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European Parliament. Question on airlines and consumer rights, cancellations and failure to give refunds

By Ignazio Corrao and Mario Furore

"Parliamentary questions   

10 July 2020    


Priority question for written answer to the Commission Rule 138

Ignazio Corrao (NI), Mario Furore (NI) 

Subject: Airlines and consumer rights: cancellations and failure to give refunds

Since March 2020, as a result of the epidemiological emergency, numerous flights have been cancelled and passengers have been having to ask airlines for ticket refunds. 

In return, they have been offered only a voucher to be used for another journey, without any freedom of choice between refund of costs or a new ticket.

Such conduct is in breach of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, which provides for the right to reimbursement, and of EU consumer rights legislation.

Furthermore, cancellations have been recorded with the justification ‘COVID-19’, even with regard to destinations where there are no particular restrictions.

Several air transport companies are allowing flights to be booked, only to cancel them after a few days, or even a few hours, causing a great deal of inconvenience with regard to hotel cancellations, precluding business and leisure travel and raising doubts as to whether this is merely a way of obtaining immediate liquidity.

In view of the Commission recommendation of 13 May, is the Commission aware that:

1 this situation is continuing, and whether such conduct might not constitute an unfair commercial practice;

2 such conduct has been ongoing since 3 June – and can it say what it intends to do to prevent it from being repeated?

Last updated: 13 July 2020". 

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