The European Regulation on Air passenger rights states that passengers have the right to reimbursement of their unused flight tickets within 7 days, when a flight is cancelled. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many passengers are experiencing a long wait on reimbursements.
TBST has shown understanding towards the air carriers during the unusual and difficult times, in which the air carriers have had to face an enormous amount of complaints from passengers.
However, TBST notes that there is a continuous problem with regard to ensuring reimbursements in accordance with the Regulation.
In order to ensure the passengers rights to reimbursement, the Authority now initiates a new enforcement step to ensure compliance with the Regulation.
TBST will issue injunctions against air carriers, in which the air carriers will be obliged to handle their cases of reimbursement of flight tickets within a deadline set by TBST.
TBST will focus on air carriers with the highest amount of complaints submitted to the Authority. This means that all air carriers with 50 or more complaints regarding Covid-19 cancellations will receive an injunction.
Furthermore the Authority will assess if any other air carriers are having severe difficulties with complying with the Regulation and determine if these shall receive an injunction as well.
Before TBST issues injunctions the air carriers will have the opportunity to comment on their commitment to ensure the passengers reimbursement. If the airline does not comply with the injunction issued by the Authority, the Authority will assess whether to proceed to public prosecution.
In addition to the injunction, TBST will continue its case handling of all complaints that have been submitted to the Authority.
It is the expectation of the Authority that the injunctions will ensure that the passengers will receive their reimbursements before the Authority can make a decision in their individual complaints submitted to the Authority. If this is the case, TBST encourages the passengers to inform the Authority, after which TBST will finalize the complaint.