Airline Iberia has been given a whopping 400,000 GBP fine for cancelling customers’ return tickets on Balaeric Island flights for passengers that had not used their outbound ticket.
The General Direction of Consumption of the Balaeric Government has handed Spain’s national carrier Iberia the 448,000-EUR (404,850-GBP) fine for applying an “abusive no-show clause” to seven customers travelling to and from the Balearic Islands.
This clause stopped the customers being able to catch the return ticket of their flights because they had not caught the outbound flight.
The sanction is the highest ever imposed by the Balearic Government on an airline.
Iberia had been sanctioned on three separate occasions in the last three years for applying the same clause, with each fine costing the company 60,000 EUR (54,215 GBP).
Local media report seven more customers have complained about having their flights cancelled by Iberia and after an investigation the Balearic Government has decided to impose the 448,000-EUR fine, which Iberia can appeal.
According to local media, the Supreme Court also considered the cancellations abusive and concluded that the practice represents an imbalance of consumer rights and the company’s obligation to act in good faith.
The General Direction of Consumption of the Balaeric Government registered 1,291 complaints related to air transport in 2017 and this year the number has risen to 1,586.
Iberia was founded in 1927 and is based in the Spanish capital Madrid.
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago off eastern Spain, in the Mediterranean. Majorca, the largest island, and the party island of Ibiza are popular destinations for British tourists.