Consumer watchdog Which takes on airlines not paying refunds

Published:  20 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, USA, UK, Money, England
Consumer watchdog Which is now supporting expats and tourists whose flights to Spain were cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The consumers’ group is now demanding airlines which cancelled flights in the early days of the pandemic should stop prevaricating and speed up refunds to those who missed out on holidays or flights to and from Spain. According to a Which spokesperson, expats are suffering emotional distress as well as financial losses due to the carriers’ reluctance to refund those affected. In support of its accusations, Which has opened up a dossier of over 14,000 complaints concerning refunds and presented it to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority as a part of an ongoing review on how airlines have mis-treated their customers over the past several months.

Collectively, the refunds themselves total over 5.6 million sterling, with the report detailing how badly their lack is affecting lives during this difficult time. According to British law, those unable to fly due to cancellations by a UK or EU-registered airline must be compensated by a full refund within seven days of the cancellation. Many major carriers are openly breaking the law by denying their customers their legal rights. Some 14,000 complaints have already been submitted by Which, with 12,600 already having been analysed in order to establish data trends.

Of those who reported to the consumer champion that they’d not been able to get a refund as yet, the average out-of-pocket expense averages £446, with those owed spending hours attempting to get their refunds according to the law. Ryanair seems to be the worst offender, with four out of every 10 complaints, with EasyJet coming in a close second with 14 per cent of disgruntled customers. Virgin Atlantic also came in for criticism, with claimants taking between five and ten hours attempting to get their money back with no success.
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