0

I think this question has been asked a couple of times such as:

however I'm trying to determine if things have changed since.

I've booked a package holiday with Expedia that consists of a hotel, and flights from London Heathrow to Lisbon and back with the departure date this Thursday. The problem I'm having is trying to get a refund from TAP Portugal with regards to both flights.

The flights were cancelled by the airline at the start of the month and Expedia sent me an email for credit vouchers. There obviously no good to me as I don't have any intentions of flying to Portugal for the next two years and the chance of the airline surviving after this could also be questionable.

I've spoken to Expedia today who have said they can't do anything with regards to the refund as they follow the airlines policy - however I spoke to TAP who are suggesting I speak to Expedia for a refund.

What would be the best way to go through with this? I had booked everything using an American Express Card too - would raising a chargeback still be appropriate or should I ring up TAP or Expedia and find out why I can't get a refund under the specific EU laws?

Edit

Not sure why this question has been closed. The previous question was asked before this crisis got worse with rules changing daily.

1
  • 1
    Better to have an existing question updated than to add new questions. But while the rules seem to change, the advice I see here does not change much or at all. (It is still wait or get your money back through your credit card.) – Willeke Apr 20 '20 at 11:06
0

If your flight was cancelled then under article 8 EU Regulation 261/2004 you are entitled to reimbursement (refund), rescheduling for the earliest date or rescheduling for a date of your choice (subject to conditions).

By reimbursement the article means:

reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan ...

Article 7(3) says of the "means":

cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services.

So you are entitled to a cash refund but that doesn't mean you will get one.

It seems some airlines are not informing their customers of their rights and only offering rescheduling or credit vouchers - e.g. TAP - probably to postpone as much of their liability as they can because of the circumstances. And some airlines weren't in a good financial position before this pandemic.

Now, regarding whether the demand should be made of the airline or the agency, with which company do you have a contract? If you don't know, check your bank or card statements. If Expedia charged you then seek a refund from Expedia, if TAP charged you then seek a refund from TAP. The company with which you have a contract is the company that owes you a refund. As Expedia sent you vouchers I guess your contract is with Expedia, but I could be wrong.

So find out which company should refund you, then call them insisting on your right to a refund in cash under Articles 8 and 7. If you are dissatisfied with their response try a chargeback.

(Perhaps interesting to note it's in your individual interest to do that but it is not in yours or everyone's interest for everyone to do that.)

If you can't get a refund, if you have travel insurance and can persuade the insurer the money is not recoverable then the insurer may cover it - check your policy. If you haven't bought travel insurance it's worth looking into whether your bank(s) provided a policy 'free' with your account.

Those are things you can do in the short-term.

2
  • Thanks for your reply. Yes - I'm curious on how Tap is getting away with this and I've read it's not only them that are doing such. The booking was done on Expedia yet interestingly the bill had been broken down into three payments. One for the hotel marked Expedia, the other two for TAP as the flights were booked together but Expedia done it as individual flights as it was cheaper. I reckon it's TAP that I need to consult in that case? – Aiden Apr 20 '20 at 11:02
  • @Aiden I think TAP is the company to contact in that case. Also I have just re-read 261/2004 and in Article 5 it seems to say the airline is responsible for refunds in any case: "In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall: (a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8". – Lag Apr 20 '20 at 11:54
1

It's definitely difficult situation. The way I see it you have these options:

  1. Do you have travel insurance?

    • you might be able to claim it on your travel insurance
  2. You're entitled to a refund but it will be difficult to get it

  3. Try to claim it from American Express (Section 75 Refunds)

    • Section 75 laws mean your credit card must protect purchases over £100 for free, so if there's a problem you could get your money back.
    • This isn't the credit provider being nice. It's a legal protection put in place so that you're never in the position of paying off debt for something you didn't receive or wasn't as it should've been. Whether it's a flight, kitchen, computer or anything else, pay on a credit card, store card or with store instalment credit, and the credit provider's responsible too.
    • Read more here https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/section75-protect-your-purchases/
4
  • Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately no travel insurance. I had read up about SA however most likely won't be travelling for a while after this anywhere. I will consult AMEX regarding a section 75 – Aiden Apr 20 '20 at 10:56
  • @Aiden If I recall correctly, AMEX provides basic travel insurance if you buy the flight with the AMEX card. – Lag Apr 20 '20 at 12:55
  • 1
    thanks @Lag I'll get in touch with them today and see what they say and report back here – Aiden Apr 20 '20 at 14:40
  • 1
    Sorry @Lag - forgot to come back. I raised the complaint with Amex who temporarily refunded me the balance. Out of 6 Tap transactions, Amex have closed of 2 and I still have the amount so I assume it was a win on those 2 and the remaining 4 will hopefully follow. Thanks! – Aiden Apr 27 '20 at 15:25

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.