Knesset Obligates Airlines to Refund for Canceled Flight Within 30 Days

YERUSHALAYIM -
The empty departure hall at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)

The Knesset plenum on Monday gave final approval to the Aviation Services Bill. Under the amendment, beginning Tuesday, airlines will be obligated to refund cash to travel agents or customers within 30 days of a canceled flight. A travel agent who receives the money will have to deliver ​it to the customer within 15 business days.

Economic Affairs Committee Chairman MK Rabbi Yaakov Margi (Shas) presented the bill and said, “We fought in the committee to reduce the harm caused to [ticket buyers] to the minimum required. Many months have passed since the outbreak of the [corona] crisis. Some of the airlines have already received some sort of government assistance, and there is no justification to postpone the payment of the refund to 90 days [from the date of a flight’s cancellation].”

MK Evgeny Sova (Yisrael Beytenu) said the legislation should have been passed a long time ago, “and if the State of Israel respects itself, it should [be more strict] also with foreign airline companies that do not respect the decisions of this house. If a company wants to continue to fly to and from Tel Aviv, it has to respect Israeli law.”