The British Genderme on Wednesday announced that British airlines British Airways and Irish Ryanair have been targeted by an investigation into non-refund of tickets during outbreaks.
The Competition and Markets Commission said in a statement that it intends to determine whether the two carriers violated consumer protection laws.
The inquiry into British Airways and Ryanair comes after a review of the entire sector launched by the CMA in December 2020.
The authority took up the matter after it was informed that due to restrictions related to the health crisis, passengers were unable to get refunds for flights they could not afford.
According to the CMA, during his imprisonment, British Airways was content to issue vouchers for use in future travel or ticket changes. Ryaner also offered the latter option.
The law provides that customers have the right to a refund within 14 days.
CMA believes these practices may have been unreasonable, now trying to resolve the issue with companies, for example by trying to repay affected customers.
“We understand that airlines have gone through a difficult period during epidemics,” notes CMA Director General Andrea Gocelli.
But “customers booked these flights in good faith and were unable to take them legally due to circumstances where they had no control. We hope these people get their money back,” he adds.
The CMA cannot say at this time whether these airlines have complied with the law. Its role is to resolve the issue with the companies, but only a court can rule on non-compliance with the law.
In a response to the AFP, Ryaner claims to have paid back “on a case-by-case basis” and “when justified”.
“Since June 2020, all of our customers have been able to book a new flight at no charge, and this option has been chosen by millions of customers in the UK,” says the low-cost carrier.
For his part, a British Airways spokesman recalled that the company had withdrawn more than $ 3 million during the crisis and helped millions of passengers change tickets.
“We respect the law at all times,” he said.
“It is unbelievable that the government is trying to further penalize a sector that is on its knees after airlines have banned substantial flight projects for more than a year,” he concludes.
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