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I had a flight ticket from Madrid (MAD, Spain) to Miami (MIA, US) to fly in March with AirEuropa. I got an email saying the flight was cancelled 13 days and 21 hours before the flight. Am I eligible to get a cash refund? Am I entitled to further compensation?

The flight was cancelled the day after Donald Trump forbade the entrance of non-residents to the US because of COVID-19.

The answer from an AirEuropa agent is no, I am not. They offer a voucher that has to be spent within 2020, which IMO is very limited.

As I understand the EU rules, I can choose to get a refund unless the carrier can prove the cancellation was because of extraordinary circumstances. I guess COVID-19 is extraordinary, but Trump did not forbid flights to the US, but the entrance of some people, so AirEuropa could have flown that day.

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    The related question does not fully answer this question because it does not address whether the US travel restrictions are exceptional circumstances. Mar 17 '20 at 10:42
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Under EU rules you always get a refund. The extraordinary circumstances only mean that they don't have to pay any additional compensation. So far for the legal side.

Their homepage does only offer vouchers, though. The reason is likely that they want to hold on to the cash - espececially since they are not selling any new tickets right now.

Scenario one is that they do it because they aren't customer-friendly and they assume that only a fraction of the passengers will fight for their money. Scenario two is that they don't have the money to refund everyone and don't want to go bust.

My guess is that they are likely to fight any claim for monetary refunds. Basically your options are to take the voucher (hoping they will still be around when you want to use it), or to fight for a refund.

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  • So the advice is probably, just take the voucher and keep your fingers crossed.
    – Ayyash
    Apr 8 '20 at 7:25

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