Just for the summer – with 60% more complaints about canceled flights and lost luggage

Just for the summer – with 60% more complaints about canceled flights and lost luggage
Just for the summer – with 60% more complaints about canceled flights and lost luggage

The European consumer center in Bulgaria advises travelers to take care all documents and as quickly as possible to contact the merchant

Already in January, a man buys a plane ticket for July from Sofia to Prague and back for 250 euros. A month before the date, the flight was canceled, but he was not refunded despite communication with the airline.

A woman makes a reservation for her parents from Sofia to Berlin and back, paying nearly 200 euros. An inscription appears on the site that the payment is refused and the card is blocked, but it turns out that the amount has been withdrawn. The user makes a second reservation a little later, but the money for the first one is not refunded, and the airline refuses to cooperate.

These are just two examples of real stories that turned into complaints to the European Consumer Center in Bulgaria (ECC). In total, user complaints related to flights and baggage received at the center have increased by about 60% in just the three summer months – from June to the end of August, compared to the same period in 2021. Now complaints and inquiries to the Bulgarian center are 210, for the same time last year there were 129.

After the intervention of the ECC-Net network of European consumer centers, the amounts owed in both cases were paid back to the consumers’ accounts.

The chaos at airports this summer is unimaginable. It is somewhat understandable – many more people are traveling compared to the last covid years, when aviation slowed down and there were periods of almost complete grounding. When measures came down and people packed their bags, it turned out that there weren’t enough ground staff to serve them. At the same time, employees of some of the major airlines are increasingly striking to demand higher pay. Combining the two leads to many canceled flights and more and more lost luggage.

“It is very important to note that for us to work on a complaint, the consumer must first have contacted the merchant and the merchant has not responded or received the necessary assistance.

Our help is free, like We are negotiating with the traders

but we do not have the authority to sanction them”, a representative of the EPC in our country told “24 Chasa”. The organization is part of the European Consumer Centers Network (ECC-Net). There are 30 such, and they are in all EU countries, as well as in Iceland, Norway and Great Britain. They offer free and individual information, advice and assistance to users who have problems with cross-border transactions in another country on the network.

The main complaints from travelers are related to delayed or delayed flights, to a lesser extent problems with luggage when traveling, and technical or other booking-related issues.

EPC – Bulgaria advises users to keep all documents and, if possible –

to do photos of the board with the information for the delay

Then they should file a complaint with the airline first. This is usually done through a form on their site. It is necessary to wait at least 3-4 weeks for a response. If there is none or they do not receive assistance and if the airline is registered in another EU country, Iceland, Norway or the United Kingdom, they can look to the EPC. However, to help them, the organization also needs help – to provide the documents and evidence of the case.

Last year, about 70% of all complaints on which EPC worked, but not only those related to air transport, were resolved positively.

The maximum amount that passengers can claim for baggage problems is up to 1,288 SDR (Special Drawing Rights), which equates to almost €1,600. The amount of compensation depends on the actual value of the damage in the specific case. A lot

it often pays off a fixed amount per kilogram missing luggage

if the suitcase is not found.

It is very important at the airport itself, when you get off and find that your suitcase is missing or broken, to go to the “Baggage Claims” desk, advises the EPC. There, the so-called PIR – a special protocol in which the problem should be described. If you leave the airport and find your suitcase broken all the way home, the airline will not accept your complaint.

Immediately after this protocol at the airport, you should also send a complaint to the airline. This is usually a form that can be found on the company’s website. If the suitcase has not arrived, and the traveler is in a foreign country, he can buy the so-called essential items (underwear, cosmetics), but

must keep cashiers notes about them and subsequently may request recovery of expenses

from the airline.

When 21 days have passed and the suitcase has not yet arrived, it is considered lost and a new form must be submitted on the carrier’s website to claim compensation for lost luggage. In such a case, the passenger must send a copy of the tickets and the luggage tag, as well as the completed PIR, a list of the items in the suitcase and, if applicable, the prices of these items. Travelers are advised to keep a copy of the complaint.

“When traveling with valuable luggage, it is good to insure it. In addition, items such as a laptop, camera, jewelry or house keys should not be placed in the suitcase that will be checked in – leave them in your hand luggage. In addition, if you are going to leave liquids (cosmetics, perfumes) in checked luggage, prepare them in a transparent bag in sizes up to 100 ml, put them in an accessible place at the top of the luggage so that they can be quickly and easily removed and checked and not to delay the queues for the security checks”, advises the European Consumer Centre.

One of the latest cases that the EPC team in Bulgaria has been working on recently is related to the luggage of a lady who was traveling for a skiing holiday in Switzerland, but her suitcase arrived at the end of her stay there. The consumer insists that a large part of the stay was spent under the sign of missing belongings, and the airline refuses to cover all the expenses for which she claims. The woman contacted the EPC for assistance. In this case, they are working with their colleagues in Austria, who are engaged in difficult negotiations with the merchant. After the intervention of the EPC network, the consumer returned her purchases to the airline and received 1,500 euros as compensation.

The European consumer center in our country points out that the solution to the problems for now is calmness and patience on both sides, because they all benefit from overcoming the chaos and tension, advance planning and provision of flights and airports with staff.

End of the cheap ones tickets

Airline tickets will be more expensive due to the fuel surge – kerosene in Europe has gone up by 56% this year alone and the trend is expected to continue. And due to bookings now for Christmas and New Year travel, tickets are expected to be 20% more expensive compared to pre-pandemic levels. Prices for flights from Asia to Europe and the Americas have at least doubled compared to before the pandemic, according to data from OAG, an aviation analytics company.

And low-cost companies are forced to raise prices because of expensive fuels. However, this will not happen immediately, but will happen gradually over the next few years. Ryanair’s average ticket price will rise from around €40 to €50, its boss Michael O’Leary said recently.

It also ends the policy where tickets were offered between 0.99 cents and 10 euros in promotions. And in fact, the carrier’s sales campaigns are currently for offers from €24.99 per ticket. According to O’Leary, people will continue to fly frequently, but they will also become much more price sensitive.


The article is in bulgaria

Tags: summer complaints canceled flights lost luggage

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