Thursday, March 26, 2020

EU passenger rights guarantee that any airline passengers who have had flights cancelled by the airline, are entitled to either a refund or a change in flight date, Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has reminded customers.

“This is a worrying time for our citizens and many elements of our normal routines have been disrupted, including travel plans,” said Ms Clune (FG).

“The travel restrictions and health and safety warnings must be adhered to and we should follow the guidelines issued by the Irish Government and authorities to protect everyone’s well-being.”

She continued: “EU rules are clear on cancelled flights, whereby the airline must provide a clear choice between a refund, changing to a new flight at the earliest convenience or at a later date at the passenger’s convenience”.

Speaking in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Clune, who is a Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport, stated: “Passengers who would prefer to have a refund instead of changing their cancelled flight to a later date can request the same from the airline. If they do not receive a satisfactory response, they can contact the national body responsible. In Ireland’s case, this is the Commission for Aviation Regulation.”

She continued: “It is a very difficult time for the airline industry and it is understandable that there may be delays in terms of customer service, so we need to be patient in terms of customer service delays as many companies are dealing with this unprecedented situation with limited staffing.”

Meanwhile, her Fine Gael colleague Sean Kelly has suggested that there may be a role for the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Ireland’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan.

“The European Investment Bank can open the coffers to help and maybe we need to look at state aid rules if emergency measures are necessary, in order to support trade and businesses,” he said.

“This is the biggest financial crisis since the crash in 2008 and it will take special measures to counteract that and make sure that we support businesses so that they can get through it and continue being valuable employers and service providers in their communities.”

Photo: The Irish Times

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