Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (100)

Niamh Smyth


100. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport if he will review the case of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2656/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Air passenger rights are protected by EU Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004, which covers the rights of passenger in instances of flight cancellations, but if a flight goes ahead and a customer either cancels or does not use their ticket, they are not entitled to a refund under EU law.

Evidently, the existing consumer protections and legal obligations on airlines and the broader travel sector did not envisage the current circumstances of mass cancellations and stringent travel restrictions due to Covid-19. However, it has been my understanding that the main airlines serving Ireland have been allowing customers to change bookings - or to claim vouchers - in circumstances where they are not due a cash refund because a flight occurred and cancelled because of travel restrictions.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation is the statutory body responsible for overseeing and enforcing the consumer rights of airline passengers. Consumers who continue to have difficulty with their airlines in securing either refunds due to them under EU law or vouchers should consult the Commission's consumer rights website and/or contact the Commission directly with their case.