In 2015, the European Consumer Centre Finland has received a series of complaints about the Bulgaria Air Holidays travel agency, which has cancelled numerous flights and package holidays due to low demand. 19 consumers have paid for such trips, but they have not, despite the company’s promises, been refunded for their lost holidays. There are strong indications that consumers will not receive any refunds.
The consumers involved demanded a refund from Bulgarian Air Holidays immediately after being notified of the cancellation by the travel agency. The company has promised to refund all payments, but keeps postponing the refund date.
The European Consumer Centre Finland has no knowledge of whether the company has made trips to Bulgaria this year, or whether consumers who had bought only a flight ticket online were able to make the trip.
Consumers who have booked and paid for a trip are advised to contact the police because the company appears to systematically cancel trips while continuing to market them online and on Facebook. It is unlikely that legal action can be brought against the company.
The European Consumer Centre warns consumers against booking trips with Bulgaria Air Holidays because
- the company does not reply to e-mails or answer the telephone number provided on their website; in other words, it has no customer service,
- consumers planning to book a package holiday are not provided with any collateral for protection in the event of the company’s insolvency,
- after cancelling the trips on its own initiative, the company fails to refund payments made by consumers,
- several consumers have been informed that the company is about to wind up its operations,
- no-one has been able to contact the company’s responsible persons in Finland or in Bulgaria, where the company relocated from Finland about a year ago.
The remedies available to the European Consumer Centre are limited to dispute settlement. We are therefore unable to provide any other assistance with regard to refunds.
Not to be confused with the Bulgarian national airline
A search engine search for “Bulgaria Air” suggests the website of Bulgarian Air Holidays instead of the Bulgarian national airline, Bulgaria Air Holidays. The website also prominently displays the Bulgarian national airline’s logo and emblem. However, Bulgaria Air is not responsible for bookings made on this website. There are major differences between the two websites. The website of Bulgaria’s national airline can be found at www.air.bg/en while Bulgaria Air Holidays’ website is located at www.bulgariaair.fi.
The company reports the following contact details in Finland: Helsinki-Vantaa Airport T2, 01530 Vantaa, Finland. E-mail: INFO@BULGARIAAIR.FI. Tel. 09 2316 3930 (service hours 10-17).