The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) is preparing a sanction against a number of airlines. These airlines refuse to refund money to passengers. These passengers had bought individual airline tickets from the now bankrupt D-Reizen. Last spring, the ILT sent guidelines on this to the airlines. These guidelines state that the airlines remain responsible for payment to passengers in the event of the bankruptcy of a travel agent, even if the airline has already transferred money to the travel agent.
In response to the guidelines, a number of airlines have reimbursed the ticket price to passengers. Some airlines refuse this. It seems to have involved six companies so far. The ILT is preparing this sanction to protect the rights of passengers. Currently, the passengers involved are left empty-handed.
Interim report on current inspections
The ILT is currently investigating the provision of information about passenger rights on the airlines' websites, the reimbursement of individual airline tickets that have been booked through an (online) travel agent and inspects the reimbursement periods of the airlines. The results of this will appear in the final 'passenger rights' report. This will be published in early November. That is why the Inspectorate is now publishing an interim report with the follow-up of the results to date.
This interim report shows that most websites contain the correct information about passenger rights, although the information is not always easy to find. When passengers have booked a single ticket through an (online) travel agent, they must also be able to rebook it or request a refund through the airline. The inspections show that the airlines incorrectly refer passengers to the travel agent. Incidentally, the research shows that the refund period of seven days is now generally well observed for directly booked tickets. However, if the ticket was purchased through a travel agent and the refund is also made through this intermediary, the refund deadline is almost never met. Travel agents are not bound by the seven-day period.
The airlines involved receive an individual report of findings. Where relevant, the ILT adds an order for an improvement plan. In the final report, the final conclusions, any improvements based on the findings report and the enforcement actions of the ILT will be discussed, according to the inspection of living environment and transport.