Airlines Passengers following Government Advice must be Reimbursed – MacManus
Sinn Féin MEP, Chris MacManus, has said that airlines must reimburse passengers who do the right thing and don’t take unnecessary flights that have not been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Crisis.
Speaking from Sligo this morning, Mr MacManus said;
‘My office has been contacted by many people who, although their flights have not been cancelled, have decided to follow the official advice and not travel. The airlines are not offering these customers a refund but instead offering vouchers or a change of flight. For some the cost is not insignificant and many may have no intention of travelling again anytime soon. They are simply unlucky that their flights are among the small few still operating.
‘Airlines have been receiving a lot of media attention lately with talks of potential bailouts to help them weather the current crisis. The actions of these airlines must be measured not just against the letter but also the spirit of the law. The EU acted to remove the need for empty “ghost” flights so where there is a real need for flights they should only carry those who really need to fly. We should not have a situation where passengers are financially penalised for not taking an essential flight.
‘I will use my position as a Member of the European Parliament to keep the pressure on the airlines as it is my strong position that these airlines must reimburse passengers who do the right thing by following Government advice. A full refund must be an option. EU regulations state that any passenger whose flight is cancelled is entitled to a refund but they are silent on this scenario. I will contact the EU Commission to see if they will act to rectify this gap in the regulations given the current crisis.
‘This is an unprecedented crisis, which has already seen people across Ireland face untold hardships. The unlucky few whose flights are running must not be punished for doing the right thing and should be treated the same as those whose flights were cancelled.” ENDS