

Doha – London Gatwick
23MAR20 – 31MAY20 18 weekly cancelled
01JUN20 – 30JUN20 Reduce from 3 to 2 daily

Doha – London Heathrow
(Overall service reduces from 6 to 2 daily in April/May)
QR005/006 14MAR20 – 31MAY20 1 daily cancelled
QR003/004 19MAR20 – 30JUN20 777-300ER replaces A380
QR009/010 19MAR20 – 30JUN20 A350-1000XWB replaces A380, 4 weekly
QR011/012
19MAR20 – 29MAR20 3 weekly cancelled
30MAR20 – 30APR20 A380 resumes operation from 01APR20
01MAY20 – 31MAY20 777-200LR/-300ER replaces A380

QR001/002 20MAR20 – 31MAY20 1 daily cancelled
QR007/008 01APR20 – 31MAY20 1 daily cancelled
QR015/016 01APR20 – 31MAY20 1 daily cancelled

Doha – London Gatwick
23MAR20 – 31MAY20 18 weekly cancelled
01JUN20 – 30JUN20 Reduce from 3 to 2 daily

Doha – London Heathrow
(Overall service reduces from 6 to 2 daily in April/May)
QR005/006 14MAR20 – 31MAY20 1 daily cancelled
QR003/004 19MAR20 – 30JUN20 777-300ER replaces A380
QR009/010 19MAR20 – 30JUN20 A350-1000XWB replaces A380, 4 weekly
QR011/012
19MAR20 – 29MAR20 3 weekly cancelled
30MAR20 – 30APR20 A380 resumes operation from 01APR20
01MAY20 – 31MAY20 777-200LR/-300ER replaces A380

QR001/002 20MAR20 – 31MAY20 1 daily cancelled
QR007/008 01APR20 – 31MAY20 1 daily cancelled
QR015/016 01APR20 – 31MAY20 1 daily cancelled

Doha – Birmingham
23MAR20 – 01APR20 Reduce from 7 to 4 weekly, 787-8 operating
02APR20 – 31MAY20 7 weekly cancelled
01JUN20 – 26JUN20 Reduce from 7 to 4 weekly, 787-8 operating

Doha – Cardiff
23MAR20 – 30MAR20 Reduce from 5 to 3 weekly, 787-8 operating
31MAR20 – 31MAY20 5 weekly cancelled

Doha – Manchester
3MAR20 – 31MAR20 Reduce from 3 to 2 daily
01APR20 – 31MAY20 Reduce from 3 to 1 daily, 787-8 operating
01JUN20 – 30JUN20 Reduce from 3 to 2 daily

You can find the full list of Qatar changes here.

5 Comments on "NEWS: Airlines call for refunds to be excluded for cancelled flights, Accor status & cancellation policy, Qatar cuts London flights further &"

  1. Whilst I sympathise with the airlines, I agree with you. A voucher is not sufficient if the airline cancels the flight. A refund is due. And any government rescue of the airlines should include that they agree to abide by the applicable rules, providing refunds for cancelled flights.

  2. It’s the most basic contract law! If you cannot provide the service, a refund must be provided.

    It is not up to individuals to bail out airlines!

    Had I been one penny short of the fare they would not have sold me the flight… in return the service provided by them must not be one penny short!

  3. I also agree. If airline cancels the full refund what you should get. No matter what the reason is for cancellation. It’s like you order a dress online and you don’t get it because of whatever reason, but then online store keeps your money.

  4. Sorry but a different thread – i have breathing problems – can you advise the best seat for the “freshest” air in Biz. Upstairs in 747 or below in other aircraft. Or is there no such thing as ,”fresh” air ?
    Thanks.
    roger B

    • I would try to go for one if the newer aircraft such as the B787 or A350 as they have conditions closer to ground level with lower cabin pressure and higher humidity. The B787 is the best choice for air quality as it uses fresh air unlike the A350 and most other aircraft which use bleed air which comes via the engines.

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