Compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights

The pandemic situation is growing in every country and the government of each State is closing borders to protect citizens. So now there is one question to answer. How can I get compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights? Many airlines are updating day after day their connections and some of them are suspended. Mostly it depends on the evolution of the cases in each country but it can happen to see your flight canceled at any moment. It may be also that you don’t want to go because of the dangers for your health. So what should you do to recover the money spent on the ticket?

Compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights: rights and rules

The Coronavirus cases are rising and this may change the general situation fast hour by hour. That’s why the first thing you have to do is check the status of your flight. Almost in all cases, you will get notification by airline via email or SMS. But maybe your flight was already blocked and you want to get compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights. Who planned a trip to China, Iran, and Italy had already problems, but many countries are becoming part of the list of closed borders. I travel a lot and now I am at home and I can’t leave from Italy, so I perfectly know the problem. Especially because I explore the world for business reasons.

There are many risks to spread the virus among passengers, so, understandably, countries and airlines activate measures to protect citizens and workers. Anyway, it is necessary to deal with the companies to get money back. Policies applied are regulated by the laws and also by the rules of airlines. You have to know your rights. Before asking for the compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights, it is important to check if you are eligible.

Eligibility

If the virus is changing the lives of the people worldwide, some airline companies decided in advance to any block to cancel flights because of economic reasons. This guarantees your compensation. You are, in this case, entitled to get your money back. Let’s see the different situations to make you aware of your rights.

Cancellation due to Coronavirus

Is your flight canceled because of the virus or better because of a block imposed by the departure or arrival country? Good news for you. Of course, it should be better to travel, but since you can not, you have at least the right to have compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights. The airline company can give you money back or offer an alternative. It means another flight to reach the destination.

compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights

Exceptional circumstances

The virus is recognized as a pandemic, this means that the Coronavirus outbreak is considered an extraordinary circumstance. Any cancelation is justified by the emergency for public safety.  Can I have compensation? This is your question. Well, according to the regulations, like the one applied in the European Union (Reg. 261/2004), the decision is beyond an airline’s control. You are not entitled to any compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights.

Is there any chance to get compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights?

There are a few cases to consider. If the airline is guilty you can have the money back or an alternative flight. The pandemic gave some problems to the economy of the countries and of the companies. Some airlines decided to cancel their flights for these reasons before any block imposed by some states. If this happened to you, claim compensation. Surely they will use Coronavirus as an excuse, but don’t give up.

These two criteria allow you to ask for money back:

  • the airline company cancel the flight for financial reasons;
  • there aren’t alerts in the departure or arrival country.

Now, please, pay attention! In this period the economic difficulties rise like the number of affected people. So it may be that they will try to tell you that you have no right to obtain the reimbursement. You need to track dates. Check when the country blocked the flights and check the date of cancelation. You can easily find data on the internet. Print or save the proof and proceed to request compensation. The date of the cancelation must be antecedent to the one of the government decision.

Only in this case you are entitled to get compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights. You can write directly to the airline, but if you need assistance contact the consumer associations. To check out the rules and the proper contacts, I suggest you visit the National Aviation Authority of your country. Here there is the list with the link to the official websites.

compensation for Coronavirus cancellation flights

Travel with Coronavirus

What about the case you don’t want to fly because you are scared of the virus? Checking the Foreign Affairs Ministry website of your country you can read all the alerts concerning the rest of the world.  You may see that the destination of your trip is a country with health risks. This convinces you to stay home. Generally, this case does not allow you to claim reimbursement. But in some countries, for example in the UK, you can get money back without any charge. You have to fill the refund request and you will receive the money spent back within 14 days. 

This rule can be similar also in your country but check on the National Aviation Authority website. If there is no specification you need to apply the airline policy and so your eligibility for compensation is due just to the company’s rules. The airline call center can give you information concerning the policies for any doubt.

Recommendations

Before travel check and follow any advice of the World Health Organization and the government of your country. Pay attention to risks, alerts, and prevention tips. Then if you can go to your destination and you want to travel, take with you a face mask protective for germs, keep the distance from other people and wash frequently your hands. Use a hand sanitizer. Follow all the updates about your flight status.

Regulation update

According to the situation evolution the United States Department of Transportation and the European Union made a statement. This concerns the cash refund for passengers. They want airline companies to give money back for COVID-19 flights canceled. So, if it is your case you can obtain money and not vouchers.

This is the theory. Airlines didn’t get any deadline to accomplish this reimbursement. They will try to do everything to convince clients to rebook in the future. The main problem is that the situation isn’t clear, so you can’t know when you will be able to travel again. It depends on countries’ decisions and also on the contagion. Maybe you even don’t need to move anymore. That’s the reason why they proposed vouchers. So you have a type of refund and you are obliged to book again when the emergency will finish.

There is one more consideration. After this emergency prices will be reduced and the risk is that the compensation you have will cost more to you. You will buy a similar ticket spending the old price. This is a risk, nothing sure. But it is realistic.

Now the rules are clear. The institutions in the USA and EU affirm that airlines aren’t guilty, but the point is that the cancellation isn’t faulting of passengers. In the USA some class actions against airlines have already started. Meanwhile, the EU declared that airlines that refuse the refunds violate the law. The right of the passenger is to obtain reimbursement or rerouting. If you are in the EU keep in mind that the payment is up to 600 Euros. Anyway, the normal rule is changed for the specific condition of Coronavirus.

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