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Canceled flights due to Corona: Do you still get money from an airline? What to do now

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Basically, if an airline cancels the flight and does not offer a replacement flight, customers are entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses. However, many airlines are not reimbursing the ticket price at the moment because they have financial losses due to the corona crisis and want to remain liquid.

The airline has to pay within 7 days

According to Article 8 of the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, it is clearly regulated that passengers whose flight has been canceled are entitled to reimbursement of costs. In the case of individually booked flights, the repayment must be made within seven days. But what do you do if the airline still doesn’t pay?

“First of all, you should demonstrably assert your right to reimbursement of flight costs against the airline and set a deadline of seven days. The best way to do this is by registered mail, ”says Robert Bartel, legal advisor at the Brandenburg Consumer Center, when asked by TRAVELBOOK. The contact person is always the airline concerned, not an intermediary such as an internet booking portal.

If the airline still does not pay, customers who get their money back as soon as possible and do not want to get involved in a voucher solution have several options to act. “You can either apply for a dunning notice from the local court or file a suit through a lawyer,” says Bartel. Those who do not want that can also consider out-of-court solutions and, for example, turn to one of the consumer advice centers or the arbitration board for public transport (söp).

Is there anything against hiring a lawyer?

If the case is clear and the airline has defaulted on refunding the money, there is nothing wrong with turning to a lawyer and referring the matter to them. “The risk of losing a possible lawsuit is negligible,” confirms Bartel.

As far as the current payment behavior of the airlines is concerned, according to legal experts there are no differences between scheduled and low-cost airlines. “Basically everyone is reluctant,” Jan Bartholl, specialist lawyer for travel law in Berlin, told TRAVELBOOK. The travel law expert gives affected customers a good chance of getting their money back. “It’s only a matter of time. Because there is no quick regulation here. “

So whether you wait and see and rely on the airline to pay for it, seek an out-of-court solution or hire a lawyer – it can sometimes take months before you get your money back. Just don’t wait too long. Because after three years the claim expires, says Robert Bartel.

What happens if the airline goes bankrupt?

And something else should be considered: If the airline or the tour operator goes bankrupt in the meantime, there is in all probability no money back. “That is the worst case. Regardless of whether you have booked individually or as a package, as a private customer your claims are at the bottom of the list in the event of bankruptcy, ”says Bartholl. Because initially, creditors such as banks and investors would be served from the bankruptcy estate.