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I bought 2 tickets from Switzerland to Lebanon and back for this June. I bought the tickets with the Middle Eastern Airlines. Unfortunately, both flights were cancelled in April and no reason was given. I guess it probably had to do with the COVID-19 situation.

I contacted twice MEA about a possible refund but they have not responded yet.

Am I entitled to a refund? Or they can argue that the COVID-19 situation is an exceptional circumstance?

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Yes, they could argue that COVID-19 is a exceptional circumstance. Nevertheless, you are still entitled to a refund but not necessarily to compensation.

MEA's cancellation section says:

If your flight, for which you hold a valid reservation, is cancelled, you are entitled to re-routing, care, refund and compensation as laid out here above. You are not entitled to receive a compensation if the cancellation is attributed to extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Examples include bad weather conditions, political instability, strikes, security, risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings.

I would say to give it a bit of time, since they probably have many refund requests. Then, you can demand for a refund and try to argue for compensation, but compensation is highly unlikely.

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  • I am interested in knowing what possible logic will you use to argue for compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic when almost the whole planet is under a lockdown? will you hint for the possibility that MEA airline had a hand in the pandemic? or that MEA was the reason behind the lockdown? – Nean Der Thal May 18 at 1:14
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    I wouldn't give it time. I'd beat their door down. Airlines aren't indestructible. They can declare bankruptcy, and then, you get nothing! – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 18 at 3:24
  • It is very likely that like most (if not all) airlines at the moment, despite their contractual or legal obligations, they are not refunding anyone, but probably providing vouchers instead. Vouchers which have strong changes of losing their entire value if the airline goes under. – jcaron May 18 at 9:41
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MEA is only flying repatriation flights from Lebanon to Europe to pick up Lebanese nationals right now. You have to contact their office in Giffinor and ask them how you can come back. They are on 24/7. I can give you the number for their office in Switzerland, if you want. Also, try contacting the Lebanese embassy in Switzerland.

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