MIAMI – Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) announced today it will open an inquiry into Ryanair (FR), easyJet (U2), Blue Panorama (BV), and Vueling (VY). The airlines allegedly offered customers vouchers but no refunds amid their COVID-19 canceled flight policies.

According to the watchdog, the suspended flights did not take place during the periods when the governments imposed travel restrictions. The EU had previously established that ticket refunds must be available for customers.

Instead, AGCM claims that the four airlines did not inform customers of their rights in case of cancelation. They only offered them limited or expensive customer support, depending on the case.

Ryanair. Photo: Marco Macca (@aviator_ita)

The Investigation Begins its Course

After it received an increasing number of customer complaints, the AGCM began the investigation. Back in July, the regulator also opened investigations against Alitalia (AZ) and Volotea (V7). As customer complaints continued to rise, the watchdog decided to open similar proceedings on FR, U2, BV, and VY.

As a response, U2 issued a letter stating that it was aware of the actions by the AGCM. The British carrier will fully cooperate with the investigation, it said. In the meantime, U2 will continue offering customers with canceled flights different options. These include an alternative flight, a voucher, or a cash refund in “full compliance with applicable EU and Italian laws.”

So far, the Irish, Spanish and Italian airlines have made no comments on the investigation.

Featured image: easyJet. Photo: John Leivaditis.