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European consumer authorities compel websites selling airline tickets to make improvements

Going forward, three companies operating websites that offer airline tickets online will refund tickets in cases of flight cancellations sooner. After they have received the refunds for the cancelled flight from the airline in question, these companies will transfer those refunds to consumers within seven days. In addition, they will explain more clearly how they can be reached. This has been the result of a joint action of the European consumer authorities. This action concerns the following companies and websites:

  • eDreams ODIGEO with its websites eDreams, Opodo, Go Voyages, Travellink and Liligo
  • Etraveli Group with its websites Mytrip, GotoGate, Flybillet, Flightnetwork, Supersavetravel, seat24 and Travelstart

The Dutch company Otravo was initially also involved in this action, but the company went bankrupt in late 2022.

Refunds when flights are cancelled

This action was prompted by the many complaints about refunds for airline tickets that were cancelled during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In case of cancellations, airlines transfer refunds to the one that has paid the airline. This is usually the consumer, but sometimes an online intermediary. In practice, consumers that booked their flights through an online intermediary sometimes had to wait a long time before they received their refunds. The three companies have now agreed to transfer refunds within seven days after receiving them from the airlines.

These online intermediaries sell airline tickets from different airlines to consumers. This allows consumers to mix and match flights. However, if one leg of a trip is cancelled, the rest of trip is not automatically adjusted. Consumers may thus miss their connecting flights. The three companies have now agreed to inform consumers more clearly, and to transfer any refunds sooner.

European consumer authorities work together at the European level within the CPC network (Consumer Protection Cooperation). This network can confront market participants that cause consumer problems in different EU countries with their practices, for example, launching a joint action.

Read the original message, containing more information about the commitments.