Airlines in the EU and the U.S. canceled their flights as the world is facing the coronavirus outbreak and they started offering travel vouchers to the passengers, instead of a full refund.
Brussels and Washington were quick on clarifying that the airlines should offer full refunds.
The European Union issued a statement on Wednesday, saying EU law requires reimbursements to be made within seven days.
“Airlines must refund canceled flight tickets. They can of course also offer a voucher but — and this is very important — only if the customer agrees to accept this,” the EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean said.
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a similar statement, after receiving a growing number of complaints from people who say airlines have refused to pay refunds after flights were canceled.
“The obligation of airlines to provide refunds, including the ticket price and any optional fee charged for services a passenger is unable to use, does not cease when the flight disruptions are outside of the carrier’s control,” the DOT clarified.