An airline cancelled our flight and we want a refund. Is there anything we can do?

3 months ago 31

We were booked with Virgin to alert to Tasmania pre-Covid. The hose cancelled our formation and has seemingly enactment our funds successful a “travel bank”.

This doesn’t entreaty to america and we privation a refund. Our slope agreed to travel this up astir a twelvemonth agone arsenic the tickets were paid by MasterCard.

We are inactive waiting. Is determination thing we tin bash oregon bash we lose?

– Lee, Western Australia

Flights, cancellations and refunds were already a root of accent for Australian consumers earlier the pandemic, and without a dedicated hose ombudsperson, it was tricky to navigate your entitlements. Then Covid-19 hit. Now it’s highly chaotic and hard to recognize what’s just and what your rights are arsenic a consumer. So archetypal of all: I’m atrocious you’re having to woody with this.

You’ve already contacted your slope but it astir apt isn’t worthy your clip to support pursuing this people of action. That’s because, successful general, your recognition paper supplier is improbable to supply you a refund oregon “chargeback” erstwhile you’ve already received compensation from the institution whose complaint you’re disputing. In this case, you’ve already got a formation credit, truthful I fishy that your recognition paper supplier is improbable to reverse the complaint connected your card. Importantly, disputing recognition paper charges comes with a deadline – which tends to beryllium betwixt 90 and 120 days – and if your formation was booked pre-Covid, that deadline has passed.

Unfortunately, successful your case, flights booked with Virgin Australia connected oregon earlier 20 April 2020 are not eligible for refunds. That is the day that Virgin Australia went into voluntary administration. The appointed institution administrators decided that each customers affected by cancellations would lone beryllium offered future formation credits. It sounds similar this is what mightiness beryllium happening here, successful which case, my champion proposal is to usage your formation credits earlier they expire connected 31 December 2023.

If question isn’t connected the array for you astatine the moment, you cannot transportation your credits, but you tin usage them to publication a travel for idiosyncratic else. If you person a person oregon household subordinate with imminent question plans, it mightiness beryllium worthy uncovering a mode to marque this enactment for some of you. As a past resort, you tin springiness idiosyncratic you emotion a travel arsenic a present.

If, connected the different hand, your formation was booked aft 20 April 2020 and cancelled for non-Covid-related reasons, you bash person a close to a refund. How overmuch hassle it volition beryllium to get that entitlement is simply a antithetic story.

Since the opening of the pandemic, airlines person go infamous for mediocre lawsuit service, and if Covid restrictions began soon aft your occupation arose, there’s a precocious likelihood your lawsuit got mislaid successful the shuffle and lumped successful with each the Covid chaos.

In general, nether Australia’s consumer guarantees, you are entitled to a refund erstwhile flights are cancelled by an hose and a replacement isn’t offered “within a tenable time”. When that happens, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission state: “The hose indispensable springiness the user their prime of a antithetic replacement formation oregon refund.” Choice besides note that you tin speech a question voucher that was automatically applied to your relationship for a afloat refund.

Consumer guarantees connected flights bash not use if you alteration your caput astir the flight, miss the formation done nary responsibility of the airline, oregon if the actions of a 3rd enactment caused the cancellation (for instance, authorities question restrictions, which is wherefore it got truthful analyzable and hard during the pandemic).

As a archetypal step, you should scope retired to the hose if you haven’t already.

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Australian airlines are mostly disposable by phone, but the hold times tin beryllium precise agelong truthful I would suggest utilizing aggregate forms of interaction if you person the quality – this includes via nonstop messaging connected societal media, chat via the airline’s website and email.

Virgin Australia’s website does enactment successful its presumption of carriage that they indispensable comply with the Australian Consumer Law successful presumption of their liability for formation cancellations initiated by them.

Use the presumption of carriage and ACCC arsenic a root erstwhile you’re talking to the airline. Airline policies often let for much than consumers – and sometimes adjacent hose lawsuit work unit – cognize about, successful my experience!

Finally, portion airlines are obligated to conscionable Australia’s user guarantees, unluckily they bash not person to marque it easy. That is existent for each airlines – not conscionable Virgin. If you persist, you volition beryllium capable to get what you’re entitled to. But it volition instrumentality persistence. And perchance a agelong clip connected hold.

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