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EU: Several Airlines agree to quickly refund canceled flights

The European Commission has reached a deal with airlines to provide EU consumers guaranteed timely refunds on canceled flights. The EU commission announced said quick cancellation refunds were in line with EU law

Several airline companies agreed on Wednesday to reimburse passengers in Europe for canceled flights within seven days, the European Commission said.

The announcement follows talks between the Commission, national consumer protection authorities, and 16 major airline carriers.

Watchdogs from several countries had alerted EU authorities of airlines not fulfilling their refund commitments to passengers when the COVID-19 pandemic caused mass flight cancellations across the continent.

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

“It is good news for consumers that airlines cooperated during the dialogues, and committed to respecting passengers’ rights and improving their communication,” Reynders added.

Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valean said the new changes were crucial to restore passengers’ confidence in airlines. “The recovery of the air transport sector depends on this. This is why we are also currently assessing regulatory options to reinforce passenger protection against future crisis, as foreseen in our Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy,” Valean added.

The airlines involved in the talks with the EU Commission included Aegean Airlines, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Easyjet, Eurowings, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP, Vueling and Wizz Air.

source: DeutscheWelle, Amna & others

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