According to data supplied by Colombia’s Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio, or Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, Avianca led complaints by passengers during March, April & May of 2020 via its SIC FACILITA dispute resolution platform with 315 formal complaints filed. LATAM was a far distant second with only 51 total complaints, Copa with 44, Easyfly with 21, and Satena only 5. Viva Air apparently had no complaints via the portal.
Going into the Pandemic, it should be noted that Avianca was Colombia’s largest air carrier. Both Avianca & LATAM are now in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
On the other hand, Fast Colombia, S.A.S. the parent company of Viva Air led with 198 complaints outside of the platform, followed by Avianca with 89, Aerorepublica (Copa Airlines) with 60, and 96 total complaints for all other airlines.
Likely due to reduced traffic due to the pandemic, complaints were down 54% in March from the year before, and down 21.5% in April. Complaints were up 5.8% due apparently to disputes between passengers and carriers over refunds of prepaid airfares and change fees.
The Superintendence of Commerce issued a statement clarifying the procedures for travelers unhappy with airlines operating in Colombia.
- Travelers may denounce the airline before Colombia’s Superintendence of Transportation to begin an investigation leading to possible sanctions based on any irregularities found. This should only happen after first seeking redress with the Airline directly.
- Once this is done, travelers may avail themselves of the SIC Facilita dispute conciliation tool that seeks to mediate an amicable solution. (Click here).
- The airline has 15 days to respond. If they don’t respond or the response is not satisfactory, passengers have the right to file an administrative suit with the Delegation of Judicial Affairs of the Superintendence of Commerce.