STAFF REPORTER
A NEW air travel client help desk is being set up at Palma airport as part of a pilot scheme introduced by the regional ministry for Health and Consumer Affairs and Spain's National Consumer Institute.

Balearic Minister Vicenç Thomas said yesterday at the official opening of the new office that its main aim is to provide a service whereby a government department offers the public advice on how best to protect its consumer rights.

Thomas pointed out that one in every five of over 5'000 complaints registered through his department last year were to do with air travel services. For this reason, he said, a number of measures have been put in place to achieve better levels of collaboration between companies operating in this sector, to provide an administrative service that offers fuller information, to resolve conflict and carry out inspections.

The Minister said that the Balearic Islands had been leading the way in protecting consumer rights and specifically in air travel where it has introduced controls governing the sale of air travel tickets on the internet and on the publicity associated with such sales. Thomas added that the Consumer Ministry has installed information points for visitors at airports and tourist information centres whereby people can have access to information on consumer legislation and rights.

Joining forces with the management of Palma airport, the Consumer Ministry is also acting as a mediator to ensure that air company clients are given the chance to resolve any conflict or grievances that might arise on their travels.

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