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From returns to more services: what is offered to the consumer by the coronavirus

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Trips and displacements canceled and a season leaving as little as possible from home. They are the consequences of the strong spread of the coronavirus in Spain. Given this, many consumers wonder if their company will refund the money for the flight or train ticket. That or the possibility of postponing it is what most companies are offering. In addition, telecos have expanded their offer of both entertainment and the Internet.

Since a few weeks ago, airlines around the world began to relax their commercial policy so that passengers who were planning to travel to areas affected by the coronavirus could request the refund of your amount or rescheduling of the trip.

Specifically, Iberia offers to change tickets with the possibility of book another date or route. The operation will be done through the same channel through which the purchase of the ticket was made, both online and in a travel agency. However, it is advisable to consult the airline, since on certain routes it also offers the ticket refund.

Air Europa has established special conditions for changes or modifications to your trips. Depending on the validity of the ticket, authorize the change of date or route paying the rate difference. Refunds are subject to conditions. For its part, easyJet announced that it was canceling some flights and that it was implementing a package of austerity measures after detecting a "significant" decrease in demand and the load factors on certain flights due to uncertainties about the outbreak.

Renfe will allow you to change for another date or cancel free of charge, at no cost to the traveler, the train tickets that have been purchased for any of its trains and fares, including the AVLO. In addition, it will extend by sixty days the current period of validity of four months of the 'multi-trip bonds'. The company has already started to manage the changes and free cancellations of tickets with retroactivity. The operator will allow you to exchange or return the tickets that have been purchased and have not been used without cost.

Airlines around the world have begun to relax their trade policy

Passengers with tickets purchased and not traveling They will have the option to change them to travel on another date or return them. In the case of returns, they may receive the equivalent of the price of the ticket in points, in the event that they have the loyalty card of the railway company 'Renfe +', or receive a 'return code' that will allow the passenger buy a ticket of the same amount as that returned to travel in any date between May 1 and December 31.

From consumer associations clarify that air carriers must offer passengers who suffer the cancellation of a flight "refund within seven days" of the ticket or "driving to the final destination, under comparable transport conditions, at a later date that suits the passenger," among others. This is explained by Facua, insisting that if the user hired a vacation package is entitled "at no additional cost to the traveler" to "suitable alternative formulas, if possible of equivalent or superior quality to those specified in the contract, for the continuation of the combined trip".

If it is not possible to find an alternative solution, such as flights on other dates, you have the right to "end the contract without paying any penalty". Meanwhile, the OCU is asking travel agencies and transport companies to consider "force majeure" reasons cancellations of trips to areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the recommendation of the Ministry of Health not to travel. Likewise, it considers that travel insurance should cover these types of situations, something "that is not currently being fulfilled".

As for accommodation, the Airbnb platform has introduced new, more flexible booking policies so that both hosts and customers can cancel or postpone your reservations without losing money. With the 'More Flexible Reservations' tool, guests who have booked an accommodation until June 1 can cancel their reservation and receive a 100% refund of the service fee with a coupon that may be used in the future. Hosts who facilitate flexible reservations will also benefit from promotions that increase the visibility of their accommodations.

MORE DATA AND ENTERTAINMENT CONTENT

After the recommendations to stay home as long as possible and the suspension of school activity, the telecommunications companies have decided to make something more bearable this time. Telefónica will add 30 GB each month to its clients Fusion and mobile phone services for two months at no additional cost and will increase its content offer, especially for children and sports events, for free while the coronavirus crisis lasts.

Meanwhile, Vodafone will offer professional, self-employed and SME clients unlimited data in their rates due to the coronavirus crisis so that they can carry out their activity and promote telework. Thus, Vodafone users will be able to access the contents of the Peques Pack Gift with your Vodafone TV automatically.

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