This article takes a serious, sometimes light-hearted, look at how a European government passed a ‘law’, of questionable legality, allowing its flag carrier airline to slip its hands into the pockets of passengers in order to force them to give an interest-free, unsecured loan to the privately-owned company – in contravention of European Union consumer protection law and possibly in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights. It also looks at how the European Commission has been ineffectual in enforcing its own law – a toothless tiger rolling over in submission under pressure from other member states, each in their own panicked pursuit of a piece of the pick-pocket pie.

With its ‘pick-pocket’ legislation, the Greek government may have acheived a Pyrrhic victory from which it will be burying the corpses of its tourism industry for years to come.

Trust is a fragile commodity which has been trampled upon by the short-termism of this ill-conceived piece of legislation and the greedy readiness to use it by organisations such as Aegean Airlines. Trust will take a long, long time to rebuild. I will certainly never again fly with a Greek airline which can rely on an immoral Greek government to pass retrospective ‘laws’ permitting it to steal my money.

An organisation can always shine brightly in fine weather, but when the storm clouds gather, its true worth is tested. Unfortunately,  in the ensuing darkness, Aegean’s bright flame, fuelled by its reputation and credibility, hard-won over many years, flickered and finally self-extinguished in a matter of days.

When this crisis is over and the ‘new normal’ arrives, consumers and euro-voters will remember those organisations, and those countries, and the European Commission, all of whom showed them such contempt during these awful times.
You can read more of the story in the following sections, including my experiences and my suggestions on how you might approach reclaiming your money.

I am a Grecophile
I’ve had adverse comments accusing me of being anti-Greece. I love Greece and the Greek people and will continue to visit the country several times a year. But this particular Greek government and Aegean Airlines have acted immorally and in contravention of EU law. They must not be allowed to profit from their devious exploits while shrouded in the fog of Covid-19.
Please feel free to contact me with any comments at all, good or bad, so that I can share them on this site. In particular, please share any experiences or tips you might have for others fighting for their refunds. It would be useful to know how many seats and flights you booked, and how much Aegean owes you, so that we can get a feel for the scale of the problem. Your country of residence would also be of interest. I will not publish any contact details but will assign you a unique pseudonym and mention your country of residence.

To ensure that there is a single place on the Internet for discussion on this affair, I would recommend you use the Facebook page Legal Action Against Aegean Airlines.

This article was written by Alan King.