By Laura Kemp • 02 June 2020 • 13:51
Ukrainian postal service to issue new stamps marking sinking of Russian warship. Image - Ukrposhta
THE head of this governmental department, Alberto Garzon, had already gotten in contact with the array of airlines in order to get them to adequately report the rights of their travellers, after the administration had received an avalanche of claims from customers who reported that their rights to a refund were being denied or exchanged for alternative bonuses without question.
The Ministry is in the process of requesting a cessation action. This is the judicial route taken to contemplate the general law of consumer purchase defence, which will be utilised against these malpractices because airlines are currently omitting key information from passengers who have given their money for tickets they can no longer enjoy; this means they have an explicit right to get the money back.
Furthermore, if any customers have been given a travel voucher without the option of a refund, they can choose to make these vouchers null and offer them a reimbursement instead.
According to European regulations, if a flight has been cancelled then airlines must offer the affected travellers a refund, or if not, an alternative form of transportation as soon as possible, or whenever convenient for the passenger, which could be in the form of a voucher. However, if the customer chooses to not accept this bonus, the refund must be made within a maximum period of a week.
The 17 airlines involved in the legal action who have been reported by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs are: Air Europa, Air France, Binter Canarias, easyJet, Eurowings, Iberia (Iberia Express and Air Nostrum), Jet2, KLM, Latam Airlines, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Transavia, Thomson Airways (TUI), United Airlines, Volotea and Wizzair.
In Spain alone, there have been a whopping 700,000 claims filed to reach agreements with the airlines in regard to cancelled flights and refunds.
The General Director for Consumer Affairs in Spain, Bibiana Medialdea has assured that the customer always has the right to get their money back. The director assured and clarified that, “in many cases the adequate information is not being offered, they are using bad forms because they are only offering the alternative of an exchanged flight or bonus, but it is necessary to inform the customer that they have the right to get their money refunded. It is bad practice: if the offer is not accepted, then the money must be returned.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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