TUI fly threatened with legal action over coronavirus complaints
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TUI fly threatened with legal action over coronavirus complaints

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A Belgian consumer organisation is threatening legal action against travel operator TUI for failing to resolve hundreds of customer complaints filed during the coronavirus crisis.

Consumer protection non-profit Test Achats on Friday said it will send a last-warning notice to TUI fly for “fighting back” calls to resolve hundreds of complaints from customers affected by the collapse of air travel amid the pandemic.

As claims over flight and travel pack cancellations flooded in, TestAchats grouped together thousands of files and filed bulk complaints with a range of airlines and travel companies, in an effort to speed up the processing of largely similar cases.

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Out of 6,400 claims received, the consumer defence group cleared and forwarded 5,000 to travel companies. While they say that a majority of companies complied, they say hundreds of cases targetting TUI have been put on the backburner.

“They are assuring us that certain cases have been solved but will not tell us which one,” Test Achats spokesperson Jean-Philippe Ducart told 7sur7, accusing the Belgian travel operator of “ill will.”

“Only TUI is being difficult, arguing about misunderstandings concerning refunds or the vouchers that were imposed [on consumers] in the majority of files,” he added, saying a “favourable outcome for consumers” had been found with several other companies.

The formal notice sent on Friday will be the last warning Test Achats will send TUI regarding the over 400 files still unresolved, which if the company fails to respond satisfactorily, will be followed by a complaint with federal mobility authorities or with a travel litigation committee.

A representative for TUI said that their legal service was working on the file.

Test Achats said that, overall, the companies most commonly mentioned in consumer complaints were Ryanair (1,745), Brussels Airlines (1,251) and TUI fly (544).

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times