The Federal Civil and Commercial Chamber ordered Aerolineas Argentinas to reschedule the flights to some passengers who initiated legal actions
In “OLID HUGO MARCEL Y OTRO C/ AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS SA S/ SELF-SATISFACTIVE MEASURE”, Chamber I of the Federal Civil and Commercial Chamber decided to revoke an appealed resolution, ordering Aerolineas Argentinas to reschedule flights on the date indicated by the plaintiffs to Cancun, Mexico, which they had planned for the purpose of vacationing with their children and a couple of friends.
The plaintiffs made the purchase of the direct flights departing on 1/29/21 and returning on 2/8/21, that is, 4 tickets and 4 additional pieces of luggage, for a total value of $207,683.58 paying by credit card in 3 installments. They indicated that on 12/24/20, the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers, through administrative decision 2252/2020, determined the prohibition of entry into the national territory until 1/9/21 -which was later extended until 1/31/ 21-, with administrative decision 2/2021, which is why they could not make the trip.
On 7/1/21 they were contacted via “mail” from the airline informing them that their tickets had been left open and that they were valid until July 31, 2021., so prior to that date, they had to contact each other to specify a travel date until December 15 of this year, or after that date and use the tickets as part of payment.
According to Diario Judicial, the magistrates cited Law 27,563, which establishes that “the transport companies -in any of its modalities- that have been affected or prevented from providing the contracted services due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, and whose services were contracted directly, may alternatively offer users some options.
Then, in July of this year, together with a family friend who was in the same situation, they checked availability through the airline’s website and on 7/16/21 they informed them via “mail” of the new flight dates chosen. , that is to say, departure on January 3, 2022 and return on January 15, 2022 and the company informed them that the tickets were in the process of being returned.
Refund and rescheduling
Aerolineas Argentinas must reschedule the flights to some passengers who initiated legal actions
They emphasized that they did not request the refund. They made reference to the exchange of “emails” and document letters sent to the defendant and indicated that if their tickets were canceled on 12/28/2020, as the airline informed them, for what reason on 1/7/21 they were informed that their tickets they had been left open.
The plaintiffs warned that the amount they intended to reimburse is currently not enough to buy more than a ticket and luggage; and they clarify that the other family with whom they were going to travel was confirmed rescheduling. They required that the airline proceed to reschedule the flights to the city of Cancun, Mexico, on the dates that they informed in a timely manner in order to be able to synchronize with the tickets obtained by the family friend with whom they had planned to travel.
However, the grade judge rejected the action promoted in limine because the requirements for its origin were not met. In order to decide, it concluded that the determination of the veracity of the facts referred to in the lawsuit exorbitant, in the case, the cognitive framework of the measure in the terms in which it has been raised, even more so considering that certain decisions of the airline were due to a health policy adopted by the National State.
It added that the extremes on which the plaintiffs have relied could be, in principle, controversial by the defendant and that nor is it clearly seen that the failure to grant the requested measure could cause the definitive frustration of the right invoked with the impossibility of repairing it in the future.
The judgment of first instance was overturned
The amount they intended to reimburse is currently not enough to buy more than one ticket
Judges Fernando A. Uriarte and Juan Perozziello Vizier, of Chamber I of the Federal Civil and Commercial Chamber, revoked the first instance sentence. The magistrates cited Law 27,563, enacted after the date on which the plaintiffs acquired the airfare and alleged by those, which provides in article 27 that “transport companies -in any of their modalities- that have been affected or prevented from providing the services contracted due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, and whose services were hired directly” may alternatively offer users some options.
Among them, the rescheduling of contracted services, respecting seasonality, quality and agreed values, within a period of 12 months after the lifting of the restrictive measures of movement adopted by the Executive Power; the delivery of service vouchers to be used up to 12 months after the end of the restriction measures, which must provide access – without penalties to equivalent contracted services or others that the client may accept; or the reimbursement of the amount paid for the contracted services through the payment of up to 6 equal, monthly and consecutive installments with the first due within 60 days of receiving the request for reimbursement…” (conf. art. cit.).
“The norm is applicable to the case since it regulates the right of consumers before the rescheduling and cancellation of services -in this case, of the flight- due to the incidence of the pandemic originated in the Covid-19 (art. 7 of the Code Civil and Commercial Procedure of the Nation). Prima facie, this configures the admission of the rescheduling of the flight but not that it be carried out on the specific date requested here by the actors, even more so considering that they intend to make a trip with three more days than originally scheduled” concluded the magistrates.