European Consumer Centre

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Air Berlin cancelled flights – how to get your money back

Insolvency procedure within the Air Berlin Company started on August 15 and in the consequence there are limitations regarding collection of claims. Debts incurred before this day, including refunds of flight tickets sold before this day, cannot be recovered by the carrier out of the insolvency procedure. Flights purchased on August 15 and later can be refunded in standard procedures.

In case that a flight ticket was purchased before August 14, 2017, your flight is cancelled and the flight ticket was paid by card, you can ask the bank which issued your card for refund of the paid price, via the so called chargeback procedure. There is no right for such reimbursement pursuant to Czech law, but banks usually do it for their clients. Other possible claims can be applied to the insolvency procedure. In case that the flight ticket was paid in cash or via a bank transfer, reimbursement would only be possible after you apply to the insolvency procedure, but only after the competent court decides in the matter. Nonetheless, it is not possible to tell when the decision will be made. Although it cannot be presumed the ratio of creditor satisfaction, but past experience indicates that unsecured creditors weren’t satisfied at all or only to a minor extent in insolvency procedures. Participation in such insolvency procedure can also be very demanding in terms of administration.

As available current information indicate, Air Berlin doesn’t re-route its customers to other airlines’ flights. So, if a flight is cancelled, the passenger shall find a substitute flight on his own. In case that the flight ticket was issued by another carrier (flight ticket number does not begin with 745) for a flight operated by Air Berlin, you can ask the carrier that issued the flight ticket or a travel agency that sold the flight ticket. Flight tickets issued by the Air Berlin Company (flight ticket number beginning with 745) for flights operated by other carriers will most probably be considered valid by the partner carriers, but it is highly recommended to check the validity of flight tickets at the respective operating carrier.

With regard to the limitations relating to the insolvency procedure, the European Consumer Centre cannot directly assist passengers in mediation procedures. If possible, we recommend to use the chargeback procedure in cases when flight tickets were purchased via a card.