Consumer protection organisation Test Achats has collected some 5,000 complaints from people who suffered cancellations of flights and other trips this summer, the organisation reports.
Throughout the summer, airlines were forced to cancel flights, for example when a destination became a red zone to which travel was not allowed. The problem also affected people who had booked an entire holiday package.
Before the summer even started, Test Achats had anticipated the problem, and published an online complaints form for anyone who felt they had been badly treated by their travel company on the matter of cancellations.
To date, Test Achats has received more than 5,000 forms submitted by members of the public. Of those, 3,300 have already been passed on to the companies concerned.
“The form has not missed its target,” the organisation said in a communique.
“Both Ryanair and Brussels Airlines, together accounting for around 1,950 cases, have started to reimburse complaints we sent to them. The two airlines account for 1,100 and 847 complaints forms respectively.
Cooperation with TUI fly is somewhat more difficult. The company wants to avoid the collective approach and continues to offer illegal vouchers.”
According to Test Achats spokesperson Simon November, TUI wants to go its own way.
“They expect all 402 case files to be submitted separately via the company’s own online complaints form. For us this is a ploy to delay any refund for the traveller. Our system is complete and provided with the necessary supporting documents. We strongly urge TUI Fly to reconsider.”
The organisation is now calling on other airlines, including KLM (26 cases) and Air France (19), to take action to fulfil their legal requirements. Other holiday companies, however, are even harder to approach.
“Problematic cases are Expedia and Go Voyages, where it is almost impossible to get hold of a responsible person,” Test Achats writes.
The online form (NL) can still be used until the end of September. There is also a special telephone hotlines on 0800 29 510 on Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 18.00, Friday from 09.00 to 16.45.