Following dialogues with the Commission and national consumer protection authorities, 16 major airlines have committed to better information and timely reimbursement of passengers in case of flight cancellations.
The Commission had alerted the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) enforcement authorities in December 2020 to address several airlines’ cancellation and reimbursement practices in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In view of the continuation of difficult reimbursement conditions for consumers, and following an alert by the EU level consumer umbrella organisation BEUC, the Commission alerted the national authorities in December 2020.
In February 2021, the network of national consumer authorities led by six coordinating authorities – from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden – and with support of the European Commission, requested information from the 16 airlines most frequently mentioned in consumer complaints.
The airlines involved in the dialogue were: Aegean Airlines, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Easyjet, Eurowings, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP, Vueling and Wizz Air.
This is the biggest CPC action in the CPC network’s history and the first action that was based on an alert from the Commission. This alert was triggered via external alerts by BEUC and national consumer associations and a large number of complaints that the Commission, European Consumer Centers and national authorities had received on airlines’ COVID-19 related cancellation and reimbursement practices.