Co-funded by
the European Union
European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram July/August 2018

Insert of n. 53/61 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)

Holiday and Travel

Package tours redefined

On 1st July 2018 throughout the European Communion the new package travel directive came into force. From now on an abundance of new regulations will be applied taking account of the digital age and its new booking forms. However, the aim to provide a more extensive and modern protection for travellers implies also more complexity. On the website of the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) you will find all the necessary information about the new regulation.

Air travel

Can I get a refund on an unused ticket?

If and how a flight ticket can be cancelled or rebooked basically depends on the booking class of the ticket. Low-cost flight tickets as well as the ones from low-cost airlines are usually very restrictive concerning their conditions of refund and other change requests. However, most airlines offer flexible booking classes for an additional charge that makes it possible for the passenger to receive a refund or to change the date and/or the time of the flight. The consumer and not the airline basically takes the risk of falling ill or generally not using the purchased service. Therefore, a travel cancellation insurance that refunds the ticket price in case of sudden illness pays off. Nevertheless, one quite often finds somewhere under the General Conditions of Carriage the information that a refund of the ticket price will be accepted if the passenger submits an explicit request and files alll the necessary documents in case of certain serious cases such as death or severe illness.

Passenger rights

Competition authority imposes penalty on Ryanair

Recently the Italian competition authority (AGCM) has sentenced the airline Ryanair to pay an administrative fine of 1,850,000 Euro. Last autumn the Irish airline cancelled a considerable amount of flights mainly because of organisational and administrative reasons. The company had been accountable for these actions and knowledge. Moreover the airline missed to inform passengers about their rights - especially the right for a compensation. On the website of the ECC you will find precise information about air passenger rights in case of denied boarding, cancellation and delay as well as sample letters that can be used for a complaint.

Case of the month
One of the most common problems in the car rental industry are already existing damages on the vehicle that were not indicated in the appropriate form at the hand over of the rented car. This was the case of a consumer from Luxembourg: The electronic key of the hired car was already damaged. The key was even fixed with adhesive tape and even though the damage was obvious it was not indicated in the hand over form. The customer had the wise foresight to take a picture of the key. The rental period with the hired car passed without incidents but when the consumer returned the car the damaged key was invoiced with 300 Euro. Even though he pointed out that the damage had existed before, he could not solve the problem and he consequently contacted the European Consumer's Centre in Luxembourg that forwarded the case to the ECC in Italy. The ECC Italy contacted the company again and enclosed the photo of the key. In this document date and time of capture was saved and the car rental company was forced to credit the invoiced amount to the consumer.