The coronavirus pandemic has caused huge problems for airlines, most of whom have had to ground most or all of their fleets. KLM is no exception. These decisions have resulted in millions of passengers wanting refunds for their cancelled flights.
What should I do?
Bear in mind that that all airlines are overwhelmed by the current situation, and so will be working through hundreds of flights with tens of thousands of passengers.
All aviation call centres, no matter how many extra staff they employ/contract with, are experiencing difficulties responding at the busiest time they have ever experienced.
If your flight is not for this week or next week, it may make more sense to wait a few weeks until the airlines have sorted our resourcing issues in call centres and also improved their online refund procedures.
For general advice on claims, including EU261 claims, see
KLM has cancelled my flight. What are my options?
Am I entitled to a refund?
This depends on your ticket and flight destination.
KLM is not currently offering refunds on non-refundable tickets, even if the airline has cancelled the flight. Instead, it is offering a “refund in the form of a travel voucher”.
This is different for China and South Korea, as the Dutch government announced an entry ban for all flights arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong and South Korea.
China and South Korea policy
Passengers who were meant to be travelling to or from mainland China or Hong Kong until May 31, 2020, can get a full refund on their tickets.
Those who were meant to travel to or from Seoul Incheon International airport until April 30, 2020, can also get a full refund.
If this applies to you, then visit this link. If you booked via a travel agent, you must contact them directly.
KLM is offering me a voucher instead of a refund
Some airlines will offer a voucher for future travel instead of a refund. Obviously airlines would rather you rebooked with them, and this is one way of encouraging it. A voucher also has the advantage for the airline of allowing them to keep hold of your money and so help their cashflow.
If your flight departs before May 31, 2020, and you no longer wish to travel (or you have a non-refundable ticket and your flight has been cancelled), KLM is offering a travel voucher by filling in the online form. You can request the voucher until September 30, 2020, even if your original travel date has passed.
The voucher is valid for one year on all Air France, KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic flights. It can be used to book a flight taking place after the expiration date of the voucher, and a full refund will be issued if it is not used within 12 months.
Postponing your flight
KLM is currently waiving change fees. This means you can change both the dates and destination without incurring a change fee. The travel class must be the same as on your original ticket.
This applies only for customers booking directly with KLM through its website or at an Air France agency, for flights departing before May 31, 2020. Customers must book by September 30, 2020, with the new trip taking place on or before November 30, 2020.
The original value of the tickets can be used to rebook new tickets on KLM, Air France, Delta Air Lines or Virgin Atlantic.
From December 1, 2020, passengers can change their travel date if the same fare type is available. If you change to a higher fare type, you may need to pay the fare difference.
China and Hong Kong
If you’re meant to be travelling from or via mainland China or Hong Kong until May 31, 2020 then your new departure date must be no later than June 30, 2020. You can rebook your flight at the latest on April 30, 2020.
For travel between June 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020, passengers can change their travel date if the same fare type is available. If you change to a higher fare type, you may need to pay the fare difference.
You can use the full value of your original tickets for new tickets on KLM, Air France or Delta Air Lines to, from or via other available destinations in mainland China, Hong Kong or Taipei
If you’re meant to be travelling from or via Seoul until April 30, 2020, then your new departure date should be no later than May 31, 2020. You can rebook your flight at the latest on April 30, 2020. The original value of the tickets can be used to rebook new tickets on KLM, Air France or Delta Air Lines.
Can I claim on my travel insurance?
Possibly, depending on when you booked your flight – and also when you took out your insurance. See the following article for advice on that.
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