“Non-refundable” tickets have become a common practice of airlines. However, legal experts reassure tourists that there is a 100% sure way to get money back even for a non-refundable ticket. Especially in the event of force majeure. Which, by the way, include the closure of southern airports.
It is on this account that there are special recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor, Dmitry Maximov, Deputy Head of the Department of Legal Regulation of Business at the Faculty of Law of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, emphasized in an interview with the Prime agency. “Sometimes there are situations when a flight is impossible. In some cases, the definition of “irrevocability” does not mean the complete impossibility of returning a ticket,” he said.
In particular, according to the expert, a valid reason for canceling a trip is the illness of the passenger himself, his companion (family member, close relative ) or the death of a close relative, wherever it occurs (clauses 2 and 3 of article 108 of the Air Code of the Russian Federation). In order to return money for a ticket in such cases, it is necessary to confirm these facts with documents (medical certificate, death certificate).
In the event that a tourist, for example, falls ill, the expert described in detail the algorithm of actions:
- Before sending the flight, the tourist will have to notify the airline that he will not fly by sending an email or calling the hotline “.
- The second step is to collect documentary evidence of force majeure. For an illness, this is, for example, a certificate from a hospital or clinic.
- The third step is to contact the airline with an explanation of the situation and attachment of the collected documents. The expert advises sending the letter “the old fashioned way”: registered with a list of attachments and a receipt. True, there is a problem: with this package of documents, you need to contact the airline before the departure time.
- “Each airline has its own deadlines for considering requests, so immediately check on the website or with an employee for the maximum waiting time. If after its expiration you have not received an official response and compensation, then you have the right to file a lawsuit or write a complaint to Rospotrebnadzor and Rosaviatsiya. You can also write a complaint to the airline itself,” the lawyer noted as a separate paragraph.
Another good news is that since force majeure occurs not only among tourists, the passenger has the right to demand a refund if the carrier itself has not fulfilled or has improperly fulfilled its obligations under the contract with the passenger. We are talking about the cancellation of a flight, a long delay, the refusal of the airline to land on a paid seat (the full list of conditions under which the cancellation of flights is forced is prescribed in Article 227 of the Order of the Ministry of Transport of Russia dated June 28, 2007 No. 82).
< p>That is, as the lawyer explained, in the current situation due to the temporary closure of a number of airports in southern Russia, a 100% refund is also possible. “Passengers can get refunds for non-refundable tickets in full – without penalties or deductions. Cancellation of flights by a Russian airline is recognized as a forced cancellation of transportation in accordance with Art. 227 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. In this case, the airline is obliged to return the money for the tickets in full, and it does not matter if they are refundable or non-refundable,” he said. for air tickets.
Further, the expert noted that foreign carriers also have their own loopholes, although the activities of foreign airlines are not regulated by Russian law. In general, a foreign carrier makes a decision, including on the return of money, based on the rules in force in the country in which it is registered. “However, it should be noted that, according to the rules of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a foreign airline that canceled or changed a flight returns the cost of the ticket to the passenger, according to the fare. If part of the ticket is used, that is, the passenger still flew in one direction, then only the cost of the return ticket will be returned to him. At the same time, fees and applied discounts can be deducted,” the lawyer explained.
He also added about the last resort: in case of a conflict with a carrier, both Russian and foreign, you can contact Rospotrebnadzor; complain about the airline to the Federal Air Transport Agency, you can do this on the website of the Federal Air Transport Agency; you can also go to court with a statement of claim.
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