Passengers can rebook flights, but complain about the service. With fewer customer service workers, TAP is receiving more complaints and getting more unanswered calls.
At the end of June 2021, the airline had €657.5 million in travel vouchers, according to Expresso Newspaper. Most, though not all, are trips cancelled by the pandemic.
According to TAP, for now, there are 2% of refunds requested by customers that are pending. However, customers complain of hours of waiting on the phone and in queues at TAP’s only counter at Lisbon airport. According to the unions, in addition to the pandemic, the problem is explained by reductions in customer service staff, due to the restructuring plan that is being negotiated with the European Commission.
The company argues that even without this reduction, it would not be prepared for such a situation. “To get an actual sense of the scale of the problem, before the pandemic, TAP was able to deal with and respond to around 20,000 contacts per month. Now, it receives around 200.000 contacts per month,” explains an official TAP source.