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BA, EasyJet face voucher issues


British Airways and EasyJet are both accused of refusing to offer cash refunds for vouchers issued in lieu of pandemic-canceled flights.

Normally, airlines would have issued refunds to begin with, but with mass cancellations at the beginning of the crisis, cash-strapped airlines cranked out vouchers, and EU guidance was issued, sanctioning the process but with the idea that they would be refunded before expiration.

Which?, a British consumer advocacy group, has pointed out that while the refund guidance was not mandatory, other airlines, even including Ryanair, have followed it, making their vouchers fully refundable.

Like other airlines, BA and EasyJet have been heaping up losses over the year—EasyJet posted its first-ever losing year—and there were complaints from passengers that the airlines issued vouchers even to passengers who didn't agree to receive them in lieu of cash.

Looking ahead, even the vouchers may represent a big headache for the airlines; if vaccines and other developments change the Covid picture and passengers return to the airlines, EasyJet alone will owe free flights to something like five million passengers holding vouchers.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I find it very strange that these companies feel they can treat customers like something unpleasant stuck to the soles of their shoes - and then expect everything to return to normal as if nothing had happened. I had several run-ins with BA in the spring which left me quite disgruntled (despite prevailing in the end). Yet I continue to receive all sorts of cheerful marketing stuff from them where they claim that I am a valued customer. Well, this valued customer has just made bookings for a trip to Southern Africa next autumn - fingers crossed (!) - and instructed the travel operator to steer clear of any flight arrangements involving BA.

If I don't make it through the winter I will probably lose the deposit I paid!

I am working on the assumption that I will, though. Whether borders are open and our travel plans will come to fruition is another matter altogether, but you have to have something to look forward to.

Anyway, to return to the subject of the news link: the flights are now via Frankfurt on Lufthansa.

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