Travel agencies will have to refund customers in cash for canceled trips

We just need to publish in Diário da República: the exception regime that travel agencies used to deal with canceled trips will change. Soon, customers will be able to be refunded in cash, within 14 days, and not in vouchers or by rescheduling, as was the case until then.

The covid-19 pandemic has had economic consequences for almost everyone. One of the sectors most affected was travel, which includes agencies, airlines and accommodation.

With borders closing around the world and the danger of the transmission of the covid-19, thousands of trips have been canceled. To combat the situation, since late April, travel agencies have been able to compensate customers by issuing vouchers or by rescheduling.

The newspaper “Público” advances this Thursday that customers with canceled trips will now be refunded in cash within 14 days. All that remains is for the exception regime, which until then was in force, to be changed in Diário da República.

From the moment the legislation is published, organized trips that are canceled, for reasons related or not to covid-19, must be met with the amount paid by customers.

The vouchers and required rescheduling can be used until the end of the year 2021, but if the customer has not taken advantage of one of these options, travel agencies are also obliged to refund in cash.

In July this year, the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Portugal and nine Member States due to travel vouchers.

“Under EU law, passengers, however, have the right to choose between cash refunds and other forms of refunds, such as a voucher. The Commission has therefore decided to send letters of formal notice to the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, Croatia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia “, warned Brussels.

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