Romania's consumer protection authority fines Blue Air EUR 2 mln for cancelled flights
Romania's consumer protection authority ANPC said on Thursday that it fined local low-cost carrier Blue-Air EUR 2 mln for cancelling over 11,000 flights over a 12-month period between April 30, 2021, and April 30, 2022.
The practice of collecting money in promotional campaigns for later cancelling the flights with no grounds breaches EC Regulation 261/2004, ANPC explains.
The authority also ruled Blue Air should return to customers within ten days the RON 66.5 mln (EUR 13 mln) collected in fares for the respective flights.
ANPC recommends consumers should "avoid buying airline tickets from economic operators who, in the past, have cancelled many flights and have not respected consumer rights." It also warns consumers against recovery agencies that charge a fee for recovering their money paid for cancelled flights.
Blue Air will challenge the fine, president of the supervisory board and former CEO Oana Petrescu told Economica net. Most of the customers whose flights were cancelled "have already travelled or will travel this summer," she said, implying that they were extended vouchers instead of being reimbursed the money. She also claims that the cancelled tickets account for only 10% of the company's tickets sold by the company over the period.
Over the 12-month period, Blue Air cancelled 11,289 flights meaning 178,405 tickets, ANPC announced - resulting in an impressing average of over 30 flights cancelled per day during an entire year.
Following numerous complaints from customers who did not receive refunds, ANPC decided in June to investigate the case.
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