Sometimes travel plans can change unexpectedly and never more so than now with governments continually flip-flopping over their COVID-19 border, travel and quarantine policies. If you find yourself stuck with an airline ticket for either yourself or your family that you no longer want to use, we may have the answer for you.
Whether airline tickets can be returned for a full flight refund entirely depends on the type of ticket purchased. Cancellation policies vary from airline to airline and according to airline insurance policies. Always read the fine print about cancellations and see what entitlements you have.
Most of the tickets purchased online on airline or travel agent websites are classified as non-refundable and consequently are significantly cheaper than refundable tickets. As the name implies, it will be very difficult to obtain a full refund for a cancelled non-refundable airline ticket, but do not despair there are still options available.
If you have a private travel insurance policy then your chances of obtaining a refund are greatly increased. Don’t forget that if you book your ticket by credit card then you will automatically be entitled to avail of your furnisher’s own insurance policy (Visa, Mastercard, etc.).
Can I return my air ticket?
First and foremost, it is essential that you have your original ticket, itinerary or receipt. Establish if you ticket is eligible for a refund, if it is a full fare ticket, or from a low-fares airline or operator.
Next, you need to precisely define the reason for cancelling your air ticket. Exceptional reasons such as COVID-19 restrictions, unstable or potentially dangerous situations at the destination, or acts of terrorism are covered by law through Regulation (EU) No. 261/2004. A claim for reimbursement can be made directly to your airline or by a reputable airline compensation claim company such as GIVT, which specialises in airline passenger claims and refunds.
Check the small print and see exactly what you are entitled to. Even if the terms and conditions of your ticket say that no refunds are applicable, this does not mean that there is nothing more that can be done and all your money is already lost!
How do I return a flight ticket purchased online?
The process for cancelling an airline ticket purchased online is the same as for a ticket purchased at an airline representative agency. First, check your airline’s refund policy either on its website or by calling their help centre or via twitter or an online help bot to see if your ticket is refundable.
In most cases, if you paid by debit or credit card, you will be able to return your ticket via the website, but you may need to do it over the phone or at the ticket office, depending on the circumstances. Monitor your debit or credit card account to ensure that your refund has been processed.
Alternately if you are not entitled to a refund you may also be able to exchange your ticket for another flight without paying a hefty extra fee. This may be particularly useful when dealing with low-fares airlines.
The airline refuses to refund me – what can I do?
Fortunately, there are many different ways to tackle this problem and various different options exist to choose from:
Wait and see
The first and most simple option is to wait and see if your flight is cancelled anyway. This is more common than you think, especially in the current uncertain Coronavirus climate. If the airline cancels the flight of their own volition then the law is on your side and you are entitled to a complete and full refund under European consumer right’s Regulation (EU) No. 261/2004. In such cases airlines are aware of their obligations and may contact you directly themselves. Be careful though, airlines usually first offer or even insist that you should accept an alternate flight or a flight voucher in lieu of a refund. Stand firm, you are entitled to a refund, however if the airline is giving you the run-around it is worth considering enlisting the help of a professional service like those offered by GIVT that can expedite your claims.
Go to your bank
If you feel that you have just cause for a full refund and you purchased your ticket with a credit card, then you can approach your bank to request a “chargeback”. If they agree with your position then they can process a credit card refund for your cancelled transaction directly back to your account foregoing the need to deal with the airline. This only applies to credit cards and NOT to debit cards.
Consult a professional passenger refund company
If you still feel that you are entitled to a refund and all other avenues have been exhausted then it is probably time to contact the experts. Finding a company that will take your claim seriously can be very time burdensome, however expert companies like GIVT have the experience you need to get your money back.
For future flying protect yourself from any cancelled or delayed flights by opting for a private insurance policy. GIVT Smart Fly offers packages from as low as €3! Travel safe in the knowledge that if your airline lets you down you will receive a guaranteed payout.