Cancel holiday over corona virus?

345 posts in this topic

8 hours ago, LeonG said:

 

Right, everybody wants money.  I've heard of at least some airlines having small print excluding refunds for things they have no control over such as weather, terrorist attacks, pandemics possibly etc. but probably depends on the law in different countries.

 

Reading opodo's terms at  https://www.opodo.de/agb/  I found that they are willing to help you at least try to get taxes and airport fees back on flights that didn't take place, however, their fee for doing so is 39€ per person.  Otherwise, they just seem to point at the end provider and their refund rules.

 

Airlines can say whatever they want in the small print, but per EU regulation, if the airline cancels your flight for ANY REASON you are entitled to a refund.

 

If the reason is due to a fault of the airline, you are also entitled to compensation.  In the case of a disaster scenario like the pandemic, the airline does not have to pay compensation for canceling your flight, but it still has to give you a refund upon demand.

 

Your issue clearly isn’t the airline - it is the sleazy company through which the ticket was purchased.

 

 

 

 

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On 03/04/2020, 13:22:55, malcolmpow said:

I phoned lufthansa to cancel flights yesterday,

I didn't get it all, but I think in german they said "for faster times, speak to an english agent" (poor phone reception so some words cut out),

got through pretty much instantly, oeprator said my flights had been cancelled and i'll get the money back, but because each refund has to be done individually and there were many refunds happening, the refund could take months to appear in the bank.

I have flights booked directly with Luffthansa for May so they have not been cancelled yet but I am assuming they will be. On the Lufthansa website they are offering re-booking free of charge (even before a flight has been cancelled) plus a €50 discount if you were to decide a different more expensive destination or class. It is unclear to me if re-booking for the same destination at a later date will be guaranteed at the same fare though:unsure:. On the website there was no indication that cash refunds were possible even for cancelled flights but I think I will wait them out and review my options nearer to the date of the flights, what do you think?

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My concern also fraufruit, the flights are for London so either or both Germany and the UK could still have restrictions. My preference is to get the cash back but vouchers to London are also not bad as CV allowing it is a regular route for me, though I usually prefer the train (great way to travel).

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1 hour ago, keith2011 said:

I have flights booked directly with Luffthansa for May so they have not been cancelled yet but I am assuming they will be. On the Lufthansa website they are offering re-booking free of charge (even before a flight has been cancelled) plus a €50 discount if you were to decide a different more expensive destination or class. It is unclear to me if re-booking for the same destination at a later date will be guaranteed at the same fare though:unsure:. On the website there was no indication that cash refunds were possible even for cancelled flights but I think I will wait them out and review my options nearer to the date of the flights, what do you think?

 

It is very important that you understand your rights.

 

Refunds

 

As I mentioned above, EU regulations state that if your flight is canceled for ANY REASON, the airline absolutely must give you a refund, even on a "non-refundable" ticket; however, you must request the refund.  If you do not, the airline is not required to automatically give it to you.

 

This regulation applies to any travel originating in the EU, regardless of destination, and regardless of whether the airline is based in the EU or elsewhere.

 

The regulation applies if the airline cancels any segment in your itinerary.

 

Lufthansa does not indicate this on their website, because they don't have to - the regulation is in place, and you should know it.   If you don't, you are their ideal customer   :)

 

If YOU choose to cancel a non-refundable ticket or accept a voucher / schedule change / reroute, you will of course not receive a refund.

 

For further information:  https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm

 

Voucher for Future Travel

 

The way it works (this is on the LH website, and nearly every other airline has similar policies):

 

If you accept a voucher for future travel, it is applied to the fare for the future trip.

 

If the future trip fare is higher than what you have paid, you will be required to pay the difference.

 

If the future trip fare is lower than what you have paid, you will not receive a partial refund.

 

My Advice

 

I was scheduled to travel a couple of weeks ago.  I considered the voucher option, but looked at fares during my next available travel opportunity window, and found that they are currently less than half the cost of the fare I paid for my March trip.

 

So, instead of accepting a voucher, I took the advice of another poster here and waited.  About 36 hours prior to my scheduled flights, the airline canceled them.  I then requested and received a full refund.  The money was credited to me last week.

 

I suggest you take the same approach.  If the airline cancels the flights, you can request a refund, and have much more flexibility for future travel.

 

 

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@Space Cowboy Many thanks for that, it does look like the airlines hold all the cards until they actually bite the bullet and cancel the flight. I will take your advice and wait and see.

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@keith2011  You are welcome.  A further piece of advice:

 

In my case, the "My Booking" page on the airline's website that showed my itinerary displayed my flights as "Scheduled, On Time" even after the flights had been canceled by the airline.  If I had gone by this, I would not have known about the cancellations.

 

The way I found out that my flights were canceled was this:  as it got closer to my scheduled departure date, I made a note of the individual flight numbers in my itinerary, and used the airline's "Flight Status" page to check on each segment.  I requested an email alert, but the airline never sent any, even well after flights were canceled.

 

So, once it got down to 48 hours before departure, I did a regular manual check on the flight status page, and was aware (almost in real time) of when the cancellations started.

 

I suggest you consider this as well.

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8 minutes ago, Space Cowboy said:

@keith2011  You are welcome.  A further piece of advice:

 

In my case, the "My Booking" page on the airline's website that showed my itinerary displayed my flights as "Scheduled, On Time" even after the flights had been canceled by the airline.  If I had gone by this, I would not have known about the cancellations.

 

The way I found out that my flights were canceled was this:  as it got closer to my scheduled departure date, I made a note of the individual flight numbers in my itinerary, and used the airline's "Flight Status" page to check on each segment.  I requested an email alert, but the airline never sent any, even well after flights were canceled.

 

So, once it got down to 48 hours before departure, I did a regular manual check on the flight status page, and was aware (almost in real time) of when the cancellations started.

 

I suggest you consider this as well.

Just for clarification, at no time did Lufthansa contact or inform you, in any way, of the cancellation?

I wonder what would have happened if you had turned up at the airport?

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4 minutes ago, keith2011 said:

Just for clarification, at no time did Lufthansa contact or inform you, in any way, of the cancellation?

I wonder what would have happened if you had turned up at the airport?

 

In my case it was AA/BA, not Lufthansa, but every major airline is in the same operating mode right now :(  So, no - at no time did either airline contact or inform me, in any way, of the cancellations.

 

If I had turned up at the airport, they would have informed me of the cancellations, offered an insincere apology, and offered me a voucher for future travel.  It would have been incumbent upon me to insist on a refund.

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5 minutes ago, Space Cowboy said:

If I had turned up at the airport, they would have informed me of the cancellations, offered an insincere apology, and offered me a voucher for future travel.  It would have been incumbent upon me to insist on a refund.

 

So that would have been a non-essential trip which is against the law right now. Also, exposing yourself to the virus for no reason. Criminal, I say.

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@fraufruit  There's definitely been some legerdemain taking place at the airlines, because they absolutely DO NOT want to give refunds.  They mostly do this by only listing vouchers / reschedules as options on their info pages, and they did a fabulous job worldwide of scaring people into accepting vouchers in lieu of refunds, and also, as we discussed previously in this thread, played "chicken" on cancellations.

 

However, there is another side to this - due to my profession and customer set, I am intimately aware of the incredible load this crisis has put on airline and travel industry IT systems.  Airline and travel industry IT systems are heavily interconnected, and due to the load on both systems and communications, lots of things that we normally expect to stay updated are massively delayed, or simply aren't getting updated at all.

 

So, it is best to check every available source of info, and not rely on one piece of (possibly incorrect or outdated) data.

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1 hour ago, Space Cowboy said:

 

 

So, it is best to check every available source of info, and not rely on one piece of (possibly incorrect or outdated) data.

Thanks again and sorry but just one further question. What if the airline cancels the flight but offers an alternative, currently Lufthansa are showing flights from Munich to London via Frankfurt albeit taking 4-8 hours, if they offered that rather than the booked direct flight what would be my rights?

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@keith2011  A reroute is considered a "cancellation" under EU regulation.  You can choose to accept the reroute, but if you do you no longer have the right to request a refund (and the airlines try to present a reroute as sort of a "you have to do this," but that is not true).

 

If you refuse to accept the reroute, you can request a full refund.

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Fine with all being posted here. But...

How to proceed? The website on the aircompany says "if you bought from us, speak to us,  otherwise speak to the agent". Me being uneducated I'd say it's the agent  after all it's they who took my money and it's with them I have a contract but hey who cares. The agent does not reply my emails nor to my calls.

Whom do I speak to and via what channels?😭🤪😣🤕

I'd be ok with either a refund or a rescheduling (at a suitable time, because of school). But I have no way even to establish contact with either of them.

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They are all completely overwhelmed. I have no advice on what to do next other than continue pursuing. Do you have legal insurance? Your flight was already canceled, right?

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Ryanair has returned me every cent, very fast and online, no phone call necessary. I actually did not expect such a good service from them and was initially thinking about contacting my credit card company (this I recommend to everyone who is entitled for refund but did not receive it).

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16 hours ago, Gambatte said:

Fine with all being posted here. But...

How to proceed? The website on the aircompany says "if you bought from us, speak to us,  otherwise speak to the agent". Me being uneducated I'd say it's the agent  after all it's they who took my money and it's with them I have a contract but hey who cares. The agent does not reply my emails nor to my calls.

Whom do I speak to and via what channels?😭🤪😣🤕

I'd be ok with either a refund or a rescheduling (at a suitable time, because of school). But I have no way even to establish contact with either of them.

I would try calling, emailing and using their chat systems. I would also be ok with a voucher but they are not offering us even that 🙄

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27 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

Ryanair has returned me every cent, very fast and online, no phone call necessary. I actually did not expect such a good service from them and was initially thinking about contacting my credit card company (this I recommend to everyone who is entitled for refund but did not receive it).

Thats awesome! 😀

My credit card company agreed to freeze expedia from getting the money until they “officially” refund. Expedia says they already refunded the hotel but it will take time for that to show. As per flights

expedia doesnt know how to deal with it and is still playing pin pon with eurowings 🤷🏽‍♀️ But that part is also frozen by cc. 

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For anyone who has recently booked with Air China:

 

For Easter holiday I was supposed to fly to Thailand via China with Air China (I like the airline and usually much cheaper fares than Lufthansa!). I booked directly with them the first week of January. Due to everything, I went to Air China’s website and cancelled the flight. You could choose a reason and I choose “covid-19”. Said it would take 10-15 days for the refund and be patient and please don’t call. 

 

Got refund back on my cc within 8 days. So Air China followed thru. I was quite pleased! Hope everyone else has luck like this too. Stay positive. If it’s a good company, they should do the right thing. 
 

I also have one intl flight next month with United. They’ve offered ETC so haven’t decided what to do with that yet. I read DOT is saying they must refund. I’ll figure it out later. 

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I keep calling. The best their computer at the German number tells me is "there is no record of your booking". Then it hangs up.

This is the best, and only, message I ever get.

 

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