Airlines agree to issue Covid cancellation refunds

A group of 16 major airlines have pledged to issue refunds to passengers for flight cancellations within seven days, as required under EU law.

The undertaking came after the Commission had informed the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) enforcement authorities in late 2020 to take action.

It includes British Airways, Easyjet, Ryanair and Wizz Air, as well as Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, KLM, and Lufthansa.

The European Commission said the 16 airlines were the ones with the most consumer complaints.

“In the early phase of the pandemic, some airlines pushed vouchers on passengers. They were acting against EU consumer protection rules. That was unacceptable,” Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders said.

“I call on authorities to ensure that the remaining airlines also offer a money refund for such vouchers,” he said.

The enforcement action doesn’t cover bookings as part of a package holiday.

The airlines must also be more transparent about passenger rights relating to flight cancellations.

Passengers may be given vouchers only if they specifically request them.

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