Airlines want to keep Brit holidaymakers' cash for cancelled flights – and have asked govt for permission

AIRLINES are begging the UK government to allow them to keep passengers' money for their cancelled flights and to offer vouchers instead.

They are also asking to only refund the flights after the coronavirus crisis is over.

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Airlines UK, which has members including British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair, has also asked for Air Passenger Duty to be suspended for six months to encourage people to book flights again.

With no revenue, the airlines have been forced to ground hundreds of planes, putting thousands of jobs and the future of the sector at risk.

The letter sent to the government, seen by Sky News, asked: "Carriers should also be permitted to issue vouchers instead of refunds and, should refunds be required, carriers should be permitted to defer payment until the crisis period is over and as defined by air traffic volumes, rather than time period."

This would mean deferring claims under EU law EC261 which allows passengers refunds from airlines for cancelled flights.

Instead, vouchers would be given or refunds would be issued at a later date.

The letter added: "We believe a number of such measures are necessary to enable aviation both to deal with the ongoing crisis in the short-term but also to support and accelerate a strong UK recovery later in the year."

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