“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Getting Airline Refunds

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, more and more travelers are canceling their plans for later this year. There has been some question about getting refunds for air travel instead of vouchers to be used at a later date. This issue can be especially important to those who have had their incomes reduced due to related shutdowns and layoffs.

For flights beginning or ending in the US, the Department of Transportation has confirmed that airlines may offer a voucher for future travel. However, if the flight is cancelled, even after the passenger has cancelled, the passenger can opt for a full refund instead.

The European Union has confirmed this same policy for flights originating or terminating in its member states. Although the UK has officially exited the European Union, it remains in a transition phase and still has to comply with these rules. Canada is an exception to this trend, so far allowing carriers to limit their reimbursement to vouchers.

From the DOT: “If your flight is canceled and you choose to cancel your trip as a result, you are entitled to a refund for the unused transportation–even for non-refundable tickets. You are also entitled to a refund for any bag fee that you paid, and any extras you may have purchased, such as a seat assignment.”  

If you cannot get cooperation from airline customer service, call your credit card company. If you purchased your flight in the last 60 days, credit cards will likely process refunds. Airline rules and DOT/EU decisions don’t bind them.

Here are relevant articles about the subject from CondeNastTraveler.com and SmarterTravel.com:

CondeNastTraveler

SmarterTravel

That should help clarify this situation at least.