2020.05.22 10:58

Lithuania extends refund deadline to cushion travel agencies

Sniegė Balčiūnaitė, BNS2020.05.22 10:58

Travel agencies will have 90 days instead of two weeks to refund people whose travel plans have been affected by the coronavirus crisis, Lithuania's parliament has decided.

The exception to the usual period of refund will only apply in cases of war, emergency situation, military mobilisation, quarantine or international travel bans.

Read more: Lithuania's tourism industry to be given €45m lifeline

The amendment to the Civil Code was passed on Thursday with a vote of 61 to 11, with 32 abstentions.

Lithuanian travel agencies will have to reimburse clients within 90 days from the end of quarantine, unless they agree to other forms of compensation.

Under the current rules, travelers would have to be refunded within 14 days.

The Justice Ministry has warned that the change violates the EU regulation on 14-day refunds for cancelled trips.

Meanwhile the bill's authors note that some other EU countries have set even longer refund periods despite possible repercussions from Brussels, since it is the only way to rescue travel agencies.

Read more: Eager to restart tourism, Central Europe takes cue from Baltics