Regulatory change to the bookings' system was made a year ago. | Archive

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Since March last year, the process for the online purchase of airline tickets that are subject to the 75% discount for residents of the Balearics requires that resident status is input at the end of the process. This regulatory change was intended to prevent the base price of the ticket being inflated. The same system is also needed for ferry tickets.

Monitoring by the Consubal consumers association in the Balearics and the Aviba association of travel agencies indicates that not all airlines are complying with this requirement. Alfonso Rodríguez, sookesperson for Consubal, says that airlines are using a double rate for bookings where there is the right to a residents discount in increasing the price and so benefit from the state subsidy for inter-island travel and travel between the Balearics and the mainland.

For Consubal, "the attitude of some companies is unjustifiable". The association goes on to say that it is also unjustifiable that the civil aviation directorate and the Spanish government are not sanctioning airlines which continue to fail to comply and therefore take advantage of applying higher fares in order to receive a greater state subsidy with the 75% discount.

The Balearic government's director of ports and airports, Xavier Ramis, says that there is regular contact with the civil aviation directorate regarding control of this situation. The government's view is that it implies a defrauding of state money. The directorate has been notified in writing by the Balearic government that it must ensure that airlines ask for resident status at the end of the purchase process.

Spain's Airline Association argues that the new system "can cause confusion" for buyers. "The system in force until the entry of the new regulations was transparent and offered clear information when giving the final price to residents and non-residents. Now it can cause confusion because if buyers see a 100-euro price, they believe that with 75% they will pay only 25 euros. When they reach the end, they will see that the ticket will actually cost 46 euros because the rates do not fall within the 75% discount."