Complaints start to build against airlines for overbooked flights

An Aeromexico pilot avoided a collision on the runway at the Merida airport.
File photo

Merida, Yucatán — So far this year, nine active cases have been opened against airlines operating at the Manuel Crescencio Rejon International Airport. The chief complaint is overbooked flights, according to Profeco, the federal consumer protection agency.

In June of last year, changes to the civil aviation laws and the Federal Law of Consumer Protection entered into force, which establish, among other things, fines for take-offs greater than 60 minutes late, hidden fees or overselling seats.

Overbooking flights is illegal in Mexico, said the local Profeco delegate, José Antonio Nevárez Cervera. The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation and Civil Aeronautics is responsible for regulating airline procedures.

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Easter holidays bring a 50 percent increase in air travel. A special surveillance operation includes the Mérida airport. Profepa agents are stationed there full-time.

In 2017, Profepa launched 48 investigations into airline practices in Mérida, and most disputes were resolved between airlines and passengers, said Nevárez Cervera.

Airlines are also under constant scrutiny for losing luggage and overcharging for checked bags.

Profepa is also monitoring tour operators with bogus travel package deals. Legitimate travel agencies have federal permits posted clearly.

Around 100 “pirate” agencies operate in Mérida, says Profeco.

Source: Sipse

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