In our previous blog we examined some of the challenges customers are facing in trying to obtain COVID-19 travel refunds. We saw some of the tactics airlines are employing to delay and avoid paying back their customers for their cancelled flights. That’s pretty bad, but it gets worse. Not to worry, though. Spoiler: there’s a happy ending.
First, the Bad News
There is a mass of customers clamoring for well-deserved COVID-19 travel refunds. Unfortunately, many refunds are rejected. That, in turn, created an opening for scammers. There are numerous reports around the globe of spam emails promising to help obtain refunds for cancelled flights. What happens, however, is that these emails steal the recipient’s personal data when the victims open them.
MyChargeBack advises, therefore, to double check the authenticity and reliability of any company you deal with before clicking any links or parting with any sensitive information.
Another disturbing trend involves stranded travellers in the middle of a trip far from home. There are instances when they face what amounts to extortion. One American couple stuck in Europe had no alternative other than pay $1,800 for tickets home. That was because the airline refused to fly to the original destination. It cited a lack of screening at that particular airport. Now the airline says it ‘will try’ to process a refund at some point in the future. When they get around to it.
Another American couple became ill, possibly with coronavirus, during a cruise in South America. They planned ahead for any contingency, however, by purchasing travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage. When push came to shove, however, it didn’t matter. They were shocked and disappointed to discover that the insurance company offered every excuse it could think up. It refused to evacuate the couple or do anything else to help them.
No, an Online Travel Agency Won’t Necessarily Help
All the challenges and complications of getting a refund are multiplied if you booked your trip through an online travel agency. After all, it doesn’t even have your money any more. To do that it first has to get your money back from all the companies it paid (airlines, hotels, shuttles, etc.).
The bottom line is that there may be many hurdles for the ordinary passenger to overcome. Thankfully, some airlines and travel and leisure companies are quite forthcoming in refunding the cost of cancelled trips. Many others will not. Consumers who are unsatisfied do have other avenues.
COVID-19 Travel Refunds: Can Anyone Help?
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that airlines must provide refunds, not vouchers, to purchasers of tickets on flights cancelled due to COVID-19. In Israel, a major law firm filed a class action lawsuit against a number of American and European airlines for failing to issue timely refunds.
It remains to be seen if either the government or the courts will be effective or efficient at getting people’s money back in their pockets. What you really need is a professional to look out for your interests. MyChargeBack‘s expertise and experience have allowed our clients all over the world to recover millions pounds, euros and dollars that they feared were gone forever. Contact us today for a free consultation.