The Consumers’ Association calls the airline Transavia a lot less flexible than other airlines when changing or cancelling airline tickets. The union investigated how flexible 15 European airlines are in the event of changes or cancellations.
If the provider cancels, they must refund the cost of the ticket within 7 days. According to the association, if consumers cancel, airlines can decide for themselves how they deal with this, which believes that consumers who rebook or cancel due to sudden negative travel advice or mandatory quarantine on arrival should not be driven at high costs.
Most airlines have become more flexible since corona, according to the Consumers’ Association. “For example, consumers at Air France and KLM can rebook or cancel any ticket free of charge up to the day of departure and request a refund. And most price fighters are also flexible.
At Pegasus, customers can change their trip free of charge up to 2 hours before departure by turning the ticket into a so-called open ticket. The ticket is then “on hold”, and the traveller only communicates a new travel date later. At Eurowings, customers can even postpone their trip up to 40 minutes before departure, unlimited, at no extra cost.”
But Transavia appears to be dangling at the bottom when it comes to flexibility. The airline charges 35 euros per person each way for a change. Travellers can opt for more flexible conditions when booking for 9 euros per ticket, but that remains less generous than other airlines, according to the Consumentenbond. For example, the route and the travel group must remain the same, and the journey must be changed at least 48 hours before departure.
“So consumers who test positive for corona just before the (return) flight are too late to change them free of charge,” according to the Consumers’ Association. “And they don’t get a refund if they cancel their flight.”
Transavia has announced that it is opting for a low basic price and that customers are opting for extra flexibility where they deem it necessary. Moreover, the budget company states that it has already reduced the costs for rebooking. Incidentally, Transavia thinks that the problems outlined by the Consumers’ Association will be less important this summer. “With the progressive vaccination coverage and the decreasing infections, we do not expect the colour codes by the governments to continuously change.”