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Consumer protection asked: How do I get the money back for my flight?
Consumer protection asked: How do I get the money back for my flight?

Due to the corona, many had to postpone their trip. But how do you get your money back if you miss a flight? We asked consumer protection.

Consumer protection asked: How do I get the money back for my flight?
Consumer protection asked: How do I get the money back for my flight?

The city trip was planned for autumn, the flights were booked, but then something came up … the corona pandemic forced many travelers to cancel their trip. Now some are fighting for their money. Regardless of whether it is a package tour, bookings via a low-cost portal or directly via the airline - very few have got their money back with little effort. We asked consumer protection what steps you have to take to get your money as effectively as possible.

It means: remain persistent

"You have to have a lot of staying power and apply pressure," says Gabriele Zgubic, head of consumer protection at the Chamber of Labor. “Persistence always pays off,” says the expert. Regardless of whether the flight itself was canceled or even canceled by the airline - consumers should definitely try to get their money.

What is the legal situation like?

Especially if the flight did not take place, the legal situation is clear, said Zgubic. “This then comes down to law enforcement. In this case, the customers are clearly in the right and are entitled to their money,”said the expert. It is different if the flight took place but the travelers did not take part for other reasons - for example, because they had to stay in quarantine at their destination for 14 days due to the Corona regulations. “You would have to look at that on a case-by-case basis. An unreasonable situation on site is of course an argument. The business basis may have ceased to exist here,”said Zgubic. Since the airline only takes responsibility for the transport, the situation at the destination must be viewed independently of the flight. But even if you don't get the ticket price refunded, airport fees and taxes can still be reclaimed in any case.

Cancellation insurance is only of limited benefit

Many cancellation insurance companies have cited a pandemic as a reason for exclusion. That means: If a pandemic breaks out, this does not apply. "In this case, you have to read the terms and conditions of the cancellation insurance more closely," says Zgubic.

What about travel portals?

Anyone who has booked a flight via a travel portal should also contact the airline directly. "The contracting party is the airline itself. The portals are usually only intermediaries," says Zgubic. Many airlines are currently referring consumers back to the respective portals, especially when booking on cheap portals - in this case one can refer to the contract concluded with the airline.

What about package tours?

In the case of package tours, the provider is responsible for ensuring that the trip takes place as the travelers have booked. If the package tour has to be canceled early due to travel warnings, for example, the tour operator is obliged to organize the return transport and to reimburse any unused vacation days on a pro-rata basis. "With a package tour, you basically have better rights and more chances of getting your money back," says the expert. Even if the booked trip cannot take place due to the pandemic (and hotel closings), package tour providers must repay the travel price.

Does consumer protection offer help?

Anyone who needs help and information in a legal dispute can contact AK Consumer Protection. This also offers sample letters on the website that can be sent to the airlines. Out-of-court support is also possible on the part of AK consumer protection. As a customer, however, you should first try to contact the airline and persevere. Anyone who has legal protection insurance can also contact them.

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