Refunds are required by law for cancelled flights from EU airports, including the UK. Have you been fobbed off with the offer of a voucher instead?
Now the vast majority of flights to and from the UK have been cancelled, passengers are entitled to refunds if their flight was with an EU carrier or their flight was within the EU.
You don’t have to accept a voucher or a change of date if you don’t want to. This comes directly from the Denied Boarding EU Regulation (Regulation 261/2004 EC).
The regulation states:
If a flight is cancelled, the airline must offer you the option of being reimbursed or rerouted (either on the next available flight or on an agreed date), and must also provide you with meals and telephone calls.
Despite this, we’ve been inundated with reports both on Which? Conversation and social media of airlines offering vouchers instead.
. @WhichUK @WhichTravel Can you help? @British_Airways have cancelled our flight and say we can get a full refund, but are only offering travel vouchers when we click through: pic.twitter.com/yQ3cDomWjX
— Alice 🌻 (@_acpm_) March 19, 2020
Our advice and other options
We’ve been clear that airlines, such as British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair, must comply with the law and offer the option of a refund.
It’s not right that many customers say they’re struggling to get information on how to get their money back. While the government must consider all options to support the industry throughout this period, consumers cannot be left without money they’ll need during this uncertain situation.
We’d advise anyone who’s been outright refused a refund to continue pressing their airline on this point, while Which? will continue to lobby on their behalf.
If your flight has been cancelled and you paid with a credit or debit card, you could also consider contacting your bank and asking if you’re able to claim the money back.
For credit cards, this can be done with a Section 75 claim if the total cost of your tickets was more than £100. However, we have found that this only tends to work if you’ve been outright refused a refund.
If the cost was less than £100 or you paid on a debit card, you can claim under the chargeback procedure for flights and cancelled holidays by the provider.
Have you been offered a voucher instead of a refund for a cancelled flight? Let us know in the comments so we can continue to make the case for reimbursements on behalf of everyone.