Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Brussels Airlines has had to cancel more than 36,000 flights in total. The airlines stated that it was forced to cancel on average 83 per cent of its scheduled flight programme, impacting the travel plans of three million of its passengers.
The airlines said that due to the flight cancellation, it has received one million calls to the airline’s service centre. In a statement, the company said, “For comparison, in the entire year of 2019, the Brussels Airlines service centre handled 400,000 calls.” The airlines agreed that despite working 24X7 the customers’ are having to wait a long time to get their refund. “In total, the airline received so far refund requests of a value of 122 million euro.”
Brussels Airlines has worked on a solution to speed up the process of the refund handling and is now paying out several thousands of refunds per day. “So far, 31 per cent of all refund requests have been processed and the airline expects to resolve the bulk of the refund backlog by the end of October, with the exception of the more complex requests, such as bookings involving several airlines.”
Dieter Vranckx, CEO of Brussels Airlines said, “We are well aware that the last weeks and months have been extremely difficult for our passengers affected by schedule changes or flight cancellations and we sincerely apologize for the inconveniences caused by overloaded call centres and delays in terms of our response time, especially for the processing of ticket refunds. But rest assured, every passenger who is entitled to a refund and who applied for it, will be reimbursed within the coming weeks.”