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I booked an apartment in Barcelona for the 19th March, but obviously I’ll be unable to attend due to the coronavirus.

I have paid for the apartment up front, in full.

I messaged the apartment owner on booking.com regarding a potential refund.

I got a message back saying I’d have to request to cancel the booking for free and then go from there?

Why would I have to do this? I’ve paid up front, so why is there a cancellation fee?

Also, is there any chance of me getting a refund?

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  • If you paid using a credit card you might talk to your bank. – Bernhard Döbler Mar 16 '20 at 13:22
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    @the man What did the booking T&C say? Was it a refundable booking? How much cancellation fee do they want? Businesses are clearly reeling from the situation, some will be extremely generous/helpful in these circumstances, others may wish to at least recoup something. Balance up paying a (probably small) cancellation fee and getting the rest of your money back quickly against a possibly long-drawn out process that might not end in your favour, depending on the T&C. I doubt your credit card provider will help since it’s you cancelling and not the supplier. – Traveller Mar 16 '20 at 14:05
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    I am not up to date on booking.com's current leniency when it comes to corona related cancellations, but why do expect there to be no cancellation fee? What did you agree to when booking the appartment? The corona situation does not automatically reverse any contract you might have made with a landlord in Barcelona. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Mar 16 '20 at 14:05
  • Did you have travel insurance? – jcaron Mar 16 '20 at 14:11
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https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/legal-security/important-information-regarding-coronavirus

You are good to go. You can cancel without any fees. Posted yesterday.

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    Welcome to Travel! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Machavity Mar 17 '20 at 14:02

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