Under the motto “We work to promote competition for the benefit of the consumer”, the UK Competition and Markets Authority has closed customer refund investigations for two of the largest airlines operating in the country: British Airways and Ryanair.
The work included determining whether it was illegal for companies to offer new reservations and vouchers instead of cash refunds because customers were unable to fly. According to the website Simple Flying, the conclusion was that the law is not clear enough to give the consumer a good reason.
ACM’s review began in June after a significant increase in passenger complaints. In exchange for issuing refunds, British Airways offered its customers vouchers for future flights. Ryanair, on the other hand, only hinted with the option to reschedule another trip for free.
The conclusion of the investigation was celebrated by the airlines, who feared a lengthy court battle and, ultimately, the obligation to issue thousands of refunds.
In Brazil, since last June, the extension of the rules for the return and rebooking of airline tickets canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic is in effect until December 31, 2021. The right to a refund, credit, rebooking or flight re-accommodation is guaranteed for those paying with cash, credit, points or miles. The refund is valid for 12 months from the date of the canceled flight. Companies are prohibited from charging rebooking or cancellation fees when the passenger accepts a credit to use to purchase a new ticket within a 12-month period.
So Paulo’s ProCon explains that companies can charge for flights scheduled between March 19, 2020 and December 31, 2021, when there is an initiative to change a passenger (including cancellations and requests for ticket reimbursement). In this case, the penalty that was imposed during the purchase of the air ticket applies.
The Consumer Protection Agency emphasizes, however, that there is an exception: for purchases made at least 7 days prior, counted from the date of departure, the passenger who discards his/her air ticket within 24 hours, his/her payment Proof of Purchase, you are entitled to a full refund.
If the passenger chooses to cancel with a possible refund of the amount paid, the airline may apply the fines and fees provided in the contract with a period of 12 months to reimburse the consumer.
In some states, ProCon inspectors blitz without prior notice to inspect regulations, refund and markdown policies in addition to existing biosafety regulations.