By Chris King •
Published: 06 Nov 2023 • 23:18
Image of an Air Nostrum plane at Vigo Airport in Galicia.
Credit: Contando Estrelas/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
AIR NOSTRUM has been denounced by FACUA-Consumidores en Acción after the company left around 80 passengers stranded at Vigo Airport.
The incident occurred on Saturday, November 4, at Peinador Airport in the Galician capital. Passengers were in the boarding lounge waiting to catch a plane to Madrid when they were informed that their flight had been cancelled.
Their flight had already been slightly delayed but now it turned out that the company had decided to offer its services to Sevilla FC which had been playing a LaLiga match that day in the city.
Players and technical staff from the football club were due to return to the capital of Andalucia but their aircraft had broken down. As a result, Air Nostrum decided to give them the use of its plane.
As announced in a statement on Monday, November 6, FACUA has reported Air Nostrum to both the Galician Institute of Consumer Affairs and Competition plus the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
The organisation argued that the airline’s breach of contract was: ‘An infringement of consumer protection regulations and should therefore be sanctioned by the consumer authorities’.
FACUA filed its complaints with the Galician consumer protection authority as that was the community where the events took place.
However, as some of those affected live in different autonomous communities, it has also presented the case to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, so that it can decide whether to exercise its powers to impose penalties.
After the flight was passed to Sevilla FC, the only option that the airline allegedly gave the affected passengers was to either return to the airport the following morning, catch a bus to Madrid, or wait for a new flight on Monday.
According to those affected, the company did not provide them at any time with information about their rights due to the cancellation of their flight.
‘They only gave us a complaint form to fill in, but without telling us anything else’, one of the passengers explained. ‘At no time did they provide us with transport to Vigo, or accommodation for the night’, he continued.
This situation occurred despite the fact that the European Regulation 261/2004 includes the obligation of the airline to provide ‘hotel accommodation’ and ‘transport between the airport and the place of accommodation’.
In addition to filing complaints with the consumer authorities, FACUA has also approached the Spanish Aviation Safety Agency (AESA).
It has urge them to investigate and ensure that Air Nostrum complies with its obligations of not only delivering the compensation to which the users of cancelled flights are entitled, but also reimbursing all transport, accommodation and meal expenses that those affected have had to bear.
FACUA pointed out that for flights of up to 1,500 km the compensation that airlines must provide to passengers is €250. They should also compensate any other type of damages, whether economic or moral, that they may have suffered as a result of this situation.
The organisation also offered its assistance to any of the passengers who wished to appropriate action in defence of their rights.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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