The European Commission has launched legal actions against 10 European countries for failing to comply with passenger rights rules during the coronavirus pandemic.
An EU directive entitles clients of tour operators a full refund within two weeks in case of a cancellation, unless vouchers are accepted by the costumer.
Passengers were only offered vouchers or did not receive their money back, within the given time frame, in the following countries:
- Czech Republic
These member states now have two months to reply to the Commission and adapt their rules, failure to do so could result in court action.
The EU's executive branch has already notified that the Covid-19 pandemic could not serve as a justification for lowering consumer protection.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many companies in the transport sector have been faced with unsustainable cash flows and revenue situations. Throughout this crisis, the Commission has consistently made clear that passenger rights remain valid in the current unprecedented context and national measures to support the industry must not lower them” the Commission wrote.
The European consumer organisation, BEUC, welcomed the move by Brussels, arguing that “consumers should not be used as cheap credit to bail out the travel industry“.
The BEUC added that it is now in the hands of governments to ensure that people who need it get reimbursed so that the trust in the travel and tourism sector will be restored.