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Greek Travel Agents and Airlines at Odds Over Canceled School Trips

Greek travel agents and airlines are at odds over how best to deal with prepaid school trips which were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA), travel agents are considering pressing charges against airline companies – mostly low-cost carriers – which are not reimbursing down payments for pre-planned school trips.

The subject topped the agenda of an emergency meeting organized by the association under the auspices of the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies (FEDHATTA) after the Greek education ministry suspended all school excursions as a measure to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

HATTA is calling on the education ministry to clarify refund procedures by airlines, hotels, and services providers.

Emergency measures for Covid-19-impacted businesses proposed by HATTA include the deferral of scheduled school excursions to later dates; the implementation of cancelation policies by hotels and airlines for canceled school trips; subsidies and tax breaks for businesses; and support measures for travel agency employees.

“At the same time, the possibility of filing lawsuits against low-cost carriers that refuse to refund will be explored,” said HATTA, adding that guidance will be offered to clients and partners on how to best manage claims with a view to protecting consumer rights.

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