If the aviation sector was flying on one engine thanks to the out sized impact it has suffered in the coronavirus crisis – well now that engine is on fire as regulators probe whether airlines broke the law on being difficult with Covid-19 cash refunds.
“While the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expresses some sympathy for the industry’s predicament, quite rightly it is not letting that get in the way of upholding the rights of consumers,” says AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“Mounting reports that some passengers didn’t get cash refunds despite travel bans preventing them from taking flights left the CMA little choice but to act.
“Given airlines have a reputation for levying all sorts of extra costs on passengers in the good times it only seems right that they hold up their end of the bargain.
“After all if you turned up with baggage over the allotted allowance, it’s unlikely an airline would accept payment in kind, an offer to pay months down the line or a promise to bring less luggage next time to make up for it.
“The danger for airlines and other travel operators is that regulatory action hits just as they look towards a potential recovery in demand in 2021, crimping their wings as they look to regain altitude.”