Travel complaints increased | Free press

More and more people are traveling by air again. Since then, the public transport arbitration committee also had a lot to do.


As tourist traffic rose again in the spring and summer months, the number of complaints to the Public Transport Arbitration Commission (SÖP) also increased significantly in the second quarter.

However, about the same number of consumers contacted the service in the first half of the year as in the first half of the previous year, the German Press Agency informed SÖP. The agency handled approximately 8,400 cases between January and June. This is about 100 cases more than in the same period last year.

Problems with air travel dominate

With an almost 80 percent share, most disputes stem from air traffic. According to the SÖP, the effects of pandemic restrictions are still being felt here. “In the airline segment, air ticket reimbursement for canceled trips or trips that have not been picked up is still the main reason for submitting arbitration requests,” he said.

Many cases are based on complex legal issues, which would result in extensive legal research – for example “in constellations for which regional or variable pandemic constraints are decisive”.

Air travel has only gradually recovered over the year since April and increased significantly again, especially in the spring and summer months. As a result, in June alone, the arbitration committee received almost 1,650 complaints – about twice as many as in June 2021. However, these figures are still far from the record year 2020. During this time, the SÖP processed over 5,500 cases in June alone.

After the air traffic, the train

In addition to air traffic, the office also deals with disputes over trains, long-distance buses and local public transport. About 17 percent of requests go back to trains, 5 percent concern long-distance buses and public transport.

“In the first half of 2022, topics directly related to the pandemic no longer dominated trains, public transport and long-distance buses,” said the SÖP. “There are complaints about delays and failures for other reasons here.”

Arbitration notes that approximately 80 percent. Consumers successfully dealt with their complaint and received a refund.

The SÖP assumes that the number of cases will continue to grow this year and will stabilize around the pre-crisis level of 2019. During this time, the agency processed about 26,000. complaints. (dpa)

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