I think what you are missing here is that many pax who would like to be repatriated probably had tickets on LOT flights that got cancelled because of the decision to close the borders. Perhaps even not getting refunds as airlines and insurance companies will be very happy to claim force majeure. And then getting to pay again to have a seat on a repatriation flight.
I get that, but wouldn’t passengers (at least those who had tickets on LOT flights) be entitled to refunds? Prior to the full suspension LOT were allowing cancellations and changes for no fee, so hopefully they would extend this policy to flights cancelled due to the current suspension. It would actually be interesting to see if this is the case. As for those who had flights booked on other airlines, especially low cost carriers like FR or W6, it is indeed a bigger issue, as those flights were usually substantially cheaper than the prices of the tickets for the new flights. I’ve heard that in some cases Polish consulates will be able to give loans to help people pay to return to Poland. Not ideal, but better than nothing. LOT and the government should come up with a better solution, as the prices I saw, especially for European flights, were pretty expensive compared to usual fares, especially on LCC’s, and even compared to some of LOT’s.
Also, apologies if this post and my previous one have seemed a bit like a rant, but LHRLAXSYD’s post seemed to imply that the gov’t only closed borders and organised these repatriation flights as a way to make a quick buck for LOT. Now I’m usually pretty critical of this government, but I’m sure that that was not their motivation for the actions that they took.
You've just contradicted yourself by denying passengers aren't paying a premium for a seat on a chartered flight while at the same time admitting Wizzair, Ryanair and even LOT would have been cheaper.
Ceasing commercial air travel and operating premium charter flights on both the outbound and inbound at the same time is idiotic from both a financial and disease control perspective.
Pax with a LO ticket for a scheduled flight with a date falling during flight suspension may at its election: a) get a full refund, b) get a voucher, c) reschedule for a scheduled flight with a date falling after resumption of scheduled flights without any fee (subject to some restrictions), d) without any fee exchange for a ticket on a charter flight.
It means that if a pax wishes so, it may get a refund of the existing ticket and buy himself a new ticket on a charter flight, if that would be cheaper for him. The pax may also use the existing ticket to exchange it for a ticket for a charter flight and this without any additional payment, if that would be cheaper for him.
There are no pax on the outbound flight, only on the inbound flight. I expect part of that cost is met by tax money, and the rest by the cost of the inbound ticket.
It would be really difficult to organise this with any other airline (including Enter Air as the top pick probably), having in mind a) a vast majority of flights is longhaul, b) it was organised virtually overnight. Your company should have volunteered and we would then see how it went.
Overall the amount of flights as for now is fairly limited. We shall see how it progresses.