Flight suspension in Morocco: is it possible to get a refund for your plane ticket?

While European law requires all airlines to reimburse canceled flights to or from a European country, winning a case can be very long and tedious.

The announcement caught everyone off guard. This Thursday, Morocco declared to suspend all flights to and from France due to deteriorating health.

The measure, which will come into force on November 26 at 11:59 p.m., affects all people from the so-called “list B” countries, specifically France, several countries of the European Union, as well as the United Kingdom. Algeria and Tunisia. according to the latest update from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the disappointment of travelers who planned vacations in temperatures much milder than France, now everyone is wondering if they will be able to get a refund on their tickets.

For the most part, European law should apply. If the latter does not mention the term “suspension”, he is talking about the cancellation of the flight which results in a refund of the ticket within seven days. In fact, this is what the European regulation 261/2004 establishes, which applies to all flights arriving or departing from a European country, regardless of the nationality of the airline. The customer can also get a credit only if he accepts it. The company should never force your hand, recalls Raphaël Bartlome, head of the legal department at UFC-Que Choisir. “The law establishes that the reimbursement must be made within seven days after the flight cancellation date but we have seen with the health crisis that the term is much longer.”, emphasizes.

Expected repayments for more than one year

Some injured travelers have yet to win their case. In fact, the health crisis has highlighted the real obstacle course that vacationers who remain on the pier must take. Since the first border closures and flight cancellations, many users found themselves with vouchers, the company denied them a refund or even without any compensation. Among the bad students is Royal Air Maroc, very present on the routes between France and Morocco. “Some passengers have been waiting since April 2020 for a refund instead of the voucher they received”Raphaël Bartlome laments. In May 2020, UFC-Que Choisir, which had given formal notice to 57 companies for breach of the right to reimbursement for canceled flights, decided to assign 20 of them, including Air France, KLM, Ryanair, Lufthansa and even Royal Air. Morocco for this type of practice.

The Moroccan company could, this time, be within its right to refuse reimbursement for some of its passengers. “It seems unlikely that Morocco will completely suspend flights to or from France without allowing its citizens to return home.”. Therefore, some flights will be authorized for certain travelers. However, if a passenger who does not meet the border crossing criteria is not authorized to board a plane but it takes off, the company is not required to refund his ticket. In addition, she can deny access on board herself, as she must verify that the traveler meets the criteria. Otherwise, in the case of an inspection, you will have to pay for the transfer to your country on your own.

“Above all, don’t give up!”

“The only solution in this case is to insist with the company so that it has a commercial gesture. You should also check with your bank card or home insurance that may include extensions related to this type of situation and, of course, check if the voucher is exchangeable or refundable or if you have contracted cancellation insurance. It doesn’t take long but it can be very useful. “explains the specialist. If the company refuses to refund a canceled flight, Raphaël Bartlomé recommends that users persevere even if he acknowledges that they will have to be patient. “If you have gone through an intermediary such as a tour operator, you should not go to him but to the company directly and insist. You can also communicate your dispute on social media and appeal to consumer associations like ours or contact the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) to lobby. To the airline “, he explains, adding: “Above all, don’t give up!”

For its part, UFC Que-Choisir is trying to pressure companies to be conciliatory. “We fight to try to make them understand that they run the risk of irretrievably losing their customers who have lost money,” he adds. Convinced of this strategy, Air France is a good student. The national company has changed its commercial policy several times, allowing all its travelers to exchange or reimburse their tickets, whether the plane can take off or not. This gesture, which was to end on December 31, was finally extended to all tickets purchased before 1it is February 2022 for trips before June 30 of the same year.

Vince Fernandez

"Professional food trailblazer. Devoted communicator. Friendly writer. Avid problem solver. Tv aficionado. Lifelong social media fanatic."

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