Mexico fines five airlines for charging passengers baggage fees

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The Federal Consumer Prosecutor sanctions Aeromexico, Interjet, Volaris, VivaAerobus and JetBlue Airways to pay a total of 22.4 million pesos, just over 1.2 million dollars

Two new measures have strengthened consumer rights against airlines in Mexico in just 24 hours. While on the decrees included in the Civil Aviation and Consumer Protection laws opened the door for passengers to ask for compensation for flight delays .

The Federal Attorney General’s Office (Profeco) has fined five airlines with 22.4 million pesos (just over 1.2 million dollars) for charging customers the first suitcase on flights to the United States and Canada.

The sanction has fallen on the Mexican companies Volaris, Interjet, Aeroméxico and VivaAerobus and the American company JetBlue Airways. According to the Profeco statement , it also maintains two proceedings against United Airlines and American Airlines, for the same infraction, “which will be resolved in the coming days.” These advances occur precisely thanks to the decrees approved this Monday. For the prosecution, the collection of the first suitcase for passengers “contravenes provisions of the Federal Consumer Protection Law, the Civil Aviation Law, and its regulations.”

Also, in the statement, Profeco has stressed that: “Users have the right to transport at least 25 kilos of checked baggage and up to two pieces of hand luggage of no more than 10 kilograms, on flights national and international origin of our country. “

Aeroméxico has received the highest fine and will have to pay 6.3 million pesos (about 350,000 dollars), followed by Interjet with 5.1 million pesos (more than 280,000 dollars); You will fly with 4.5 million pesos (about 250,000 dollars); VivaAerobus will have to pay 4.2 million (just over $ 230,000); and JetBlue 2.3 million (about $ 128,000).

In addition to the collection of the first suitcase, Profeco has indicated that the sanctioned companies “have also incurred in deceptive advertising, discriminatory acts and in placing abusive clauses in adhesion contracts”. Therefore, the acting attorney, Rafael Ochoa Morales, considered that the new legal scheme empowers consumers and provides a framework of greater certainty in air transport.

MEXICAN OBLIGATIONS FOR AIRLINES

The Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office has also detailed the obligations of the airlines in Mexico that have entered into force on Tuesday. Among other aspects, companies must:

1. Inform passengers through electronic means and in attention modules the causes of delays, delays and cancellations on flights.

2. In case of delay attributable to the airlines, they must compensate the passengers in the following terms:

– In delays longer than one hour and less than four hours will be compensated according to the policies of each company, discounts will be offered for flights at a later date to the contracted destination and food and drinks will be provided.

– In the case of delays greater than two hours, but less than four, the discounts included may not be less than 7.5% of the price paid for the ticket, plus food and drinks. In addition, the airline leader must provide passengers with access to telephone calls and emails.

– In delays greater than four hours, the compensation options established by “cancellation” will apply, in which the following assumptions are contemplated:

a) Reimburse the price of the ticket or the proportion that corresponds to the unrealized part of the trip, plus compensation that cannot be less than 25% of the ticket price, which must be paid in a maximum period of 10 calendar days.

b) The airline must offer space on the first available flight, provide access to telephone calls, emails, if necessary to provide food, lodging, and transportation to and from the airport.

c) Change the flight for a later date, in which the compensation of at least 25% of the original ticket price is applied.

Source: Profeco, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, El Pais

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