Following the alert from UFC-Que Choisir and the European Bureau of Consumers’ Unions (Beuc) in July 2020 on the unhealthy practices of airways through the well being disaster, the European Commission and the nationwide client safety authorities to motion.
For many months, we are mobilized alongside passengers whose flight has been canceled, furthermore launching authorized actions in opposition to 20 airways, in order that they will absolutely profit from their rights, particularly: to go for a voucher OR a refund. We then additionally used the European “external alert” mechanism to be able to contact the DGCCRF, its counterparts, and the European Commission (CPC community), to make sure that the laws is revered.
It is obvious that just about a yr and a half after the primary flight cancellations as a result of well being disaster, a lot of them have nonetheless not offered options to injured passengers. A brand new report from the European Court of Auditors, printed yesterday, has additionally simply confirmed the huge and unprecedented violations of air passenger rights through the pandemic and requires measures to make sure that this doesn’t occur once more sooner or later. The Court went as far as to deplore that state assist to airways (34.7 billion euros) was not conditional on respect for passenger rights.
However, for passengers wishing to have the ability to successfully profit from their proper to reimbursement, there may be now a glimmer of hope. After investigating 16 airways, the CPC community has simply printed a sequence of measures geared toward airways. Their unhealthy practices, equivalent to imposing vouchers or extending their validity with out providing reimbursement, are listed there. It additionally accommodates suggestions to place an finish to it. The authorities are additionally calling on them to remove any arrears of repayments by the 1er September 2021.
A pleasant program on paper, which doesn’t, nonetheless, point out penalties for non-compliance. How can we hope to pressure them to return to the precise path, when all of the previous suggestions and incentives of the Commission have thus far had no success? The time for incantations is over, the passengers have waited lengthy sufficient.
I name on the nationwide authorities and the European Commission to indicate firmness, by issuing ultimatums and resorting to fines if needed. I additionally urge the businesses to respect these measures. As a vacation feeling begins to blow over France and the borders are step by step reopening, they’ve each curiosity in profitable again the arrogance of vacationers as shortly as doable.