Judicial war between the Government and airlines for the return of airline tickets

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Shuffle from the Government to the airline sector. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs reported yesterday that it has denounced 17 airlines for, supposedly, not having correctly informed passengers that they have the right to claim the amount of the ticket when the flight is canceled. An unfair commercial practice, according to the Executive.

The companies sued are Air Europa, Air France, Binter Canarias, EasyJet, Eurowings, Iberia (Iberia Express and Air Nostrum), Jet 2, KLM, Latam Airlines, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Transavia, Thomson Airways (TUI ), United Airlines, Volotea and Wizzair. All of them will have to face in the commercial courts a legal action of cessation that pretends that they stop carrying out these practices and report in detail on the rights of consumers.

But the demands of Consumption do not stop there. The Department headed by Alberto Garzón will also request that “all contracts for which travelers have accepted a replacement voucher” be declared void if it has been acquired by “flawed consent”. This opens the door to disabling the bonuses that the airlines were offering instead of the refund of the ticket.

The Government assured a couple of weeks ago that it had detected a series of breaches by airlines in the information that they must give to the consumer to guarantee their right to a ticket refund. Therefore, he reminded these companies that the right to reimbursement of the ticket must be clearly and accessible. After that, consumption sources explain to ABC that a series of requirements were made. And 17 airlines did not respond adequately to them.

The European standard
Community law allows airlines to offer a replacement voucher when a flight is canceled. But it also gives the consumer the last word, so if the consumer requires the refund of the ticket in cash, the airline will have to pay it within a maximum period of 7 days.

The airline sector has pressured the community executive to try to modify this legislation, without success. According to the calculations of the airlines, this obligation to return the tickets will generate an invoice of more than 9,000 million euros among the companies, which have had to cancel thousands of journeys due to the restrictions imposed by governments on flights due to the coronavirus. . Sources of the Association of Airlines (ALA) explain that they will wait to know the full complaint of Consumption to make an assessment. They also say that companies “are already returning canceled tickets.” .


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