Brussels Airlines speeds up refund process to resolve backlog

Brussels Airlines speeds up refund process to resolve backlog

BRUSSELS — Brussels Airlines has sped up the process of issuing refunds to resolve the massive backlog of requests it has received since the start of the pandemic.

The carrier is currently paying out several thousands of refunds per day, resulting in 31% of all refund requests already processed. It expects to resolve the bulk of the backlog by the end of October, with the exception of more complex requests such as bookings involving several airlines.

To put things in perspective, Brussels Airlines was forced to cancel on overage 83% of its scheduled flight program since the start of the crisis, which impacted the travel plans of three million passengers. Between March 21 and June 14, the airliner cancelled more than 36,000 flights, leading to more than one million calls to its service centre.

In comparison, in the entire year of 2019, the service centre handled just 400,00 calls in total.

According to the airline, despite a maximum number of service agents and the 24/7 call centre service, it wasn’t able to provide its guests with the service level they are accustomed to receiving, resulting in long wait times.

In total, Brussels Airlines received refund requests of a value of 122 million euro so far.

“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,” said Dieter Vranchx, CEO of Brussels Airlines. “But rest assured, every passenger who is entitled to a refund and who applied for it will be reimbursed within the coming weeks.”

Customers who have already submitted reimbursement requests are asked to not call the airline on this matter, in order to keep phone lines open for customers who would like to travel in the near future.

Passengers holding a Brussels Airlines ticket booked before Aug. 25, who wish to postpone their travels or whose flight was cancelled, have maximum flexibility to use the value of their ticket later. They have until Jan. 31, 2020 to contact the airline to book a new flight, for travel until Dec. 31, 2021.

Since Aug. 25, all newly booked tickets remain flexible and can be changed multiple times free of charge.

Passengers whose flights were cancelled and who do not want to make use of the rebooking options can apply for a refund using the online form on

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