THE Ministry of Consumer Affairs in Spain has announced it will bring at least 17 major airlines to justice over their alleged misinformation regarding refunds and flight vouchers.
Many airlines have been accused of unfair business practices for ‘deliberately omitting’ information from consumers on their right to refunds.
Head of the Consumer Ministry, Alberto Garzon, is heading the campaign and pushing for justice for anyone who has been left high and dry by the airlines.
By law, written in the European Community regulations and the General Law of Defense of Consumers and Users, airlines are required to issue a refund within seven days of a flight being cancelled.
However many companies, including Ryanair and Vueling, have avoided paying out by only appearing to offer vouchers to clients and reportedly making refunds very difficult to get.
Earlier in May, both these airlines received official complaints from the FACUA-Consumers organisation for their refund policies, leaving many flyers out of pocket.
According to the accusations, the 17 airlines that are being brought before the courts are: Air Europa, Air France, Binter Canarias, EasyJet, Eurowings, Iberia (Iberia Express and Air Nostrum), Jet 2, KLM, Latam Airlines, Lufthansa, Ryanair , Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Transavia, Thomson Airways (TUI), United Airlines, Volotea and Wizzair.
In an interview with Al Rojo Vivo, the general director of Consumer Affairs, Bibiana Medialdea, said that there are ‘plenty of indications’ that many airlines are guilty of keeping vital information from customers.
In an effort to avoid the court procedings, Garzon sent a letter to the airlines explaining the situation and hoping to resolve the matter amicably, however he did not receive a ‘positive response’.
Medialdea is pushing for these airlines to begin processes to issue refunds to any customer that has seen their flights cancelled during COVID-19.
This will also extend to anyone that has been issued vouchers to reschedule flights, with Medialdea insisting that these vouchers become null and void and to be replaced by a full refund.