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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    

P-004126/2020

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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