On January 10 2020, I booked a return flight from London Heathrow to Athens – outbound May 25, inbound June 26.
On April 23, I received an email from Aegean informing me that my outbound flight had been cancelled. This was followed on May 6 by a second email saying that my inbound flight was also cancelled.
The full cancellation emails can be viewed here.
I naively believed what Aegean stated in their emails – that I could request a refund. I spent a long time on an international call to its Greek call centre. I subsequently emailed Aegean and sent them a Facebook Messenger message. I should add that I also emailed named executives at Aegean and, although I received some read-receipts, none of them replied or passed the email on to anybody else to reply.
I’ve continued to email Aegean executives with various messages about the social media campaigns I’m launching. Again, I get read-receipts but no proper response whatsoever! They just don’t give a ****.
In the email below, “following the fare rules of your ticket” I later discovered to be a key phrase which, if they’d expanded upon in their email, would have saved me the time and expense of calling them.
Note that in the email they don’t quote a local UK number to call; I later discovered that there is one which routes to the same call centre at UK local rates on 020 8759 3800 and one that charges 13p per minute on 0871 200 0040. If you need to call them, do check if there’s a local number in your own country.
… If you hold a refundable ticket (Flex or Business Class) you may request a refund, through our call center department or through your travel agent, following the fare rules of your ticket.
You may contact us, 24/7, at:
801 11 20000 for all national calls within Greece (option 4)
+30 210 62 61 000 for all international calls and mobiles (option 4)
Unfortunately, because I believed I would receive my refund as was stated in the cancellation email from Aegean, I did not record the call, so the dialog below is paraphrased.
The operative actually told me to contact Customer Servives via the Aegean website’s ‘Help & Contact’ page. Forget it – after entering all the relevant information, the website doesn’t work and unhelpfully says there has been an error. I tried it 3 times with the same result. More time wasted! Better to contact them via email at email@example.com.
As a result of posts on the Legal Action Against Aegean Airlines Facebook group page, one member of the group claimed to have received a refund by going through the same procedure on the ‘Help & Contact’ page. On June 5, I tried the page again and this time it accepted the data and I received the response below in Website dialogue with Aegean.
After sending Aegean the first email below, I immediately received an automated response telling me that it may take 45-60 days to respond. In view of this, I tried the Facebook option detailed below. In the event, Aegean replied to the email 6 days later.
I do NOT wish to receive a credit voucher. I require a FULL cash refund under the terms of “European Commission Regulation (EC) No 261/2004” and the subsequent reaffirmation on March 18 2020 “C(2020) 1830, Commission Notice, Interpretative Guidelines on EU passenger rights regulations in the context of the developing situation with Covid-19”.
You should credit the VISA card I used to pay for the booking:
or issue a bank credit:
Will you please confirm receipt of this message. Will you also please confirm when the refund has been made to my card or bank.
Faced with this unprecedented turn of events, the Greek state, as well as other EU countries, recently published a Legislative Act (Government Gazette, A’ 84/13.04.2020) that allows businesses in the travel industry to issue a voucher instead of extending an immediate refund.
Therefore, at AEGEAN, as many other carriers around the world, we offer our customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the pandemic, to apply for a credit voucher note 1 . Here, you may read detailed information, including the terms.
In brief, we may confirm that, the Credit Voucher you will receive will be of the same value as your initial ticket, including the value for each additional service purchased, if any.
If for any reason, after the 18 months of the date of its issuance and provided that the Credit Voucher has not been used in full or at all, you may request refund of the (remaining) unused amount paid.
We thank you for your understanding on this unprecedented matter and we look forward in hosting you on board again, soon.
Note 1: Just because other airlines are acting immorally and treating their customers with contempt, it doesn't make the practice acceptable, nor legal in most countries. If every cash-strapped citizen of the world stole money from the pockets of passers-by in the street, would that be acceptable? Apparently, according to Aegean's perverse logic, "YES" it would seem. It's the 'law' of the jungle!
Return from Note 1
I do not know how many times I need to say this. I DO NOT want a credit voucher nor do I want to change my flights to a future date.
Under European Commission Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, because YOU cancelled the flights, you are REQUIRED to refund my money in cash within 7 days – not within 18 months! I am not in the business of being a bank to lend Aegean Airlines my money for 18 months.
I realise that the immoral Greek government passed the law detailed in the Government Gazette, A’ 84/13.04.2020. The legality of this law is dubious in a European context and may well be overturned by the EC. Be that as it may, I do not intend to retrieve my money on the basis of European Commission Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 nor Government Gazette, A’ 84/13.04.2020.
Instead, on June 27 2020, after my return flight fails to go, I shall apply to my UK credit card company for a full refund under the UK Consumer Credit Act 1974 Section 75 (EU Directive 2014/17/EU) on the basis of non-delivery of goods/services which Aegean contracted to supply. I contracted you to supply me with 2 flights on specific dates which you will fail to deliver. I DID NOT contract you to supply me with a credit voucher nor with future flights.
You should understand that this refund process will not directly involve Aegean Airlines and will be outside the scope of Greece’s Government Gazette, A’ 84/13.04.2020. The refund will come from my UK credit card company directly, under UK law. My credit card company will, in turn, retrieve the money from your card payment processing bank who will then retrieve the amount from Aegean (probably with added penalty fees).
Why not just refund the money to me now and at least TRY to retain my future loyalty and business? You will pay more in the end through excess penalty charges imposed by your bank.
I have received no response to the above message. On May 20, I submitted an ‘AIR PASSENGER RIGHTS – EU COMPLAINT FORM’ to the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, as prescribed by the EU. See the dialogue with the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority.
I forwarded the complaint form to Aegean but, once again, they have not bothered to respond.
For your information, I attach a copy of ‘AIR PASSENGER RIGHTS – EU COMPLAINT FORM’ which I have sent to:
Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority
Air Transport and International Agreements Div
Air Transport Economics Section D1/D
P.O.B. 70360 EL – 16610 GLYFADA
In view of Aegean Airlines’ contravention of European Commission Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 in refusing to provide a full cash refund for flights it cancelled, I shall be pursuing this with the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority as well as in other legal ways, as set out in my communications with your company.
Using Facebook Messenger I was able to solicit a marginally better response than by email, but they have not bothered to respond to 2 messages.
This is what we also do at AEGEAN as many other carriers around the world, i.e. we offer our customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the pandemic, to apply for a credit voucher. Here https://bit.ly/3boyDt8, you may read detailed information, including the terms.
It will be of the same value as your original ticket, including the value for each additional service purchased, if any. If for any reason, after the 18 months of the date of its issuance and provided that the Credit Voucher has not been used in full or at all, you may request a refund of the (remaining) unused amount paid. Please always feel free to return to us for additional information, should you need them.
After not having received a response after 4 days, I sent them another message to try to prod them into action.
There is a tone of ominous threat in the above message. Are they saying that if I don’t request a credit voucher, my ticket will expire after a year and I’ll receive nothing? In addition, where is the customer care when a re-booking, in these exceptional circumstances, still incurs a €20 administration charge for each flight – €40 in total?
I have received no response to the above message.
On May 7, after being advised by the operative at the Aegean Call Centre, I used the ‘Help & Contact’ page on the Aegean website to attempt to submit a message asking for a refund. The website threw an error. I re-entered all the data 2 more times and the same happened. I decided there was a problem with Aegean’s website coding.
On the Legal Action Against Aegean Airlines Facebook group, one member of the group claimed to have received a refund by going through the same procedure on the ‘Help & Contact’ page. On June 5, I tried the page again and this time it accepted the data and I received the email response below. Maybe they fixed the problem.
You have recently contacted us regarding your booking.
We trust that the information below will be found useful.
For cancellations of tickets that have been issued via our Website or through our Call Center, please call us to one of our contact numbers here.
For information regarding cancellations of tickets on cancelled or modified flights, check here .
We would like to ask for your patience, as due to high volume of ticket cancellations , the refundable amount will be available to your credit card within a timeframe of three months.
For ticket changes, you may proceed online via “My Booking”.
For a route change or modifications of passengers’ details, please contact our Call Center.
For useful travel information regarding Covid-19, check here
We would like to ask for your patience regarding the time of call waiting, as there is an unusual number of incoming calls on our call center.
For a name change, click here.
For receiving your booking confirmation, click here.
For a group booking (more than 10 passengers on the same booking), click here.
In order to check your tickets’ fare rules in case of cancellation or change, click here.
For any other travel information, please check here .
Thank you for choosing to fly with us!
The Customer Relations of AEGEAN & Olympic Air
This is a confusing message. In the line “For information regarding cancellations of tickets on cancelled or modified flights, check here “, if you click on it, it leads you to a page which says:
Request a credit voucher of the same value to the total cost of your booking. Valid for redemption on any future flight within the next 18 months.
Change your ticket online with no rebooking fees, to any future date until 27/03/2021.
So I don’t know which of the conflicting items of information to believe. I guess I just have to wait, but, while waiting, I shall continue to fight for the refund in other ways.