Clear warning to the airlines: The consumer protection minister announces controls in the event that customers have to wait too long for their money on canceled flights.
If airlines do not promptly reimburse the money paid in advance for canceled flights, the federal government could question the principle of advance payment, which is common in the industry. Federal Consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke said in an interview with the “Bild am Sonntag”: “The prepayment principle is a leap of faith on the part of customers. They pay for a service that they will only use in days, weeks or months. If the airlines no longer live up to the trust, you have to change this principle.” However, she is currently relying on the companies to meet their obligations. “We will check that closely,” added the Green politician.
When asked what the FDP-led Federal Ministry of Transport thought of a possible departure from the prepayment principle for air travel, a spokeswoman replied: “The responsible departments of the federal government are in close contact and will monitor further developments.” Due to staff shortages and strikes, airlines have canceled numerous flights planned for July and August.
The Federal Association of Consumers has been demanding for a long time that the price for flights and package tours should be due at the earliest at the time of departure. In a corresponding position paper from March 2021, the association calculated that this would increase consumer prices by a maximum of 3.3 percent.