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Share03 July 2020 The Antitrust Authority has initiated two preliminary investigations and two precautionary sub-proceedings against Alitalia and Volotea. The subject of the proceedings is the sale of tickets which were subsequently canceled by the two airlines due to Covid-19, even though they were services to be performed in a period in which the traffic limits established by government measures would not have been in force.
Vouchers for refunds
Both companies, according to a note from the Authority, offered the provision of a voucher in lieu of reimbursement of the ticket price already paid by consumers.
Little information on rights
Furthermore, according to the Antitrust Authority, both Alitalia and Volotea did not provide adequate information to consumers regarding the rights due in the event of cancellations.
Little assistance and information
Finally, the airlines were criticized for having provided a lack of assistance on waiting times and on the communication channels made available to passengers.
The Codacons: first to denounce
"The Codacons was the first association to denounce in Italy the 'ghost' tickets sold by the airlines which then canceled flights with the excuse of Covid, in order not to return the money to users". This was stated by the president of Codacons, Carlo Rienzi, commenting on the investigations initiated by the Antitrust against Alitalia and Volotea. "Thanks to our complaint - he adds - the Antitrust has activated itself, but unfortunately there are many airlines that have applied the same unfair practice and we are inundated with reports from passengers who only see a voucher recognized. " "If, as we denounced - Codacons continues -, the Antitrust Authority will ascertain that the flights have been canceled for reasons not attributable to Covid, Alitalia and the other airlines will not only have to repay their customers in cash, but will be submerged by an avalanche of damages by Codacons for the incorrect commercial practice implemented ".
Federconsumatori: ENAC intervenes
"After the sale of non-existent flights, a new, significant problem is emerging in the tourism and transport sector. In recent days, reports relating to Alitalia are multiplying: the company is adopting incorrect and certainly transparent both in the field of flight marketing and for refunds on canceled flights ". So Federconsumatori in a note, explaining that "more and more users are turning to Federconsumatori offices reporting the non-refund of canceled flights even two or three months ago as well as the almost total unavailability of the call center which should provide information to customers and assist them in case of problems and difficulties. Numerous customers of the carrier report the impossibility not only of obtaining the refund, in cash or with a voucher, of the amount paid but also of contacting the company to obtain information on the scheduling of flights , on refunds and on the outcome of the applications submitted ". According to Federconsumatori "it is absolutely unacceptable that the airline shows such obstructionism, even and above all in a complicated context such as the current one. The extraordinary administrative condition in which the company has been in for some time certainly does not justify a conduct that appears to be in all respects oriented to ignore the rights of users. In the face of the growing volume of reports, we ask for the immediate initiation of investigations and if necessary an intervention by ENAC to verify the conduct and responsibilities of the company and above all to ensure compliance with the regulations. behavior, in fact, translates into a real abuse, since users are unable to intervene in any way to obtain what they are entitled to ".