Customers deserve fair treatment from airlines – Aindrias Moynihan

Published on: 26 June 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Aindrias Moynihan has called on airlines to be more lenient with customers who may have booked flights earlier in the year but cannot now fly. Certain airlines are not offering refunds, alternative booking options or vouchers, despite the fact that a Government travel advisory is still in place.

Deputy Moynihan said, “People have been getting in touch with my office, angry and frustrated that they’ll lose money on flights they booked at the start of the year, with some airlines failing to give them any alternatives. We are still in the midst of a global health pandemic and the Department of Foreign Affairs is still advising people not to travel, however some carriers are only giving their customers the option of flying or losing their money.

“There is no doubt that the aviation and travel industry has taken a massive hit as a result of the COVID-19 travel restrictions and it’s future remain uncertain. The industry must be supported and I believe the recommendations of the interim report published by the Aviation Recovery Taskforce need to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

“However, airlines need to show some flexibility with their customers. I’ve been dealing with calls from people who booked flights earlier in the year but with the travel advisory still in place flying abroad is no longer an option. Some people have had their hotel bookings cancelled as they remain closed so even if they did fly, they can’t rebook their accommodation.

“For others, the 14-day quarantine is a major issue. They simply can’t afford to go on holiday and then take another two weeks off work to self-isolate – this is particularly problematic for healthcare and frontline workers. Despite these issues, some airlines are not offering the option of a refund, voucher, or to allow their customers to change their dates. I believe this is deeply unfair.

“I am urging these airlines to rethink their policy. The threat from COVID-19 has not subsided and people are understandably worried about travelling and want to defer. There seems to be no consideration of the fact that Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisory is still in place. This is a no-win situation for customers and I believe there is a responsibility on these airlines to offer alternatives to their passengers”.

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