Belgian non-profit organization Test Aankoop/Test Achats, which promotes consumer protection is going to court against the Air France KLM group for their very strict “no-show” clause. For example: passengers are obliged to start their trip at first point, even if that trip includes a train ride.
The no-show clause means that a passenger not showing up for the outbound flight (or train ride) will be considered a “no-show”, and all the connecting flights associated with this one, even a return flight, will be cancelled and no refund will apply. The airline is then able to sell that ticket to another customer, forcing the original passenger to pay a high rebooking fee: between €125 (domestic flights in France) and €3,000 (long-haul flights).
In a statement Test Aankoop/Test Achats wrote: “We are confident that this type of clause is unfair because it leads to a certain imbalance between the rights and obligations of the airline and those of the passengers. The “no-show” clause also violates the “price indication directive”. German, Austrian and Spanish judges have already ruled that this clause is unfair. In the past, other large airlines like Lufthansa, British Airways and Iberia have already been condemned.”
Tomorrow (6 September), the case will be introduced before the Brussels Court of Commerce.