Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Velvet Sky: Passengers still waiting for refunds

Thousands of passengers who purchased tickets to fly with Velvet Sky have been left in the lurch as they continue to wait for refunds from the dysfunctional airline. 

24 April 2012 | AVASHNEE MOODLEY 
JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of passengers who purchased  tickets to fly with  Velvet Sky have been left in the lurch as they continue to wait for  refunds from the dysfunctional airline.

Despite promises from the embattled Durban-based airline to refund customers who had purchased tickets on the airlines website, many have yet to receive their money back.

The airline was grounded in February after running into millions in debt.

Since then the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also suspended its operating license.

Passengers who booked on the Durban-based airlines website were told to fill out refund forms, but the airline does not appear to have issued any refunds, saying its bank needs 14 to 21 days to process them.

Two months later irate customers are still fuming after not being able to get their money back.

They have also received no response from the  airlines call centres.

Livia Dyer from Bowman Gilfillan attorneys explained that in terms of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 68 of 2008, consumers of services such as airline passengers have  rights, including timely performance, completion of the services and timely notice of any unavoidable delay.

“Where a supplier does not perform a service in accordance with these standards such as by providing a service late or not at all, the consumer has the right to a refund of an appropriate portion of the purchase price,” she said.

Dyer said the amount that should be refunded must be calculated with regard to the extent of the suppliers failure to properly supply the service. She advised consumers to  submit a complaint in terms of the CPA to the National Consumer Commission (NCC) when this is not done.

“The NCC can either refer the complaint to an appropriate body for adjudication or can investigate the complaint,” said Dyer.

Meanwhile,  passengers who purchased tickets  from any computicket travel outlet nationwide have been refunded. Despite not being under any legal obligation to do so, computicket travel have reimbursed R2.2 million worth of Velvet Sky tickets purchased over their counters.

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