According to DECO, 16 Airlines have announced that they will become more transparent with consumers about their rights and will properly inform consumers who obtained a travel voucher instead of the refund they were looking for (with the exception of Wizzair and Iberia who refused).
All this happened after a complaint subscribed by BEUC, DECO and ten other consumer associations, in July 2020, motivated by the several violations of passengers' rights, and following investigations by the European Commission and the Network of Cooperation between National Authorities by the application of consumer rights legislation.
The 16 EU-based airlines that guaranteed that they will improve their cancellation policies and reimburse passengers to whom unused vouchers have been offered include TAP, Ryanair and easyJet, among others.
In Portugal, DECO denounced the National Civil Aviation Authority about some airlines performance, which violated passengers’ rights, namely the right to a reimbursement. “Following these steps, there was a set of improvements in the information provided to consumers on the airlines’ websites. However, so far those violations of passengers' rights were not, as far as we know, punished and in some cases still persist to this day,” DECO said.
Despite this good news, DECO has admitted that there are consumers who are still awaiting reimbursement while some of them received amounts that they do not consider fair, “as the right to reimbursement is only now formally recognised by the airlines”.
All in all, this situation is not new. Indeed, in February we already brought this topic into the spotlight explaining what the rights of the consumers were, when they were almost forced to accept vouchers.
Despite European legislation being clear when established that consumers can demand a full refund if their flight was cancelled due to the pandemic, thousands of consumers have been forced to accept vouchers instead of the demanded refunds. Please, take a look at: https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2021-02-12/flight-cancellations-reimbursement-or-voucher/58219
If you are experiencing such a situation and need DECO's support, please contact DECO by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via DECO's WhatsApp line (+351) 966 449 110.