Travellers, you are entitled to a refund

Your plane tickets are already purchased, but now that the pandemic counteracts all of your holiday plans and your airline offers you a travel credit. Be aware that you are not obliged to accept and you can get a refund.

“Our law, our civil Code, provides that consumers should be entitled to a refund seeing as this is a situation of “force majeure”, said Wednesday Élise Thériault, lawyer at Option consommateurs, in an interview with TVA News.

You don’t have to settle for a credit unless it suits you. However, several specific terms and conditions accompanying this credit journey, be warned:

– It has an expiration date of two years. So, if you can’t travel in the course of the next two years, because the state of your health or your finances do not allow more, you will lose your credit.

– The credit is often not transferable; that is to say that you can’t transfer it to a family member or an acquaintance or resell it.

– It is often limited to a single destination, for example if you go in Greece and that two years from now you want to travel again, you will need to go to Greece with your credit.

– If your new trip is less expensive than what you paid, you lose the difference. If the trip costs more than before, you will have to pay the difference.

Unjust enrichment

The lawyer at Option consommateurs sees in this form of travel credit for “some form of enrichment to be unjustified on the part of the carrier”.

That she answers to those who argue that if the majority of travelers want a refund rather than a credit, the airlines will go bankrupt?

“Some companies receive wage subsidies of 75 %. If they cause as much damage to follow the law and consumers, the government may be able to help. However, the financial health of airlines should not be done on the back of the financial health of consumers,” said Élise Thériault.

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