PS11865-PS11830-PS11821- - ICA: Ryanair fined 4.2 million for non-reimbursement of cancelled flights
In recent days the Authority had imposed a fine of 2.8 million on easyJet and 1.4 million on Volotea for the same reasons
The Italian Competition Authority has imposed a fine of 4.2 million euros on Ryanair for unfair commercial practices. The company, after the travel restrictions related to the emergency for Covid 19 had been lifted, did not reimburse consumers for the cost of tickets for flights cancelled after 3 June 2020. In recent days, the Antitrust also sanctioned easyJet for €2.8 million and Volotea for €1.4 million for the same reasons.
According to the Authority, the three airlines behaved seriously incorrectly and did not comply with the due diligence rule when - once the travel restrictions had been lifted - they proceeded to numerous cancellations of scheduled flights offered for sale, always using the reason for health emergency and continued to issue vouchers without proceeding instead to reimburse the price paid for cancelled tickets.
Furthermore, misleading and omissive information has been provided to consumers about their rights and the recognition of monetary reimbursement has been hindered and delayed, through methods and procedures aimed at inducing - and in some cases even forcing - the consumer to choose and/or accept the voucher instead of the reimbursement.
Other incorrect behaviours have been ascertained for some companies, such as the non-recognition of a remedy in the event of cancellation of the trip due to the new pandemic situation or the imposition of obstacles to the use of vouchers already issued: for example, forcing to use a paid telephone number to use vouchers, not making the monetary reimbursement upon expiry of the same or still not providing for the duration of 18 months thereof as established by the emergency regulations.
Finally, with regard to Ryanair, the advertising campaign disseminated through the main media – started as of June - and focused on the possibility of changing the flight for free (through the claim “No penalty for the change” or the like) was also considered misleading since the company applied instead fares for the new flight chosen by the consumer that were higher than those that were simultaneously charged on its booking system and still provided for the penalty if the change of flight took place during the 7 days prior to departure.
In addition to the payment of fines totalling €8.4 million, Ryanair, easyJet and Volotea will have to submit measures to comply with the Authority's decision.
Rome, 24 May 2021