Coronavirus cancellations: should airlines refund your money?

With flight cancellations stretching for months ahead, should airlines be more flexible in offering refunds over credit?

By David Flynn, March 23 2020
Coronavirus cancellations: should airlines refund your money?

If you’ll be stepping onto a flight this week, consider yourself among the lucky ones.

Across Australia and around the world, flights are being cancelled and routes and countries abandoned at a rate unimaginable to anybody but the most creatively-juiced author whose paperback plot involves the plague, zombies, or both.

And those cancellations are mounting. By the end of this week, Qantas and Virgin Australia will have suspended all international flights and further slashed their domestic schedules as the federal and state governments roll out a range of lockdowns.

Emirates and Etihad are expected to be grounded in the next few days, after the UAE declared a ban on all passenger flights.

Cathay Pacific, which once connected the world via Hong Kong, will now fly to just 12 destinations – with Sydney the only one in Australia – just three times a week.

Singapore Airlines, hit by not only a global slump in demand but new laws which ban visitors from Singapore and in-transit passengers from Changi Airport, will be flying only nine aircraft shared with its regional arm SilkAir to a handful of cities. 

The only flight between Australia and North American will be a sole daily United Airlines’ Boeing 787 between Sydney and San Francisco 

By next week, the skies above Australia will be eerily empty as we reach ‘peak cancellation’.

Also empty: the bank accounts of most would-be travellers, who are finding that after cancelling their flight, airlines largely insist on issuing a credit voucher rather than refunding the airfare.

The money or the box?

At the time of writing, of all the airlines mentioned above, only one – Cathay Pacific – offers the no-strings option of a full refund.

That may change as the number of cancellations soars, with no clear end-date in sight.

But in those circumstances, airlines may also decide that they need your money – yours, and everybody else’s – to wait the pandemic storm and be back in the air when you want to be.

However, a similar argument can be made that customers need the money, too.

As cities shut down, businesses close down and the spectre of a recession looms, that money – paid in advance for a business trip or a holiday – might be better back in your bank account.

New world, new rules

Travel vouchers are normally issued against cancellations because passengers will book a flight not too far in the future. But these are far from normal times.

Even if airlines extend the 12-month use-by date of a voucher issued against a coronavirus cancellation, will passengers be prepared to travel once flights resume?

Executive Traveller readers: what are your expectations of how airlines should handle these coronavirus cancellations – is a travel voucher sufficient, or should airlines pony up for a full refund?

And if airlines insist on issuing credit tone used against a future booking, should they up the ante by increasing the value of the voucher or allow doubler status credits on that vouchered booking, as a form of ‘interest’ for holding your money?

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

vfm
vfm

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 16

I would rather a full refund, esp when ticket is self-funded. I think you made a good point David in that 'we' need the money as much as the airlines during this challenging period. The 12 month voucher is too short IMHO, esp as it's from date of purchase/issuance. I spent over 7k in Jan for a family trip o/s in April. Can I see myself flying again o/s by Jan 2021? Pretty unlikely given the way things are going. Maybe if a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, but will there ever be one and if so when - who knows.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Apr 2019

Total posts 1

Qantas should give refunds.

Business trips can only be taken when needed, not pressured to be completed within Qantas' 12 month credit policy.

UA

30 Jun 2015

Total posts 23

Given the nature of the virus no country will want a traveler to reintroduce it and trigger a second or third wave of infections in those who avoid it initially. So, I expect when more flights resume that strict quarantine requirements will be enforced at the end of every sector until a vaccine is available, and being vaccinated will be mandatory to fly internationally.

I think the end of 2021 is the earliest that it will be possible to fly in the manner we previously experienced. By then, many airlines and travel agents will be out of business. If you can get a cash refund grab it now.

I have multiple future non-refundable international tickets booked with UA, SQ, AC and Icelandair. Some are offering vouchers, others want you to rebook, but one can only rebook 330 days or so in advance ( or 3 days if it's AC). Further some only allow one rebooking without a change charge.

I have cancelled an RTW F trip with Swiss at a cost of $1450 and rate the chances of seeing the balance as 50:50 - the LH Group is making refunds very hard.

But, as they say, a bird in hand beats two in the bush.

Oh, and a problem with Krisflyer. If SQ cancel a flight on your points based itinerary, then you can no longer cancel the booking and re-credit the points. Doubt SQ is being difficult it just on normal days they expect the Service Reps to have it sorted.

jch
jch

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Nov 2017

Total posts 58

You can but it is a USD$75 fee less the taxes you will receive back.

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 42

Airlines operate on slim profit margins so obviously, hanging onto the money that people have paid in advance makes their balance sheet and cash flow better. Imagine offering refunds with in the current climate with more money going out in the form of cash refunds against virtually nothing coming in terms of confirmed and paid bookings. But with the issuing of travel credit voucher instead, if the airline goes bust, you're an unsecured creditor.

12 Apr 2011

Total posts 74

Don't the Conditions of Carriage of most airlines state that they should be giving you refunds? Isn't insisting on a travel credit breaking their own contract?

For example Qantas CoC 9.2:

9.2 Late or Cancelled Flights (Events Beyond Our Control)

Where we make a Significant Change to your flight due to an Event Beyond Our Control, whether you have checked in or not, we will:

use reasonable endeavours to rebook you on the next available flight on our services at no additional cost to you

alternatively, if we are unable to rebook you on services acceptable to you, we will refund the applicable fare.

And Qatar 11.3:

3. Involuntary Refunds

If we cancel a flight, fail to operate a flight reasonably according to schedule, fail to stop at a point to which the Passenger is destined or ticketed to stopover, are unable to provide previously confirmed space or cause you to miss a connecting flight on which you hold a reservation, the amount of refund will be:

3.1 If no portion of the Ticket has been used, the amount equal to the fare paid.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 61

Yes, it is, in these examples, and others with similar wording. These are contractual rights and, in the case of Qantas, for example, their own contractual terms make clear that passengers receive a refund even in extraordinary circumstances in which Qantas has had to cancel flights for reasons outside their control.

At the moment, the sneaky bit on Qantas' part, for example, is that they haven't formally cancelled many flights even though they've publicly said they won't operate. Until that happens, passengers aren't technically entitled to the refund. Those passengers should wait and we will very soon find out as Qantas is forced to cancel these flights. In the meantime, it seems Qantas and sites like this will continue to try to push as many people as possible into accepting a credit.

It is now verging on the absurd that sites like this continue to push this narrative. At this point, I don't see how they are not simply misleading passengers by omission. Are these sites in some way beholden to Qantas and others in the form of advertising or paid support? If not, I'd love to hear from the editors why they continue to publish this. This can no longer be accidental ignorance.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2421

Hi Flying Kangaroo: Executive Traveller is not 'pushing' any 'narrative', what we are doing is what we always do, which is to just report the story. In times like this, that includes sharing what airlines are doing regarding cancellations. And the very fact we published this article, to raise the issue of credit vs refund and encourage people to discuss this (as there are at least two sides to any story), should be proof in itself that we don't tow any 'company line'.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 61

Thanks for the reply mate. It is still unclear why you decided not to “report” the full story by also referring to any of the contractual terms of the airlines you noted that clearly resolve many of the questions raised in the article and by your readers in the comments. Those would be tremendously helpful to your readers when “discussing” both “sides of the story,” so perhaps you might consider noting them in future.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Feb 2016

Total posts 47

My opinion is that cash refund should be given be it personal expenditure or paid by an entity. At present with airlines cutting back or cancelling flights at short notice or on the day why should the traveller be put at a disadvantage. There are current travel warnings in place for all "non essential travel" but there will be those who may still need to travel. The people in this category do so knowing that there is isolation requirements in most countries. The ability to book any flight at whatever cost cost should not be exacerbated by airlines refusing to give refunds.

If in such circumstances why would you want to accept option of say a VA travel credit for some time in the future and may never be used. It is the airlines that are choosing to cancel flights, I understand why so there is no need to start another debate.

The Credit Card and Travel Insurance providers seem to be jumping on the same wagon and everyone seems to be blaming someone else and refusing to pay.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 272

I took the vouchers for a couple of flights I cancelled and was comfortable with the decision, and they made it simple to do it all online which was a good move and you have confirmation straight away. Others like Accor offer full refunds but you can't do it online and they close their call centre here and your call gets diverted overseas, to have someone tell you they can't help you, I have given up on getting anything back from them.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2020

Total posts 3

Would leaving the money with the airlines (as a credit) help them pay their staff during these difficult times?

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 59

Except that most of their staff aren't getting paid.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2020

Total posts 3

Not paying their staff, and telling customers they would have to pay any future fare difference - is there any reason to leave the money with the airlines (as a credit)?

(I would leave my money as credits if they made a commitment to pay staff "something", and that I could book the same fare category when flights resume).

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 61

Same, and plenty of other airlines have developed credit schemes that are fare more generous and far more flexible. In my case, I'll be waiting for Qantas to cancel my flight so I can insist on my refund pursuant to their Conditions of Carriage. Had Qantas been less greedy from the outset, I would have just taken the credit.

And a lot of us are't getting paid either.

14 Oct 2019

Total posts 12

Given the difficult time for airlines, I would be happy to take vouchers (potentially for many thousands of dollars) if I could have a more realistic time frame to use them!

lm1
lm1

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Feb 2015

Total posts 29

Have three domestic QF J seats booked on an itinerary which utilised an Amex $450 QF travel credit. Almost dreading having to ring Amex and be told no voucher available as paid with travel credit. Hard to be positive about much at this point.

26 Apr 2018

Total posts 11

I'm in the same boat but that $450 credit each year is the only reason I keep renewing the AMEX card. If they don't extend the time I can use the credit then it's bye bye AMEX.

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 103

If this was a ‘normal' time, and I chose not to fly because I couldn't and the fare is not changeable, the airline would be happy to keep my money and tell me too bad.

In this situation, or down side is that we are at their peril since there is no competition or option.

Absolutely they should be refunding if they are unable to keep their contact to transport someone as per the agreement at the time of purchase.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

23 Mar 2020

Total posts 8

I agree a full refund is the only option. None of us can be sure we'll survive this horror that has swept around the world, therefore a voucher for a future booking is really no solution. Whilst it is no fault of the airlines having to cancel flights and ground the aircraft, neither is it the fault of the pax who booked and paid in good faith that they would travel on the flight of their choice.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 61

What's all this about "opinions" and "arguments"? There's no need. All you need is already there in black and white. Why hasn't this website reviewed and set out the contractual terms of individual airlines?

Some - like Qantas - clearly provide for refunds back to the original form of payment when Qantas cancels flights, even for reasons outside their control. Done and dusted.

Others - like VA - do not clearly address refunds for cancellations and as a result, general Australian Consumer law applies which would also call for refunds back to original form or payment. VA has come up with an excuse to say why they shouldn't have to pay out under those laws and in the short-term passengers are unlikely to get a simple refund, but legally speaking, VA's argument will likely fail ultimately in court (and I would be surprised if it isn't challenged if VA still exists).

I get why airlines are doing what they're doing, even VA, who I would argue is knowingly taking a major legal gamble. I also get why some passengers would prefer a refund. At the end of the day, however, all that matters is what the contract says or doesn't say. For once, all that technical legal mumbo-jumbo is actually very helpful to the average Joe and it is disappointing seeing a narrative from airlines and media that constantly overlook (or deliberately skip over) informing passengers of their own contractual rights. I get why airlines do it, but not sites like this one.

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 61

Travel voucher is no good to me if a airline no longer exists due to bankruptcy.

14 Oct 2019

Total posts 12

Just spoke to very helpful QANTAS - refund for international flights and vouchers for domestic flights. Couldn't be more helpful. Our international flights (Fiji Air / QANTAS combo on QF flight number) haven't even been cancelled yet but they anticipated it would be so gave me the refund!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 78

Hi Antipodean. I've tried calling to request a refund but the message was that you shouldn't hold unless your flight is in the next 48 hours. Did you hold anyway? And was your flight a non-cancellable fare type?

14 Oct 2019

Total posts 12

Alex I rang them about a domestic flight for tomorrow where the voucher hadn't registered an amount but asked them about the flights in 10 - 11 days (yes basic ones you can't cancel without penalty). They gave refunds for international and vouchers for domestic. Also told me I could pool the vouchers (I have three so far) when it comes to booking but would need to book through the call centre - with no charges. I have more international flights in June and September so will wait and see what happens with them.

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 3

I think the airlines are (understandably from their perspective) making it very tricky to obtain a refund - often against their own T&Cs. Singapore Airlines have cancelled my flight and automatically transferred my booking value to a travel credit. It would appear if they can setup this type of automation they should be able to automatically provide refunds, obviously not in their interest. They are impossible to reach via phone or email to try and get a refund.

I think some American airlines have landed on a good approach, provide a refund or a travel credit with a 20% increase in credit value as an incentive for keeping your cash with the airline. This provides benefit to both parties rather than the self serving approach Singapore is taking.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 61

Agree. As long as airlines abide by their contractual terms where a refund is promised, even if it's a tad tricky getting it, I can understand why they're doing this.

Also agree that some vouchers certainly land well with customers better. Ultimately a commercial balancing act: how can you be generous enough to incentivise customers to accept the voucher while still being as thrifty as possible for your bottom line?

Suffice it to say, some are doing better than others. Certainly in Qantas' case, I'll be taking the refund.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

I personally don't mind taking a credit voucher but believe that the airline should give one a seat in a future flight (same sector) in the same class without the need to pay the price difference and give the passenger the same perks attached to the original ticket such as double points or double status credits

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 61

LATAM has done this, whether for all flights or just regional I don't know, but that's what they've offered me for a domestic flight in Argentina that as of today even still looks like it will operate.

Lots of clever ways the airlines can be doing this to strike the right balance, which they're got to do to get passengers to agree if their terms and conditions otherwise promise a refund. As above, providing 110-120% of the ticket value in credit is also a clever idea that some airlines have done. Still potential pitfalls for the passengers and all require reasonable rebooking date options, but most anything is better than what Qantas was originally offering. I wonder how many more might have taken them up on the offer and allowed QF to protect its cashflow if they'd just been less greedy from the outset (I might have, but didn't and won't; at this point, I just want my refund on principle).

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 61

Agree, this is fairer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 37

I guess I was lucky was due to fly Gold Coast to Seoul at the end of April and returning after 10 days and Jetstar cancelled the flights about 4 weeks ago and I was offered a credit or rebooking or a a full refund back to my credit card which I took and didn't take too long. Was also lucky that my hotel booking for Seoul had a free cancellation upto a few days before check in which I cancelled and got a speedy refund.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2020

Total posts 3

I've just received two automated Voucher (credit) notifications. The conditions are strict (as already discussed), and interesting to note that they must be used towards a fare of equal or higher value than the original fare. A sure way to extract more money.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Apr 2014

Total posts 9

Yes, many disappointing conditions. I would have been much happier with The credit being valid for longer (mine one only 10 months) or to be able to use the credit I obtained over several trips. Small things that still would have guaranteed my patronage and potentially i still would have spent more money but would have been happier about doing so.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2016

Total posts 1

A real problem with the Qantas Future Credit scheme is the 30 September deadline on date of future flight - this is way too short a credit period, especially for those many travellers who had overseas trips booked and now have to wait for the dust to settle on the virus issue before even considering re-booking a replacement overseas trip which often includes other packages eg a cruise etc.

Qantas should extend the deadline to at least 12 months from original date of flight

I have just had a cruise cancelled with a future credit offer of 24 months

RT

17 Apr 2016

Total posts 15

I am holding return business class tickets Cape Town to Perth with SAA on the 5th April 20. SAA have cancelled all flights, but no refunds! Seeing as our cruise didn't sail I couldn't use the tickets anyway, but vouchers for a one way flight, with an airline which is on its knees, is not a good option. Giving vouchers is not appropriate in some cases, not the least financially. Do people in their 80's know they will still be fit to travel in a years time? I also have flights booked Perth to UK with Qatar in J for August so I am doubly affected.

,

19 May 2014

Total posts 11

I went for a refund after seeing the refund button at the bottom of the automatically generated voucher.

The other big problem I see is once this is all over and airlines start flying again, it won't simply be a case of back to normal from day 1. Schedules will slowly start back up and they'll be many people trying to use their vouchers. Supply & demand dictates that prices won't necessarily be cheap. Qantas will want to crawl as much back as possible. I hope I'm wrong though

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 15

I was due to fly SQ to Munich then Lufthansa to Athens. SQ have now cancelled all flights to Munich and have made changes to my flights with them okay. However I cannot get any sense out of Lufthansa at all. Does anyone have any suggestions?

25 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

My issue with vouchers is that they are valid for 12months from the time of booking. I travel regualrly and book well ahead. I am cancelling fares that were booked Jul19 and I'm already booked into July so verly limited opportunity to use vouchers.

Vouchers should be 12 months from the original flight date not 12 months from booking.

as a Travel Agent, when a refund is processed, the airline will credit the traveller whatever amount applicable but they debit our account the commission value. some clients arent then happy when we charge to recoup our lost commission.

i bet know one else works for free

UA

30 Jun 2015

Total posts 23

@Traveloncrown, If I cancel an airfare and pay the applicable fee then surely that fee includes your commission?

Hi, if the airline charges an applicable cancellation fee, then no. they refund directly to the traveller and still debit us the commission.

we then charge a refund / processing fee but certainly not the commission amount lost

UA

30 Jun 2015

Total posts 23

Hi again,

the feedback is appreciated but this is likely a hole in consumer law as what you quote me as an agent includes your commission, but what I then see when cancelling excludes your commission and leaves you, the party that rendered all services to date, out of pocket.

10 May 2017

Total posts 3

China Airlines (from Taiwan) offering full refunds for tickets booked before a certain time for travel between a certain period. I can't remember exact details but I had a holiday booked, originally between April 7th to 14th but had to cancel for obvious reasons. Reading their website and updates late last week, refunds were mentioned (full) - I called them and it was confirmed as true and correct. Airline office staff gave me all the options I had and recommended cancellation as full refunds were offered. So yes, I cancelled my travel on that basis. Kudos to China Airlines for this.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 115

I had two trips. First one: My flights were fully refundable, so should get a full credit. Second: on Points, so you are only charged taxes, (and surcharges) so since they didn't pay the tax... I could concede losing the 6000 points for cancelling as they are their terms

If it was a non-refundable flight or cancel with a cost, you should have a credit or pay the cancellation fee

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 May 2016

Total posts 9

A post from QF on their fb page on Sunday states - 'We'll continue to adjust Qantas and Jetstar services as needed in light off... ...Customers with bookings until May 31 can cancel their flight and receive a travel credit which can be used for travel up until at least late 2021'.

We've got five QF bookings through until November, four domestic and one international. Only the first two are in the first window, both domestic. We're now waiting to see what happens with QF's schedule after today's announcement by Virgin.

We'll be asking for full refunds for any and everything that is cancelled by QF.

We were going to fly late April from B'bane to Cairns. We cannot do that as we are elderly and the risk is too great. A credit voucher is no use to us as my husband has two major operations coming up after our planned holiday. We are not planning to fly soon again and they give only 12 months. Because he cannot work for quite a while the money would really be useful. I really want a refund!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 May 2016

Total posts 9

Yes, our first flight is also Cairns (for Easter). I have a suppressed immune system so flying and anything involving large groups is a tad scary for me. Refund for us too

25 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

Purchased via BYOJet online arm of Flight Centre, listed as Gold Coast Location but off shore in Phillippines I now find out. Was flying Thai Airways on 27 March 2020 mel to BKK with my family. Thai have cancelled the flight. BYOJET are offerring a flight shell credit, but must be used within 12 months of original purchase date, for me that was 2 August 2019 minus booking change fee, rebooking fee and fare difference charge from original promotional fare. I demanded a full refund, they told me to call Thai Airways. They Thai Airways have closed their offices in Australia and would not reply to my email request. Also called Thai Airways in BKK and do not answer the phone either. BYO Jet will not refund me and keep on telling me to call back, was 96 hours before flight, then 72 hours, then 48 hours, today 24 hours before flight, which is cancelled anyway. I have spent several hours every day for past 5 days trying to get through and I am sick of the Buno mars music recording over and over. I have 3 future bookings with this company and I will have problems with every one as other 2 flights are in JUne and one in September for my family. Any ideas how I get a refund from this mob?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2016

Total posts 1

JAL will not (at today's date) refund the full amount of fares booked and paid in full to FRA via NRT/HAN several months ago. Spoke with their call centre and was told that a cancellation fee would be payable if flights were cancelled by me. Will wait and see if JAL cancels flights and see if their attitude changes. Not particularly hopeful of a full/part refund.

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 38

So, if I can't fly due to travel restrictions and the airline is not operating the flight, from a moral perspective the contract is annulled by mutual consent. In this case, why should the airline keep my money?

They're not paying staff, fuel, taxes or charges, and interest rates are near zero, so no investors should be expecting a return while the airline is grounded. The government is giving them money which should cover the parking charges and management salary.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 16

Last week cancelled an Air France ticket (for a long-abandoned European holiday). AF issued a credit note and their T&Cs state that if the credit is not used by its expiry date (12 months from issuing the note) then you have a further 3 months to request a cash refund. Then zippo.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 6

I received a cancellation notice from Qantas yesterday for my flight in late May, issuing a credit voucher. Difference here is that I am already overseas (Malaysia) and the flight is a return home. I'm not chasing a refund as I want to stay on their books for a new flight as soon as they are up and running again. Anyhow, said they would contact me later this week to notify me of available options, but obviously this will be hard to predict due to the current situation. I do have more flights booked to come back here, both in July and November - will have to wait and see what happens for those.

I can understand why airlines are eager to keep your money at a time like this, but I think they need to offer a choice between a refund and travel credit. Imagine a family of four that's booked a holiday trip to Europe, might have cost them $6,000 in airfares, suddenly the flight is cancelled but also one of the parents is now out of work because of the economic down-turn or because the business has been forced to close under Govt order. Surely they have a right to have their $6,000 back, because the holiday is now a faraway dream, a luxury , compared to being able to pay rent and meals and bills.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 81

What airlines should be doing if they want to keep your money is to increase the value of the travel voucher. You paid $1500 for your ticket? Okay, make the travel voucher worth $2000. Or maybe make it eligible for double status credits. Give people a better deal than just hanging onto their money as an interest-free loan until things get better.

Almost everyone these days would pay for their ticket with a credit card so why not just get the card vendor to do a 'reverse charge' against the airline, based on the fact that you paid for a service which was not delivered? The same would apply in any other commercial transaction and it should apply here.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Aug 2015

Total posts 5

We've received a refund voucher for an international flight but minus a card payment fee. With another much larger refund to negotiate, it too will attract such a fee. Should Qantas be refunding the full cost of these vouchers?

06 Dec 2014

Total posts 28

My flight to Perth on April 3 was cancelled today (which I was expecting) and via the e-mail I received I was offered a credit. However, I'd earlier received an e-mail from Qantas stating, as has been pointed out, that if they cancel they will offer the refund provided that was part of the conditions of the fare.

What I did was go into my FF account, input the cancelled flight code and the offer of a refund was there. In this case I took it. I'm not sure yet about the return journey which has not been cancelled.

One other point. I have an $800 flight credit sitting there but it expires in June. If the borders are still closed in June, through no fault of my own (and not Qantas' either), I could forfeit this credit. I am hoping that Qantas will extend the deadline. I'll wait a couple of weeks for the hullaballoo to die down and ask them about it.

Finally - to retain FF membership you have to make four flights per calendar year. This might no longer be possible for some QFF members. Qantas might like to look at extending that too.

Qantas has extended frequent flyer status for a full year and dropped the need to make four Qantas flights, see https://www.executivetraveller.com/news/qantas-extends-silver-gold-platinum-frequent-flyer-status

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

Well I contracted with QF to transport me on. Trip on Apr 28. They are no longer able to honour that contract, so make with the coins.

If I'm late checkin as a result of a huge traffic jam up, I'm screwed because a I didn't honour my side of the contract, I don't get a travel credit nor a refund because I didn't honour the contract...

Sorry boys can't have it both ways..

MHG
MHG

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 13

I had a paid RTW business ticket with QF, 16 legs, due to depart on June 24th. I contacted Qantas and spoke to a very obliging assistant and we discussed my trip and it was agreed that it wouldn't happen. I was put on hold for a minute and, and upon resumption was informed that a full refund would be credited to my CC.

To me the service was exceptional and I can't fault Qantas and their staff.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 119

Get the refund...credits are worth nothing if the airline goes under. Albeit taking refunds makes the position worse for airlines as they lose cheap working capital. Many companies are offering 120% of face value credit, which might seem good, but is likely as sign of them being distressed. Travel insurance, even for policies bought pre-virus, are also largely ineffective as they have specific pandemic exclusions.

Great advice: get the refunds! But...I cannot get the refund. they only offer from Virgin is a travel credit (which I may not be able to use due to conditions that I cannot meet).So, maabot, what do you suggest now?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 61

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do right now. VA's Conditions of Carriage do not expressly guarantee a refund in these situations which means general Australian Consumer Law applies. Although those laws would also appear to guarantee you a refund, there are exceptions that allow businesses to deny you one, including the one VA has latched onto: "government restrictions."

Legally, it is fairly well-established in law that the only kind of "government restrictions" that would justify not providing a refund are those which actually prevent the service from being performed, not simply government restrictions that make performing that service commercially unviable or not profitable. In those cases, the decision to cancel flights is a business decision aimed at preventing financial loss, not a response to a government forbidding VA from flying.

Until that position is challenged in court, however (and I suspect it will be; this is a pretty easy and tasty looking class action for a litigation firm), best you're going to get in the meantime is a voucher. If a court does eventually decide VA was not lawfully denying refunds, anyone who was given a voucher instead would have to have the option to instead have a refund. (That, of course, also requires VA still existing at the time.)

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 119

Being honest, you're in a pickle.

07 May 2016

Total posts 16

I think they should when the cancellation is not initiated by the passenger.

For our itinerary in May, airline announcements say that none of the international flights we are on will be going, so we're trying to unwind them. They were all booked many months ago. Here is what's happening with regard to refunds

YVR-SFO Westjet using Airmiles & CAD$ fees: - the Airmiles chat line referred me to Westjet to fill out a refund form. Westjet's website said I should contact Airmiles. Rather than going in circles I filled out the Westjet form, getting a receipt and a forecast of 45 days to process. We'll see what happens.

SFO-MEL & MEL-CNS Qantas business class seats using Alaska rewards + USD$ fees - haven't reached Alaska Airlines yet to get back the miles and fees; this was the most valuable part of the itinerary.

CNS-AKL-YVR AirNew Zealand on AUD$ global saver ticket - I called Air NZ a few days ago, and they called back today to say we can get a credit, or a refund less $500 per ticket. The flights are still showing in our booking in spite of announcements there are no flights. As we live in Canada and will not be travelling to Australia for 2 years a credit is useless, plus we don't want to lose $1000 of the refund. So I withdrew the refund request and will resubmit it shortly before the date of the non-existent flight to see if it gets better treatment then. The potential results then are a) a full refund, b) a refund less $1000, c) no refund e.g. if Air New Zealand has no money left.

14 Oct 2019

Total posts 12

Like MHG I only have positive comments re QANTAS. It seems to me that its not so positive with some others airlines.

I just saw this on QANTAS site which I see as another positive!

You may use your credit to rebook any flight that is available on qantas.com at that time. Flights are generally available online 355 days in advance, so if you were to book using your credit on 30 September 2020, you could select a flight date as far ahead as September 2021.

06 Dec 2014

Total posts 28

When I read the article on Et about extension of status I was so overjoyed I didn't read further. Great to see that I no longer have to make the 4 flights. I think Qantas have been very smart here as they will keep members like me who don't do a huge amount of flying but will always book with them. My propensity to book J on the longer flights must also be a plus.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

Basically the money I paid the airlines didn't come with an expiration date, seems once it passed into their hands an expiration date was added to that currency. Great deal for them, a heap of money interest free and if you don't cash in the chip it's theirs to keep. Didn't see that particular arrangement in my conditions of travel. Did anyone else..

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 61

If you're travelling with Qantas (and I gather you were given your comments above), you are entitled to a refund per the conditions of carriage and more importantly, Qantas is providing them if requested. You can also opt for a refund directly in your voucher online. As long as you did not cancel your booking before Qantas did, you're not stuck with the voucher.

That said, technically the answer to your question above is yes, ifyou agree to the voucher: the Conditions of Carriage state that in addition to either an alternative flight or a direct refund, passengers can agree to an alternative arrangement. By accepting the voucher and not further requesting a refund, you're contractually agreeing to that alternative.

However, if you don't agree, and no alternative flight exists, you will receive a refund, but you will need to take the step to either call Qantas to ask for it or click a button in your voucher. But for flights Qantas has now cancelled, the voucher is not forced on you as the only option nor is Qantas refusing refunds when requested.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

23 Mar 2020

Total posts 8

I've received an email from Emirates regarding my flight due to depart Glasgow-Dubai-Melbourne on Sunday 29th, the wording in it, and on the travel advice section of their app refers only to “suspension of flights” I believe this is a legal move as it does not mention cancellation on which their Terms and Conditions are based. On the app my flight is still sitting there so I shall wait until check in opens on Saturday and see what happens then. I appreciate that the offer of a travel voucher valid for 18 months for me is very generous, but as an old codger I may not be fit and able to travel, or even survive this deadly virus. I'll come back to this thread on Saturday!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2018

Total posts 7

I have booked a flight with Thai airways and have had to cancel however they said that it would take over 6 months for refund to reappear in my credit card. I then rang AMEX and they put the transaction on hold and asked for written documentation that I had canceled the flight. After weeks of waiting Thai Airways had clearly failed to reply to my emails and now because I haven't got any written documentation for the cancelled flight AMEX is reapplying the charge to my card. Extremely unhappy with both companies. Has anyone got any suggestions on what I should do. Any advise would be fantastic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 16

Make sure you send an email to the airline's service centre stating that you are cancelling the ticket, quoting the ticket number and the booking reference, even after you've spoken with them. You will need to ask for the email address, or if they get stroppy google it (sometimes they are published online). Mark the email before sending [in Outlook] "Request a delivery receipt" and also "Request a read receipt".

I always ask for a transaction/conversation record ID (which I rarely get) and the name of the person I'm talking with (even if only first name); I take a note of the date and time of the call. I record these details in the Outlook Calendar record of the original flight even after I've cancelled it. If I really think I'm being given the runaround on the first call, I record subsequent calls on my iPhone after telling the call centre operator that that's what I'm doing. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's not really, especially if you add in your notes at the time.

At the moment, I'm being given the runaround by SIA about two tickets I cancelled in the middle of January. On 6 occasions I have been promised by their Singapore call centre that I would get a refund of dollars and points "within the next week". The booking currently sits in my KrisFlyer account as active despite my having cancelled it. Today I sent the cancellation history/details by email to the SIA CEO. I suspect he'll never see it but it has now entered their system formally in writing and will be handed on down the chain. A lot of effort? Well, not to get AUD15k and 500k points returned.


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