Airlines including Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, easyJet, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Ryanair and Wizz Air are expected to pay their customers the overdue money within one week.
In addition, airlines have pledged to better inform passengers about canceled flights of their rights. Passengers must be informed of all forms of compensation and may not be compensated in the form of vouchers that can be used on future flights.
“In the early phase of the pandemic, some airlines pressured passengers to accept vouchers. This was in contravention of European consumer protection law. It was unacceptable,” EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said in a statement.
Most of the airlines included in the agreement agreed that people who accepted vouchers from airlines in the early months of the pandemic could exchange them for cash.
The agreement terminated the European Commission’s intervention that had begun at the request of the affiliated organization of the European Consumer Rights Protection Groups (BEUC). The European Commission referred the case to the Network of European Consumer Protection Authorities (CPC). As reported by the European Commission, this was the largest joint action to protect the rights of European consumers.
“During the pandemic, airlines have massively violated consumer rights (…), it’s time to get their picture clear. Many customers across Europe are still waiting for refunds for flights canceled during the first lockdowns in 2020,” she said. Monique Goyens, CEO of BEUC.
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