process for refunds of airline bookings

6 replies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 03 Nov 2015

Total posts 46


This is going to be a tough question.

I book about 500 fights a year across 10 credit cards, so I am forever changing and cancelling flights and its hard for me to manage balances. When I book a Qantas flex flight lets say with my AMEX, then do a flight change and pay the fare difference with my VISA. So i have used 2 credit cards, then when i request a refund they refund the whole amount back to the last credit card used (so the VISA). However, when I use Singapore airlines they refund the money back to both cards as expected. As I do such high volume, it can be very difficult for me to manage balances etc.

I googled and found out that both companies use Amadeus, so it's not the booking software causing this issue.

The main airlines I use are BA, Qatar, Emirates, Lufanstha, Qantas, Singapore, Malaysia, Finnair, AA, Delta, United

My 2 questions are.

1. Which airlines refund the whole amount to the one credit card?

2. Which airlines refund to both credit cards?



Member since 04 May 2015

Total posts 58

I'm going to ask the obvious question: why are you doing this and making things more complicated for yourself than they need to be? Why would you specifically need to book a flight with AMEX, and pay a change fee with Visa, and later cancel the same flight for a refund?

If you book so many flights, surely you could just take a travel voucher as your refund and use it towards your next booking with that airline? I know you say 500 flights a year, but that's less than 2 flights booked per day, and it probably takes only 5 mins or so to book each flight, so the whole booking process isn't exactly complicated.

Are you trying to book flights with your work AMEX card or something, pay to change them to flexible tickets using your personal credit card, and then get the whole fare refunded to your personal Visa card (while telling your employer the fare was "non refundable", keeping the value for yourself)?

I honestly don't get what you're trying to achieve here.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 12 Jan 2016

Total posts 32

I think the reason things would get charged to different cards would be to ensure the limits of cards aren't exceeded, and maximise the amount of time between booking the ticket and having to actually pay for it (i.e., pay the credit card bill).

The answer probably lies in the payment gateway used, complexity of the accounting system and how concerned the airline is about ensuring they (making some presumptions about how refunds work) get the correct amounts of fees reversed etc...

Maybe you'd be better off buying through a travel agent who (I assume) will just use a more conventional refund process and enter the card details to be refunded to at the time of refund.


Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 244

This whole things feels dodgy. If it isn't dodgy and actually for a legitimate use, then it is definitely overly complicated. As stated above, use a travel agent. Refund to travel voucher. Or at the very least, consolidate the credit cards.

You are asking which of the above airlines, use each refund method. But it sounds like you would have the most experience with this, so I can't see why you are asking.
Lastly, 10 different credit cards? Why...

MarkJohnSon Banned

MarkJohnSon Banned

Member since 19 Jan 2018

Total posts 41

This is really complicated and, frankly, utter nonsense. It's not the AusBT community's responsibilities to manage and advise on your personal affairs.


Air New Zealand - Airpoints

Member since 31 Oct 2016

Total posts 206

Dodginess aside, I daresay a notebook, or a spreadsheet might be the easiest way for you to work this out for yourself here, and going forward. As Grannular says, you'd have the most experience on this, but maybe I'd suggest when you've made a booking, a spreadsheet with the Booking Reference, and a note of which card you've paid what on.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 Jan 2018

Total posts 64

I won't seek to pass judgement on the bona fides of your conduct. I cannot be satisfied that you have necessary done anything untoward, unethical or illegal. In any case, that is ultimately a matter for you.

That said, the scope and complexity of your question goes well beyond what can, or should, be dealt with in this forum. It is not for the good folk in this community to provide you with advice about your personal circumstances or how to get out the quagmire you seem have found yourself in.

I would, therefore, strongly advise you take advice from your professional advisors.

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