The Association of Atol Companies (AAC) has alerted the government to the “unacceptable practices” of some airlines during the coronavirus outbreak.
Alan Bowen, secretary and legal advisor at AAC, wrote to Grant Shapps, secretary of state for transport, to highlight the refunds policy of some airlines during a “cataclysmic collapse in demand”.
Although he encouraged the government to support the industry during this pandemic, it should only come if “airlines treat their agents and passengers with equal respect”.
He said there are cases where carriers have refused to refund tickets, even if the destination is closed to UK passport holders and the airline would be fined for allowing the passenger to fly.
“This is clearly totally unacceptable, and an unsustainable position at present, and we therefore request that any financial offers made are dependent on airlines following the guidelines issued this week by the European Commission (confirming the absolute right to refunds where flights are cancelled), as well as the basic contract law that where a contract cannot be fulfilled, the innocent party is entitled to a full refund,” said Bowen.
Bar UK (Board of Airline Representatives) could not comment on commercial matters.