So how are you getting on with refunds for COVID-19 cancelled trips?

So how are you getting on with refunds from travel providers who have cancelled your trips?

Things seem to have settled down for me since the start of the cancellations.

BRITISH AIRWAYS

My experience is that if you call you can receive a refund to the original method of payment if BA cancels the flight. If you want to cancel, then the normal rules of the fare purchased applies. I have been waiting until the flights are cancelled before phoning and so far, this has worked well. Someone posted this morning that there were over 100,000 refunds in the BA refunds queue and I have been waiting about three weeks so far for refunds worth about six hundred pounds.

SOFITEL HEATHROW

There was a cancellation email about three weeks ago, but the actual refund only arrived seven days before the stay was due. At least I knew I couldn’t stay but was disappointed that the refund wasn’t posted right away.

TWA HOTEL, JFK

After being told to wait three weeks I contacted the hotel again and with the assistance of the GM, the refunds were processed within 30 minutes of the email. As you have to pay up-front even for flexible stays, this is important.

AMERICAN AIRLINES

I have been pretty lucky here with schedule changes allowing refunds to be processed within about 7 days of submission. My BusinessExtra award taxes also were refunded within about 7 days with the points back in the account within minutes of a call to the service centre.

UNITED

Although ultimately successful in being told I would get a refund, there is no sign of it at the moment. Three week later. The agent carefully checked my right to a refund within United’s new rules. My flight had switched from a 9pm arrival to a 7am the next day and so was over the 6 hours required for a refund. Unfortunately, I had another flight in three weeks, for which there have been no recent schedule changes. Even Though, at the moment I could not enter the US (I will been in a banned area for 14 days before arrival) , United won’t refund, just issue a credit for future travel. One thing I did notice with the refund that has been processed is that United processes ancillary charges, such as additional UK departure tax after an upgrade, separately from the ticket. So, I had to engage the UA Twitter team, who sorted it fairly quickly. I did manage to persuade the Twitter team to also refund a paid domestic upgrade which I had paid for, although initially United said it wasn’t eligible.

THE FUTURE …

I have a KLM ticket in July which may need to be cancelled if the US ban remains and that I hear is a whole new world of hurt. A United ticket, mentioned above, needs to be cancelled as well. Hotels generally seem to be flexible with some decent flexible policies.

OTHER THINGS

CHECK YOUR BOOKINGS

If you had a booking then check what state it’s in. I found only yesterday that a United ticket for 4 July weekend has been changed by American for the fourth time. This time without notice. It’s a revenue ticket so you would hope for better service. But if you have fifteen minutes between Netflix series, check the booking, you have no idea what might have happened.

Comments

  1. Hilton have been amazing – zero issues cancelling a couple of non-refundable reservations, automatically cancelled some flexible ones for me. Expedia (for an Lufthansa flight) have been horrendous – can’t get hold of them at all, hanging up when on phone, etc. Flight was cancelled so I want a refund not credit note – have had to initiate chargeback proceedings with my credit card instead.

  2. After Ireland banned indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, I was forced to cancel a flight to Dublin. Aer Lingus refused a refund on the grounds the flight Continued to operate. I made a claim to the the small claims court on the grounds that putting 170 people in a plane and then in an airport was breaking the law, frustrating the contract. Aer Lingus didn’t bother responding to the court, so I obtained a judgement against them. Aer Lingus still refused to pay, despite the court ruling. This has forced me to obtain a warrant for a bailiff to travel to Heathrow and take the money or assets from the company to honour their debt. These airlines are operating as if it is the “wild west”, with no regard for the law. It makes you wonder about their approach to aviation law, health and safety law and how safe it really is to fly with them.

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