Passengers could lose "hundreds of pounds" in airline voucher row

Passengers could lose if they fail to use vouchers for cancellations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Customers have been urged to accept vouchers instead of instant cash refunds when most flights were canceled after the Covid-19 outbreak.

But consumer group Which? has claimed easyJet and British Airways ignore European Union guidelines on what to do when vouchers expire.

In May, vouchers established by the European Union should be valid for at least 12 months and cash refunds should be issued automatically within 14 days if not used before expiry.

Which? believes that the easyJet and British Airways policies do not meet those policies, which means that passengers could “lose hundreds of pounds”.

Both airlines insisted that customers have the option of choosing a cash payment instead of a voucher when flights are canceled.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel said: “As we approach a winter that will inevitably lead to more flight cancellations, it is extremely worrying that the UK’s major airlines are disregarding European guidelines and failing their passengers on their refund rights.”

“BA and easyJet need to make it clear immediately that passengers do not have to lose their money if they cannot use a voucher, while all airlines should offer cash refunds to passengers who are prevented from traveling due to blackout laws.

“During this pandemic, major airlines acted shamefully and without fear of consequences.”

An easyJet spokeswoman said that vouchers will only be refunded under “exceptional circumstances that prevented customers from rebooking”.

She added: “Flights can currently be booked until September 30, 2021. We have brought our sales dates forward to give customers more options when it comes to rebooking their trip in the future. “

A British Airways spokesman replied: “It is clear on our website that vouchers are required when filling out the form. Our vouchers are valid until April 2022. “

He added, “We have processed more than 2.5 million cash refunds to date.”


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