Smyth calls on Minister for Transport to engage with airlines treating customers poorly during pandemic

Published on: 22 July 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has called on the Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport to engage with airlines which are either not refunding customers or delaying in issuing refunds/vouchers to their customers.

Deputy Smyth explained, “There are thousands of people who had flights booked long before this pandemic took hold and are now seeking refunds or vouchers for their flights which were cancelled. For many, this process has become an ordeal as certain airlines seem to be on a go-slow in terms of processing these refunds or vouchers.

“I have raised this issue with the Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport. I have asked his Department to engage with the airlines and use his role to put pressure on them to ensure customers are treated fairly.

“I am encouraged that the Minister did say, “Clearly, if the industry is seeking to secure State financial support to help it through the current period – which is one of the recommendations from the Aviation Taskforce – then a commitment to fairness and clarity on consumer rights will have to be offered in return, at the very least”. It is important this is followed through in the coming weeks.

“Regardless of ‘Green lists’ or travel advice the vast majority of people who have contacted me wish to holiday at home this year, supporting the local economy and continuing the fight to slow down the transmission of coronavirus.

“The airlines and the Department have a role to play here. They have loyal customer bases in Ireland. The least they can do is afford some respect to their Irish customers during such an unprecedented year,” concluded Deputy Smyth.