April 14, 2021

Brussels opens investigation into airline cancellation practices during coronavirus pandemic



The airlines, under suspicion in the EU. The Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) network and the European Commission have opened an investigation into the cancellation practices of airlines, following an alert from the European Office of Consumers Unions (BEUC) and another from the Community Executive.

Travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have led to massive flight cancellations: the objective of the investigation is to collect additional information from airlines operating in the EU on how they inform consumers about the rights of their passengers and how they manage refund requests.

Negotiations between the airlines and the consumer protection network will be coordinated by the national consumer protection authorities of the Member States.

In cases where airlines have persistent difficulties in reimbursing all consumers on time, they are encouraged to provide information on what they are doing to quickly remedy these difficulties. The airlines have three weeks to respond.

If necessary, the European Commission and the CPC authorities will follow up with the airlines.

“The launch of this investigation is part of the Commission’s efforts to ensure that the rights of consumers and passengers are respected during the coronavirus pandemic,” states the European Commission.

Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: “We hope that airlines adequately inform consumers of their rights when a flight must be canceled and that they ensure that all passengers who want a cash refund receive it.”

The Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, said for her part: “This is an important step towards the proper functioning of the travel sector. Other measures are being carried out, such as the revision of the regulatory framework for passenger rights. , as foreseen in the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy “.

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