The General Directorate of Consumption of the Balearic Government has fined the airline Iberia with 448,000 euros for the application of the so-called "no show" clause in its tickets, by which the company unilaterally cancels the journeys of a passenger if the customer does not use the one-way or link. This is the highest sanction imposed by the general direction of Consumption to an airline, after the fine of 320,000 euros applied to Vueling for the cancellations and delays of the summer of 2016. From Iberia confirm to El País that they have appealed the sanction to the consider it "abusive".
The general director of Consumption, Xisco Dalmau, has explained that the resolution against Iberia is based on seven consumer complaints that denounced this abusive practice and that caused the opening of several files. The service of inspection of the general direction of Consumption tracked the web page of the airline and verified that in the section on the general conditions of the contract it contained the clause "no show", that not only violates a state norm "but also the autonomic legislation "according to Dalmau.
Consumo's resolution makes reference to previous judgments by clauses "no show" as dictated by the administrative court number three of Melilla, which states that it can not be argued as justification that the company suffers damage by leaving a free seat that could use a passenger. "What the company loses is the possibility of selling the ticket again to another passenger, it loses the possibility of making a double profit," said Dalmau.
The sanction reaches 448,000 euros because the Government considers the company responsible for a very serious infringement in which the aggravating circumstances of reiteration and recidivism concur. Dalmau states that Iberia had already committed other infringements related to the infringement of consumer rights and had been sanctioned for the same reason in the last three years on three occasions and for an amount of 60,000 euros. So far in 2018, the general direction of Consumption has registered 1586 claims related to air transport.
Sentence of the Supreme
The Supreme Court ratified, through the dismissal of an appeal of cassation, the ruling of the Provincial Court of Madrid which considered that the general condition analyzed was "manifestly abusive". The high court concluded that a clause such as "no show" implied an imbalance of rights and obligations contrary to good faith, since a consumer who has fulfilled his obligation "is deprived of enjoying the contracted benefit".
The general direction of Consumption of the Balearic Islands has imposed more than one million euros in fines to air transport operators in the last three and a half years. Vueling received what is now the second highest penalty of 320,000 euros for the delays and cancellations of the summer of 2016. The company appealed the fine, but the general management dismissed its allegations and the company has appealed to the courts, which will be the one that finally resolves the issue.