By Laurence Frost
PARIS (Reuters) – European airlines waiting in line for coronavirus bailouts want to tap another source of interest-free loans: their customers.
Cash-strapped carriers are seeking to suspend European Union rules requiring refunds for cancellations and instead issue vouchers to customers left out of pocket as hundreds of thousands of flights are grounded by the pandemic.
Refund claims, if honored, would be a major additional cash drain on many airlines already in need of government aid to survive a sustained travel slump.
Consumer organizations say some major airlines are already flouting the refund rules and condemn what they describe as an attempt to force consumers to lend them cash.
“We’ve been absolutely inundated with passengers…