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30th July 2020

COVID-19 Airline Refunds: Do not delay getting your refund, act now!

Following a new report published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regarding airline refunds, The Consumer Council is urging the CAA to ensure airlines act responsibly towards their customers, and is urging consumers to act now to secure their refunds.

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Richard Williams, Head of Transport Policy at The Consumer Council, said: “Over the last few months, we have seen delays and wrong information for Northern Ireland consumers who are seeking refunds for their flights.

“The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has just published a report, which used evidence provided by The Consumer Council, reflecting the recent experience of Northern Ireland air passengers.

“In this report, the aviation regulator has acknowledged that many airlines have misled consumers on their rights to a refund and created unacceptable delays in paying them.

“Although the CAA has now received commitments from airlines to speed up refunds and improve information, these are not legally enforceable and are too late for the many consumers who reluctantly accepted vouchers based on wrong information or who are faced with a delay for a refund.

“Instead of having to play catch up, the Civil Aviation Authority needs stronger powers and to act swiftly in order to bring airlines into line before it is too late for consumers.”   

Richard added: “Meanwhile, some airlines are finding new ways to avoid paying refunds such as rescheduling rather that cancelling flights so that no refund is due. The CAA must be vigilant to ensure airlines act responsibly to their customers.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, The Consumer Council has worked to support more than 1,700 Northern Ireland consumers gain over £350,000 in refunds from airlines.

Report Source:

UK Civil Aviation Authority reports on airline refunds review 30 July 2020