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In January, I booked a return ticket from France to the UK via Schiphol with KLM. My journey was due to commence less than two weeks from now.

In June, the airline cancelled part of the journey (the first leg of the outbound flight) and automatically rebooked me on a different flight which would require a layover at Schiphol. Because the new schedule isn't viable for me, I submitted a refund request for the entire ticket. The airline sent me a case ID but no updates since.

I looked up the status of my booking and found all parts of my journey crossed out, whatever that means. There's also a note saying,

You're eliglible for a refund. Bear in mind that conditions vary, depending on who cancelled the flight (you or the airline) and when it was done.

Because I've already requested a refund, I didn't click Request a refund again.

Is it safe to wait for the airline to respond?

Or do I need to take further action before the original date of travel, and if yes, how?

To put it differently: Do I need to get approval of my refund request from the airline before the date of travel?

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Is it safe to wait for the airline to respond?

Right now, airlines are doing everything they can to not hand over money to customers because they are bleeding operational funding due to the covid crisis - do NOT expect the airline to be proactive here.

Going by the EU261 rules, you should have received a refund within 7 days of submitting the request, because your refund was triggered by a schedule change the airline made.

If your flight is cancelled you have the right to choose between reimbursement, re-routing or return.

...

If you were informed of the cancellation less than 14 days prior to the scheduled departure date, you have a right to compensation. The airline has the obligation to prove if and when you were personally informed that the flight was cancelled. If this is not the case you can contact your national authority for further assistance.

EU261 official guidance to passengers on their rights.

Article 8

Right to reimbursement or re-routing

  1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

(a) - reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

EU261 Regulation

Or do I need to take further action before the original date of travel, and if yes, how?

Yes, badger the airline until you get the money in your account. Do not assume it will just happen.

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  • Thanks, Moo - I'm indeed afraid that the payout will be delayed for a long time unless I insist. My prime concern though is that I can't tell if the airline still expects me to travel while I'm waiting for them to acknowledge and validate my request. – ks201 Aug 3 at 21:16
  • @ks201 no, do not travel - you have submitted the request to cancel and you want to continue with that cancellation and receive a full refund. Forget about travelling (unless you want to of course, you can always retract the cancellation request and see what happens - chances are they have already filled the seat tho) and stand your ground - by travelling, the airline has forced you into a course of action you didn't want to take, and that will forfeit any right to a refund. – Moo Aug 3 at 21:49

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