He was travelling to Japan

Iberia refunds more than 17,000 euros to a FACUA affiliate for a flight cancelled due to the Covid-19

The airline refused to refund him initially and only offered him a voucher.

Iberia refunds more than 17,000 euros to a FACUA affiliate for a flight cancelled due to the Covid-19

Following action by FACUA Madrid, Iberia airlines has refunded 17,153 euros to a passenger and his five companions who decided to cancel a trip to Japan due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Antonio C.E., a Madrid-based resident, booked six plane tickets in January 2020 to spend a few days' holiday in Japan with his friends. The trip, which was to take place at the end of March and was to last ten days, included in the booking conditions the possibility of changes without penalty, as well as the possibility of being reimbursed. Altogether, the cost amounted to 17,153.50 euros.

In March, due to the state of alarm and lockdown, the passenger contacted the company to request the cancellation of the trip and the reimbursement of the amounts paid, as it was impossible for him to make the trip. The airline, however, refused to refund the money -despite the fact that its own contract stated this right- and simply sent him a voucher for the same amount.

Subsequently, and despite the fact that the company ended up cancelling the flight due to the pandemic situation, it continued to refuse to refund the price of the tickets, offering him the voucher as the only option. The affected person refused to do so, once again demanding a refund.

As a result, the user decided to turn to FACUA Madrid for help in filing a complaint against the airline. The association's legal team approached Iberia requesting the termination of the contract and the refund of the 17,153 euros, since the consumer had expressly refused to receive the voucher and the regulations entitled him to receive his money back.

Thus, Royal Decree-Law 11/2020, of 31 March, which adopts urgent complementary measures in the social and economic sphere to deal with Covid-19, establishes in article 36 "if, as a consequence of the actions taken by the corresponding authorities during the state of alarm or during the phases of de-escalation or new normality, contracts entered into by consumers, whether for the purchase or sale of goods or the provision of services, including those of a successive nature, are impossible to fulfil, the consumer and user will have the right to terminate the contract within 14 days of its impossibility of performance".

Likewise, the aforementioned regulation also states that consumers are free to decide whether or not to accept a voucher for the agreed amount: "the revision proposals may include, among others, the offer of vouchers or coupons to replace the refund, which in any case will be subject to acceptance by the consumer ".

Finally, after almost nine months of withholding his money, Iberia has proceeded to refund Antonio the 17,153.50 euros he paid for his airline tickets.