Airlines to be investigated by CMA over refunds

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating airlines amid concerns that they are not refunding passengers.

The UK competition regulator has launched an investigation to see if airlines are properly refunding people during the second lockdown when passengers could not legally fly.

Andrea Coscelli, is the chief executive of the CMA. He said: “We will be carefully analysing all the evidence to see whether any airlines breached consumers’ legal rights by refusing people cash refunds for flights they could not lawfully take. We recognise the continued pressure that businesses are currently facing but they have a responsibility to treat consumers fairly and abide by their legal obligations.”

Amid the second lockdown, Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said that he would not be refunding passengers if flights were still going ahead.

“There won’t be refunds on flights that are operating and travelling,” he said. “But we’ve waived the change fees for bookings,” he said.

The CMA will work with the Civil Aviation Authority ,during its investigation.

The travel editor at consumer association Which?, Rory Boland, said that airlines were often putting passengers in difficult situations by continuing flights during the lockdown.

“Airlines have often put customers in an impossible situation by operating flights during lockdown restrictions and refusing to offer cash refunds to people who cannot lawfully travel – so it is right that the CMA has stepped in to investigate and it should take strong action, where appropriate,” he said.