Question of the month

Last updated on 25-05-21.

My flight was cancelled by COVID-19 almost twelve months ago and I am still waiting for a refund. What can I do?

Many airlines offered passengers a voucher following the cancellation of their flight due to the Covid pandemic. This was only acceptable subject to the passenger’s consent. European legislation stipulates that passengers are entitled to an alternative flight (without incurring additional costs) or a refund.

Did you request a refund of your credit but the airline is not forthcoming with your money? Moreover, could you not reach an amicable settlement, not even with support from a mediation service such as the European Consumer Centre? If so, the European small claims procedure is your best option. However, you will have to take certain conditions into account:

  • The airline must be based in another EU country, not your own country.
  • You can claim a maximum of 5,000 euro from the airline.

Find out how to initiate this procedure and how much it will cost.

The time scale you have to initiate this procedure depends upon the competent court. If your flight was scheduled to take off or land in Belgium, you can submit your claim to the Justice of the Peace in Belgium. You then have one year from the date your flight was cancelled to sue the airline in Belgium. Unfortunately, this is a very short deadline!

Good to know: You are not entitled to additional compensation because Covid-19 is considered a case of Force Majeure. Would you like to find out more about your rights as an air passenger? Please refer to the section entitled air travel.

Do you have further questions concerning this European judicial procedure? Contact our legal team for advice and assistance free of charge.