No refund for 40% of plane tickets cancelled

By TPN/Lusa, in News, Tourism · 02-07-2021 01:00:00 · 4 Comments

About 5.5 million airline tickets were cancelled in 2020 by airlines operating in Portugal, of which 40 percent of passengers were not reimbursed - instead they have received vouchers or are still waiting for a solution.

The information from the European Court of Auditors (TCE), concludes that “the rights of air transport passengers in the European Union remained on the ground during the pandemic” of Covid-19, namely in Portugal, due to successive cancellations and restrictions.

With regard to Portugal, data from the TCE reveal that, in 2020, 5.5 million tickets were cancelled by the main airlines operating in Portugal, affecting about “87 percent of passengers on flights to or from Portugal”.

Of the total cancelled tickets in Portugal, the TCE points out that close to 60 percent (3.3 million) were reimbursed to passengers during the year 2020.

However, another 28 percent (1.6 million tickets) were converted into vouchers for later use, “with no guarantee that passengers would agree”, while around 5 percent (more than 300,000 tickets) were unresolved by the end last year and almost 7 percent (360,000 tickets) were related to cases where passengers did not claim a refund or find a possibility of re-routing.

The latter concerned in particular, tickets from low-cost airlines, which, due to the low price, meant that passengers did not seek a solution.

With regard to the deadlines for refunding tickets in Portugal, the TCE points out that they varied depending on the airline, and “they increased exponentially after March 2020”, reaching a peak between June and September (between 31 and 59 days).

Between September and December these repayment deadlines “started gradually to return to normality”, the court points out.

Annemie Turtelboom, member of the court responsible for the report, said in an interview with Lusa news agency that, “in February 2021, airlines in Portugal reported that they were already refunding air tickets between two and 20 days after the cancellation” of the flights.

The data cited by the ECA in the report was transmitted by the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) of Portugal, also taking into account interviews and surveys carried out with federations and associations, as well as information from the European Commission.

However, not all national authorities have provided data to the court, which according to Annemie Turtelboom means that “it is not possible to compare” countries.

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My flight with BA from Copenhagen via London to Faro was cancelled (in Sept).
After 6 months of struggle with bad communication from BA I never got any refund nor voucher. the ticket(s) for 3 persons cost me almost 500€ !!!
No more BA for us.

By BoB from Algarve on 05-07-2021 04:53

I cancelled my 2 tickets from Lisbon to Valencia on March 3, it’s now July 4 - no credit to my card. I’ve spoken to TAP reservations twice. Very apologetic & on second call said they would expedite. I’m now posting to TAP Facebook page. Maybe if everyone owed money starts publicizing TAP’s terrible refund policy they will be embarrassed & start refunding. Are they in a bad financial condition?

By Brent Frost from USA on 04-07-2021 01:18

I have been waiting since June 2020 for refund from tap. They just ignore requests for refunds and the Portuguese government is doing nothing so they will carry on ignoring refund requests.

By Mary ormston from Beiras on 02-07-2021 07:14

We had nearly 5000 EUR of family flights cancelled. Despite asking for a refund from TAP, we were brushed off and told 90 days (rules say a week) and then after that we still were not refunded. We filed a red-book complaint, TAP did not respond, we escalated it to ANA which is supposed to be the regulator to review it, so we escalated to the EU commission as it was clear that the Portuguese regulator was not interested in enforcing EU law against TAP. Eventually when they got involved, we finally received our refund.

I am never going to purchase tickets with TAP again and will probably just travel less in future. I have no confidence in airlines to follow the law, or the authorities in making them. All the consumer protection laws in the world are pointless if the airlines ignore them and the regulators don't bother holding them to account.

By Paul from Lisbon on 02-07-2021 12:02
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