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Dealing with Brussels Airlines

Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 10:06 AM
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Dealing with Brussels Airlines

We had late March flights booked on Brussels Airlines from Brussels to Tel Aviv.

I wanted to get preferential seating so I paid a lot more and purchased Flex&Fast tickets.

I later found out these are refundable tickets.

When I tried to refund them I went in circles between their customer service line and web site which never got me to a place where I could request a refund.

Eventually I started to get through and was told that I have a refundable ticket but they are not refunding now and may do so after August 31. I think I should have asked of which year.

Can I assume they are stalling until they go under?

I received an email from them acknowledging that I am in a refunding queue.

I recently emailed a Belgian government agency and their reply gave me an address for some type of consumer affairs department.

So I sent them a letter. No response as yet.

Anybody else trying to get a refund from Brussels Airlines?
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Old Jun 9th, 2020, 08:59 PM
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Hi Myer, I understand your frustration. They want you to accept a voucher, but are obliged to give you a refund if you ask for it. There is no easy way to get a refund, though, except by phoning them.
I did this yesterday, was on hold for half an hour, then spoke to someone who told me that you now get the refund by going to the 'my booking' area on the website and filling out the form online. So I put down the phone, go to the website but my booking number is not recognised.
I phone back - another half hour in the queue - and speak to someone else. Very sorry, this was the wrong advice. They will sort it out now. But I first get a pitch on why I really want a voucher instead. They finally take my details and say it is going to take a while for the processing of the refund.
They cannot send me a mail to confirm that they will refund, and she cannot tell me how long it will take.

I don't know if they will survive. They are owned by Lufthansa, who want the Belgian government to give them aid. The Belgians are prepared to do this, but want some accountability and guarantees that the money is to be spend in Belgium. Lufthansa doesn't want any strings attached to the money.

If they go out of business, the voucher and the promised refund are both worthless.
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Old Jun 9th, 2020, 09:39 PM
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I see now that your tickets were refundable in the first place. I tried their regular 'refund my tickets' link on the site, but couldn't get it to work since it didn't accept my booking reference.
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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 01:03 AM
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Just in the local paper this morning, the consumer protection agency is overwhelmed with complaints about airlines.
People who have just booked last week for a holiday later in July or August, are having their tickets cancelled due to corona. They are then offered a voucher they can use for another flight. If they try to rebook their flights these turn out to have increased in price by hundreds of euros, even though the dates are in the same week as the original tickets.

From July 1st the airlines are no longer allowed to cancel flights due to corona and have to offer an alternative flight or full refund.

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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 03:11 AM
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The ironic thing is that the only trip expense for which I probably will never get a refund is the only purchase that was advertised as fully refundable.

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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 03:53 AM
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If they airline survives, you'll get your refund. It may take months though.
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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 07:27 AM
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Tulips,

At the time the virus hit the fan, I took the position that it would cost me $10,000.

We normally travel on our own and I always book hotels that have a 2 or 3 days cancellation policy. So our only real exposure is air fare.

My wife had been mentioning going to Israel for a few years. I didn't have it in me to figure it all out myself so for the first time we booked a tour. I felt it was a little too short for the price of our airline tickets (business class) so we planned on a few days is Belgium on the way there.

The tour and Delta Airlines refunded.

The trip cancellation insurance gave us (I believe) 18 months to reuse our insurance.


And then there's Belgian Airlines.
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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 07:50 AM
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My ticket was non-refundable, and they said they would refund since the flight was cancelled, but it would take a while. I will let you know if I get the money back.

Meanwhile at Brussels Airport Swissport has gone out of business. They do a large part of the baggage handling and cleaning at Brussels Airport.
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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 09:20 AM
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Have you considered disputing the charges with your credit card issuer? EU regulations still require refunds for cancelled flights within seven days.

Our early May trip to France included five separate airlines, all of which cancelled the flights (three in France), three airbnbs and two hotels. Airbnb made us whole, even though all of them were cancelled by us and should have required 50% penalties. One hotel was generous and another one (via booking.com) simply kept our money even though we cancelled long before the required date.

Delta quickly refunded. We filed charge back requests with our credit cards for the one hotel (quickly refunded by the credit card company) and the other four airlines, all of whom were giving us a run-around. Within days of the chargeback with JetBlue, they paid up. We were successful in getting a chargeback from VISA for Volotea Airlines; just got a refund from Air France; and are still waiting on the resolution of our AMEX chargeback with EasyJet. We were willing to walk away from several thousand dollars in pre-paids and are now down to only about $150. ×
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Old Jun 10th, 2020, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tulips View Post
Hi Myer, I understand your frustration. They want you to accept a voucher, but are obliged to give you a refund if you ask for it. There is no easy way to get a refund, though, except by phoning them.
I did this yesterday, was on hold for half an hour, then spoke to someone who told me that you now get the refund by going to the 'my booking' area on the website and filling out the form online. So I put down the phone, go to the website but my booking number is not recognised.
I phone back - another half hour in the queue - and speak to someone else. Very sorry, this was the wrong advice. They will sort it out now. But I first get a pitch on why I really want a voucher instead. They finally take my details and say it is going to take a while for the processing of the refund.
They cannot send me a mail to confirm that they will refund, and she cannot tell me how long it will take.
I'm actually having the exact same issues with KLM who cancelled our fight to Windhoek.
I asked for a refund, they proposed a voucher which I refused as per EU regulation 261.
In the end they agreed on a cash refund but could not send me a mail to confirm.
I wonder if and when I will get my money.
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