PUBLISHED: 09:13, Fri, May 1, 2020 | UPDATED: 09:47, Fri, May 1, 2020
Airlines have been instructed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to pay refunds owed. This comes despite the fact that returning money to customers could result in the collapse of certain airlines. According to the CAA, millions of customers are entitled to a cash repayment.
However, many airlines are providing vouchers in lieu of cash refunds at the moment as they attempt to stay afloat.
The CAA has warned that carriers who flout the requirement to pay customers back could face legal action.
Customers are “entitled to receive a refund for their cancelled flights, despite the challenges the industry is currently facing,” said the authority.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also said it will investigate businesses which do not respect cancellation rights.
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Coronavirus flights: According to the CAA, millions of customers are entitled to a cash repayment (Image: Getty Images)
Flights: Carriers who flout the requirement to pay customers back could face legal action (Image: Getty Images)
Customers should not be “misled or pressured” into accepting credit notes as an alternative to cash.
Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive, told The Times: “If we find evidence that businesses are failing to comply with consumer protection law then we will take tough enforcement action to protect those rights.”
Under European Union rules, airlines should provide a cash refund if requested within seven days.
However, as airlines become inundated with requests this is becoming an increasingly difficult deadline to meet.
What’s more, crisis-hit carriers are concerned about going bust - and are