/ Money

Legal advice: flight refund grinds to a halt

Here’s how Which? Legal helped a member get their money back when the airline cancelled their flight.

Anne spent £1,145.55 on three British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Aberdeen through travel website Expedia. However, days later Anne received an email from Expedia to say her outward flight was cancelled.

Anne agreed to Expedia transferring her booking to an alternative BA flight that was due to depart the same day – but when this transfer failed, she had to purchase new tickets at the airport.

Anne later requested a refund from British Airways for the money she paid for the cancelled flight, but she was told that as she booked her tickets through an agent, a refund could only be processed if Expedia requested it. Expedia declined to make this request, so Anne contacted Which? Legal for advice.

Required to reimburse

Regulation EC261/2004, as retained in UK law, states that airlines are required to reimburse passengers when a flight is cancelled.

We advised Anne that her contract was with British Airways, not Expedia, so Expedia wasn’t required to request this refund on her behalf.

Anne escalated her complaint to the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, which ruled in her favour and stated British Airways should refund Anne directly. British Airways said:

“When a flight is cancelled by us, customers are always offered a range of options including a full refund. Whilst we have provided a refund to the original form of payment, we’re looking into this to ensure the customer has received it.”

Have a legal question of your own?

Which? Legal offers affordable legal advice, over the phone and by email to help you tackle your problem or issue.  

The team of legal advisers will give you tailored information and advice on your rights and next steps, so you can handle your issue confidently.  

Which? Legal can help on a range of topics, from faulty goods and car purchase issues to landlord and tenancy issues, plus much more.

To find out how the team can help you, call Which? Legal on 0117 405 5695 or visit Which? Legal.


The second sentence of BA’s comment is ambiguous. Are they suggesting that they had made a refund when the customer first requested it but the customer had not been aware that it had been received? Somewhat more grace and humility would be appreciated from our national flag carrier [formerly described as “the world’s favourite airline”]. Thankfully they’ve been found out and held to account. Fundamentally, they are not much better than some of the budget airlines.

Sue O'Hara says:
30 June 2022

I can’t contact Easyjet to pursue my compensation claim for a delayed flight. I submitted a claim on my return and received an email saying it would be dealt with within 28 days. When I checked after 28 days it said my claim was rejected and they had sent me an email with the reason for rejection. They said this email may be in my spam folder. I did not receive an email and when I try to submit the claim again I do not get a confirmation email. My friend who was on the same flight got her compensation within 2 weeks. How do I contact Easyjet ; everything on their website just round to the same place and I cant send an email to them,