The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has reminded travel companies, agencies and operators this Sunday that travelers who have been affected by cancellations due to the Filomena snow storm have right to refund of money paid for your tickets.
In this sense, the Ministry has urged them to act flexibly and give the possibility of canceling or offering alternatives to consumers who may be affected. In the case of airlines, they may offer alternative bonds for the amount of the canceled ticket. In any case, the acceptance of these vouchers is voluntary for consumers and cannot replace the right to reimbursement.
Likewise, the Ministry indicates that, when the cancellation occurs during the trip, those affected have the right for the company to provide them with the necessary information and assistance. Thus, they should have enough food and drink, two telephone calls or access to email and, if necessary, one or more nights of accommodation, as well as transportation between the airport and the place of accommodation.
In any case, the Department headed by Alberto Garzón recommends that all air transport users consult the website of the Spanish Air Safety Agency (AESA). In the same way, Consumption informs passengers that, in the event that the airline does not comply with its obligations and the user considers that their rights have not been respected, they may complain to the company. In the event of not receiving an answer or it is not satisfactory, the user has right to file a claim with AESA without any cost.
When the airline has not canceled the flight, but the passenger cannot make the trip due to the storm, they must check if in the terms and conditions of the contract, for weather emergency reasons, there is the possibility of cancellation or if the airline offers the alternative to postpone or cancel the trip.
On the other hand, the Ministry recommends those affected by rail transport with the company Renfe consult the specific measures on changes and cancellations of tickets without cost for travelers authorized by the company and published on its website.
If the journey is by bus or coach and it is the carrier who cancels the trip, the latter must also offer the traveler to choose between a travel alternative or a refund of the amount paid, which must be made within 14 days.
In relation to trips by sea or other inland waterways that may be canceled by the companies themselves or as a result of the measures decreed by the port authorities, the shipping company must offer the traveler to choose between a travel alternative or refund of the amount subscriber that must be paid in 7 days.
Either by train, bus or boat, when the carrier has not canceled the journey but the user cannot travel due to the storm, the user must check if in the terms and conditions of the transport contract, for climatic emergency reasons, there is a possibility of cancellation of the trip or if the carrier offers the alternative of postponing or canceling the trip.
Similarly, the Ministry has also reported on the rights of consumers and users when the storm Filomena forces the suspension of activities or events.
Thus, Consumption points out that the suspension of the event entitles the user to refund of all payments that have been made, regardless of additional rights that may arise from the contract. The request for refunds of the amounts paid must be made to the service provider from whom the purchase was made.
Likewise, and in the event that the event is not canceled but the user cannot attend due to the storm, Consumption advises to check the terms and conditions of the contract to verify if these cancellation circumstances are foreseen, and the potential additional rights that could arise to such cancellations.
Finally, the Ministry has referred to purchases through electronic commerce, recalling that the company must deliver the goods without undue delay and within a maximum period of 30 days, from the conclusion of the contract, unless other delivery times have been agreed.
If the delivery period is not met due to the storm, the buyer may grant an additional period to the company for the delivery of the goods. In the event that the goods are not delivered within said additional period, regardless of the cause, will have the right to withdraw from the contract. In this case, the company must reimburse all the amounts paid without any delay.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism