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Parliamentary questions
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4 May 2020
Question for written answer E-002690/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Marc Angel
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Protecting passengers’ rights in the light of business cash-flow requests

On 29 April 2020, 12 Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, France, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal) called for the suspension of rules that require airlines to offer passengers a full refund for cancelled flights, and suggested that vouchers for future travel be issued instead in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Transport ministers have asked the Commission to amend the rules temporarily.

Transport ministers have proposed an amendment stipulating that vouchers should be valid for a set length of time and include the right to a refund if they are not used before the end of that period. While this would help airlines when it comes to dealing with cash flow contraints, it would also seriously undermine consumer protection and citizens’ trust in the rules protecting their rights in this sector.

1. Does the Commission intend to stick with the previously released interpretative guidelines, which stipulate that if the carrier proposes a voucher, this offer cannot affect the passenger’s right to opt for a refund instead?

2. If not, how will it guarantee that passengers will not unwillingly become creditors of airlines?

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