Cancellation of flights due to coronavirus: how to get money back for tickets
When can you expect a full refund?
You can only claim a full refund for tickets if your flight is canceled by an airline.
If the air carrier has not canceled the flight, the country has not yet been closed, and you refuse to travel at will, then you can return the ticket or change the date of the flight only according to the rules of the fare for which the ticket was purchased. That is, most likely, you will receive an incomplete refund.
Will it be possible to say that this whole story with the coronavirus is force majeure and request a full refund? Nope.
The head of the aviation sector of the Kinstellar MLF, lawyer Alexei Burchevsky says that it will not work to appeal to force majeure in this case, since the passenger can theoretically continue his journey, even if the trip no longer meets his goals (for example, a conference you wanted to attend , canceled).
If the flight is canceled, can you count on additional compensation? Not just a full refund?
If canceled flights occur at the initiative of the airline, passengers who are not notified of the flight cancellation two weeks in advance are entitled to compensation in the amount of 250/400/600 euros, depending on the length of the flight.
But! If the airline cancels the flight due to a decision of the authorities (for example, due to border closures), then additional compensation will not be paid to passengers, citing extraordinary circumstances, but the cost of the ticket must still be refunded.
What else do you need to know?
If a roundtrip flight was made within the same booking and one of the flights was canceled, you have the right to refund or rebook the entire trip.
If each flight is made as a separate booking, then all actions with a non-canceled flight are carried out according to the fare rules.
What directly do you need to do to get the full ticket price back?
- As we already said, first you need to wait for the official confirmation of the flight cancellation on the airline’s website or via SMS / email from this airline or seller. Before the official application, the ticket refund is considered voluntary, so the refund amount will be calculated according to the purchased fare.
- Check if there are any separate directions for your flight.
- If the airline confirms the return, please contact the seller. Where to find it? There are contacts on your ticket. The seller can be either the airline itself or an online agency.
- Check the ticket seller’s website to see if you can apply for a refund through your personal account. If possible, then try to issue a return through the site. Believe me, it’s faster than by phone or email.
- If this is not possible, contact the agency or airline, indicate your details. They will help you.
What if there is no reaction / answer? First of all, don’t worry. Secondly, don’t worry either. Wait two or three days. In the face of such a rush, this is a normal period. You will definitely be answered.
What if the flight is not canceled?
If there is no official cancellation statement, stay tuned. Usually, the flight cancellation is notified on the airline’s website or via SMS / email.
Zero information from the airline, and the seller refuses to refund money for the ticket
Yes, that happens too. However, as they say, no panic. If the agency is soft or not very (everyone is on the nerves now) refuses a full refund, then it has not yet received the go-ahead from the airline. What to do? Again, become Hachiko for a while. And wait. Wait for an official statement on the flight cancellation on the airline’s website or SMS / email from the seller. And after that, contact the ticket seller. In this case, it is also better to leave a request on the site. If, of course, there is such an opportunity. If not, call, write to the mail.
Now let’s talk in more detail about how airlines are now refunding money for tickets canceled due to coronavirus, and whether they refund at all.
Ryanair, Laudamotion, Buzz
These airlines offer a free alternative or full refund in the event of a flight cancellation. Our colleague Ryanair has already returned the money. Although it’s actually not easy to reach a low-cost airline right now, the support can’t keep up with the number of applications, and their website is very slow. But don’t worry. They will give everything, just not so quickly. Check your mail and personal account. The carrier will be sure to send a link with return instructions.
Visaire credits 120% of the canceled ticket to a dedicated Wizz account in the form of a credit. It can then be used to buy new air tickets. It is also possible to return 100% of the amount to a bank card. The loan will be credited to the Viseira account automatically. If you need money on the card, write to support.
If you want a full refund for your flight, contact the company after 14.04. The carrier has disabled the request registration form due to the large flow of requests.
For those who bought tickets from March 13 to April 30, and the departure date is until May 31, SkyUp offered an option: a refund if the passenger cancels the ticket no later than 3 days before departure.
For those who bought tickets before March 13, and whose international flights fall under the quarantine period (at this time until April 3), the carrier offered to rebook tickets at a later date or to cancel the flight according to the fare.
That is, if you have economy class (the cheapest tickets), then you will not receive money. For other tariffs, a refund is possible, but with a loss of 50% of the cost.
Passengers of UIA’s canceled flights can exchange their tickets for electronic money. Like this? The airline offers a personalized voucher, the face value of which is 125% of the amount of the paid ticket or its unused part. It must be activated within a year after issue to issue new tickets for the airline’s own flights.
UIA is now working in correspondence mode. Emails are not answered immediately. But they answer.
The carrier provides a full refund only for canceled flights and for departures between March 17 and April 3.
AirBaltic is offering bonus vouchers for canceled flights that were due to operate before April 14th. The value of the voucher will include the full cost of the air ticket and 20 euros above for a one-way flight.
Qatar offers a voucher for the amount of tickets purchased, with a validity period of 1 year from the date of issue. The airline also offers its customers, no later than 3 days before departure, the opportunity to change the travel date without additional charges.
Turkish Airlines has a refund option. In addition, the airline offers to exchange the ticket for a voucher (with an additional 15% of the ticket price) and the option to choose a travel date later. The voucher will need to be used within a year. You can also earn 1,000 miles for every € 10 in the ticket price. Read more about the conditions here.
Air France and KLM
For flights until May 31, Air France and KLM offer refunds in the form of onward travel vouchers or free date or destination changes for flights until May 31.