Many airlines are trying to force passengers eligible for refunds due to canceled flights to accept vouchers instead, no other option online, and not taking phone calls, while others are taking their time to process credits.
While Covid-19 is an unprecedented event for many companies, both DOT (read more here) and the European Union (read more here) have reminded airlines that they are required to refund eligible consumers promptly.
You can access Finnair here.
Finnair gave an excuse on an HS (Finnish newspaper – read more here) article on Monday why it takes so long for consumers to get their refunds. The airline has more than 100,000 refunds to be processed, and it would take months.
EDIT: We received the following statement from the Finnair spokesperson:
Finnair had to cancel 90% of our traffic in April-June, and in addition to that, thousands of flights from March and February. This meant cancelling well over 10 000 flights per month, and this has resulted in our refund processing being congested.
As I said to Helsingin Sanomat last week, we currently have some 100 000 refund requests in the queue. This is roughly three times the normal annual volume, which has resulted in a situation where despite adding all possible resources to refund handling, the waiting time is currently 8 weeks (about 4 weeks if the customer chooses a voucher). These timelines we have also communicated to our customers.
We do understand that this situation is frustrating to customers, and we have added resources to the refund handling – for example the currently ongoing furloughs of personnel do not impact refund handling.
Finnish Government Airlines, aka Finnair (State of Finland owns 56%), purposely delays processing refunds for eligible passengers. Unacceptable.
This is the same airline that has unlawfully not provided compensation per EU’s EC 261/2004 for delayed and canceled flights for many living in Finland because the enforcement body in the country is toothless, unlike its counterparts in the UK and Germany (prompt refunds for those).
I would encourage everyone who is waiting for a refund from Finnair for canceled flights to promptly file for a chargeback with their credit card company unless they are willing to wait to get their money back for months.