A consumer group in Spain is demanding that airlines should stop refusing to accept cash for in-flight purchases.  It claims that consumer law establishes that a business cannot demand that payments can only be made using a credit card.

The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) has named eight airlines which it alleges have refused to respond to its requests to return to accepting cash payments, which it describes as a, “clear violation of consumer regulations.”  These include Iberia, Iberia Express, Air Europa, Iberojet, Plus Ultra, Volotea, Wamos Air and World2fly.

In a statement, the OCU said, “There are no reasons which justify the limitation of the use of cash.  This can make the customer vulnerable.  If a person wants to buy some food or products onboard, but only has cash, they are left with no other option but to go without the purchase.”  The consumer group added, “This is abusive and represents a serious breach of consumer protection regulations.”

After having received no response from the airlines, the OCU has written to the relevant authorities in Cataluña, the Balearic Islands and Madrid where the headquarters of the businesses are based.  If legal action is taken, the airlines’ parent companies could face fines of up to €100,000.

Another consumer group, Facua, is also pursuing airlines which charge customers who phone to make enquires or reservations.  It alleges that, two years after the implementation of a regulation to require them to offer free help lines, around 16 companies are still charging their clients.