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News Article

Airlines Adopt Flexible Cancellation Processes

By Cas Biekmann | Fri, 04/03/2020 - 15:02

As COVID-19 takes over the world, travelers are staying home. Sometimes this is because of a ban regarding non-essential travel, due to airlines grounding their flights or because of people self-isolating and opting not to go to their favorite vacation destination. As this can be a financial blow to customers, airlines have adapted their policies despite potential losses on their end.

While this seems like a friendly gesture from airlines, the issue is becoming exceedingly difficult to deal with. On one side, airlines are struggling to make ends meet. Dropping profits, travel restrictions, grounded fleets and salaries to pay all weigh heavily on the shoulders of airlines. In the case of the US, the Wall Street Journal already reported that airlines were lobbying for bailouts. This is not yet the case in Mexico, although it is only a matter of time before Mexican companies will start to feel the effects of COVID-19.

In some regions, such as the eurozone, airlines are forced by law to repay customers in full if their trip has been cancelled due to current restrictions. Nonetheless, The Guardian reported that many customers struggle to obtain their refund. In the US, refunds are not yet mandatory. To help customers cope, airlines offer to waive the costs associated with changing a flight. Customers only have to pay the difference in price if there is one. An added catch, however, is that flight prices have risen significantly over the last period. Only Southwest airlines offers a voucher to be used by June 30, 2021.

Mexican airlines such as Aeromar, Viva Aerobus, Interjet, Aeroméxico and Volaris for the most part, all follow US airlines cancellation policies. This means that flight change fees are being waived and the difference in cost is paid by the consumer, reported Mexico News Daily. The situation, however, is still far from ideal for both customer and airlines, as trips are cancelled and profits begin to plummet.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Wall Street Journal, El Economista, Mexico News Daily, The Guardian
Photo by:   Stela Di
Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst