Venezuelan passengers were frustrated the possibilities of traveling to destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Spain, the United States and Panama due to the occurrence in the country of the first cases of covid-19, which forced the national government to apply restrictions to the flights from abroad, and also national ones, in order to guarantee the protection of the population.
After eight months of waiting, some passengers have had positive responses from these entities. However, others are still waiting for the agencies to come back with a solution. The most common benefit granted by the agencies is the rescheduling of the dates before the expiration of the tickets - after one year - and the exemption of penalties.
Últimas Noticias investigated the situation of several affected people who still do not have travel alternatives, considering that they purchased tickets before the declaration of covid-19 as a pandemic, of which its end or total control is not in sight, despite the fact that there are vaccine and treatment projects .
A user of the Viajes Humboldt agency in Altamira, in Caracas, commented that she is afraid of "losing her ticket to Miami because obviously she has not traveled due to the situation of the pandemic." His ticket was issued on January 29, 2020.
In that case, the agency affirms that it has the opportunity to make the change until January 29, 2021. "It is exempt from penalty and rate difference, as long as it is not within the high season dates," said a seller. of the company.
Between the months of November and December there is generally a high demand for tickets. The preference of Venezuelans to destinations in the Caribbean and North America is high, as well as in the months of June and August. In these periods the acquisition of aerial positions becomes much more difficult.
Viajes Humboldt asks users to send an email requesting the rescheduling of the date to verify availability, and then consult the airline to make the change. In addition, they explain that they will not be able to change tickets between December 10 to January 10, 2021.
Given the health uncertainty, the agency argues that they will establish a way of working after the airline's pronouncement, but to date these locations do not provide accurate information; they point out that they must wait for the airlines. In this case, the user has little or no protection.
Jorge López, who preferred not to specify the name of the agency in which he acquired the ticket, explained that his flight abroad was rescheduled after almost six months of waiting and insisting on the commercial entity.
He added that the agency ruled out returning the money. He offered the rescheduling before the close of the year.
After an evaluation on social networks, several users express their dissatisfaction with the lack of responses from airlines such as Avior Airlines. Many demand the refund of the money and that they publish the itinerary of the flights between Caracas and other international destinations.
"Have respect and consideration, begin to reimburse the money to so many people who are asking for it," Carmen González replied to a publication of the consortium on Facebook. Likewise, there are people who bought Avior tickets for Lima-Caracas, whose dates were rescheduled for December 8.
Dayana Palacios said she has a ticket that was for September, and due to the pandemic, she has not been able to travel. Now, they changed their flight for this month but there is no confirmation, as it ensures that the line will begin the transfer in February.
Another buyer pointed out that his ticket to Peru, initially for November 26, was changed to December 3, but he was notified that there will be no flights until February. "Subject to change, surely for all the delayed flights that the airline has, besides that they still do not have authorization for the flights, I hope they will give me the corresponding refund because I cannot wait until February." He noted that the company does not offer reimbursement as an option.
Likewise, passengers in Peru comment that the airline Copa Airlines has not responded about the flights suspended at the beginning of the year. “They do not answer their phones, there is no chat, a bot answers, offices are closed and I have loans that supposedly expire in December. I bought tickets in November 2019 and I didn't use them since they were for March ”, says Priscila Romy.
Flights in Venezuela
Recently, the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics detailed in a statement that international flights from Venezuela to Bolivia, Russia, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Turkey were authorized. Likewise, domestic flights were activated for Los Roques, Maracaibo, Margarita and Maiquetía.
In that sense, Humberto Figuera, president of the Air Lines Association in Venezuela, explained that the Maracaibo, Valencia and Maiquetía air tickets to Margarita will have the same cost as last March, before the quarantine decree for the coronavirus pandemic.