ANPC checks at airlines, dust in the eyes of passengers!
We live in turbulent times in aviation and tourism. We face dozens of canceled flights and hundreds of delayed flights due to lack of staff, due to strikes, due to geopolitical issues and war, etc. We are still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the summer season 2022, at European level are canceled about 10% of scheduled flights. Every day, dozens of flights to / from Romania are canceled or delayed. Tens of thousands of passengers are affected by these operational disruptions.
In this situation, passengers do not know air passenger rights nor do they take the normal steps to recover their money and claim the related financial compensation, but their hope lies in ANPC.
It is true that there are companies like Blue Air that did not pay the amounts due to the passengers on the canceled tickets. They also did not pay compensation of up to 600 EURO under EU law in 2004. According to an ANPC investigation, it was found that Blue Air canceled over 11200 flights for which over 180 tickets were sold!
What does ANPC do in this case? It intends to fine the company by up to 2 million EURO. Okay, but what does it do for passengers? Well, nothing yet. The fine will not solve the situation of thousands of passengers. The debt to passengers amounts to approximately EUR 10 million.
We do not discourage people from calling on the ANPC and other competent control authorities. But we encourage them to go the other way to get their money back.
These days, The National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) announced that it has started a substantive investigation into airlines operating in Romania, necessary as a result of the notifications received, regarding the services offered by them, including Wizz Air and RYANAIR. ANPC does not specify what problems were reported. However, most likely, the problems reported are related to canceled or delayed flights.
What will ANPC solve for passengers? Well, nothing is clear. Most likely ANPC will apply some fines for late repayments, but that's about it. In reality, passengers have many other levers to recover their damage. I can ask related compensation where eligible, plus reimbursement of tickets, plus other benefits to which they are entitled in the event of canceled or delayed flights.
ANPC also says that the recovery of compensations can be done either amicably, at the airline, or through ANPC and ECC Romania, which do this, free of charge.. Did you manage to recover the compensations through ANPC? Where do we submit the claim to ANPC? Does ANPC have specialists in the field to verify the eligibility of thousands of passengers?
For 2-3 years, ANPC did nothing in this direction, but now suddenly "woke up". So ANPC does an image exercise and puts some pressure on the airlines, but that's about it. Passengers will continue to hope for the recovery of money on the classic routes. And in the end, that's natural. Most airlines have reimbursed the amounts due, they have also paid the compensations, the passengers only have to claim them through the existing methods.
However, we are curious how ANPC will solve the problem of tens of thousands of passengers, beyond the fines applied!