Photo: Marie-France Coallier The Duty
The CTA continues to believe that the offers of travel credits may represent an approach that was “reasonable” in this time of crisis.
The Canadian transportation agency has distanced himself from his previous statements on the credits offered by the airlines for cancelled flights, stating that its original position on the right of the airlines to issue travel credits instead of refunds was ” not a binding decision “.
This last statement could open the door to a greater number of payments on the part of carriers, who have cited the position of the CTA in denying passengers their requests to get their money back for services not rendered.
At the end of last month, the regulator has argued that the current rules obliged not airlines to reimburse passengers for flights cancelled due to the pandemic COVID-19. A new paper, published earlier this week by the CTA, reiterates this position, but underlines also the right of customers to demand a refund based on the ” tariff “, that is, the contract between the passenger and the carrier.
“The message about the credits suggests this could be a suitable solution in extraordinary circumstances. But this solution does not alter the obligations of airlines and the rights of passengers, ” stated the agency on its website, in a section responding to questions. “The fares of some airlines might not allow refunds, while others may include in their provisions on the reimbursement of exceptions in case of force majeure. “
The CTA also notes that travelers who are denied a refund may file a complaint — a word omitted from his original message on the credits.
The agency has specified to have received several questions about its initial position. His clarification comes less than a week after a group defending the rights of air passengers has launched a legal action before the federal Court of appeal to do to remove the message on the credits of the Web-site of the CTA.
Gabor Lukacs, who leads the group, says that the follow-up message is the equivalent of a ” walk back “, but that the declaration is “misleading” since it does not mention the rights of passengers in the building on the previous. In addition, a collective action has been filed alleging that the airlines had unfairly refused refunds to customers, and a pair of petitions that had collected more than 50,000 signatures have asked Ottawa not to provide financial assistance to any carrier that does not reimburse travelers.
The CTA continues to believe that the offers of travel credits may represent an approach that was “reasonable” in this period of crisis that could eventually force the passengers to pay for the expenses related to cancelled flights, a risk is “amplified by the liquidity problems suffered by airlines,” while the travel sector is faced with the closure of the borders and the plunge of the request.
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