The world’s economy ground to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And few sectors have been hit harder than travel, hospitality and tourism. The industry’s responses to the crisis are as many as the number of tickets. In many cases, travellers are frustrated because of the apparent inability to obtain coronavirus refunds from airlines and insurance companies.
Consumers like you are not giant corporations like the airlines. But you’re also facing economic hardship. Relatively speaking, the price you are paying may even be higher. The travel plans you made became impossible to implement overnight. Maybe it was a once-in-a-lifetime family holiday. Or a wedding, or some other family event. Whatever the case, it’s no longer going to take place when you thought. And if it ever does, you have no idea if you’ll then be available.
And what about your money? You paid in advance of course. So why can’t you get coronavirus refunds from airlines? Is that money all gone? We readily understand the difficult position the companies are in. But that’s no reason for you not to get your money back. You didn’t do anything wrong. So what’s going on out there?
Insurance May Not Cover It
A recent report by the BBC addressed the possibility that you might get your money back if you took out travel insurance. Is that possible?
The bottom line is that the chances of success depend on a few factors. First and foremost is the fine print of your policy. Second is the reason why you could not travel. If the government prohibited it, your odds improve. If you decided it’s too dangerous, your odds are minimal.
Moreover, the fine print may differentiate between a hotel that’s been closed and an open hotel in an area where travel is not recommended. And of course, timelines matter. There will be a deadline to apply. But you may not be able to file immediately. You might have to wait until close to the original date of departure. And save your receipts and contracts! Without them there is no way to obtain coronavirus refunds from airlines, from insurance companies or from anyone else.
Can You Get Coronavirus Refunds from Airlines?
The best case scenario at this point would be to get all your money back directly from the airline. Don’t be surprised, however, to learn that this may be easier said than done. Another BBC article warns that refunds are difficult at best given the delays and byzantine bureaucracy. In particular, many travellers complain that while they could book their flights online, and even get vouchers for cancelled flights, they have to request a refund over the phone. And that entails interminable waits and numerous calls. After all, the system is now simply overwhelmed. And don’t forget: If you’re skipping a flight that was not cancelled — even for the most justifiable of reasons — you may not be entitled to a refund at all.
Chargebacks: Your Last Chance to Obtain Coronavirus Refunds from Airlines
Not surprisingly, many travellers report that they finally requested chargebacks from the bank that issued them the credit card or debit card they used to pay for their tickets. If you opt to ask your bank to raise a dispute, however, be sure to request a refund directly from the travel agency or airline beforehand. Your bank will want to know if you tried to resolve the dispute with the merchant before initiating a chargeback. That is because a chargeback is your final option, not your first.
There are several conditions that could give you the right to a chargeback. Aside from fraudulent transactions, where the card was used without your knowledge, other cases include not receiving what you paid for, receiving goods or services that were not as described, and being charged the wrong amount.
If your travel was cancelled and the merchant is refusing to refund you, a chargeback may be an attractive alternative to losing your money. Be aware, however, that some experts have warned that the banks and credit card companies may, in the current crisis, lean towards denying chargebacks more than approving them. Your best bet, therefore, is to have a professional behind the scenes preparing your case for you. Someone with a deep and broad understanding of all the relevant laws, regulations and company policies, but who’s on your side. Now who might that be?
Your Bottom Line
There is no reason why a global catastrophe needs to sweep your hard earned money away. You do not deserve to be another victim. If you are finding all doors closed to helping you, consider MyChargeBack. We are a financial services firm with clients around the world, and we have helped people like you recover millions of pounds, euros and dollars. Reach out to us for a free consultation today.