A BRITISH expat has been left chasing a flight refund for a cancelled flight that the airline refuses to accept was cancelled.

Rachael Beck, 38, had a flight booked from London Heathrow to Barcelona on March 28 with British Airways.

However, the flight was cancelled and Beck is still trapped in the UK.

The booking had been made via Spanish airline Vueling and when the Brit – who’s lived in Girona for the part six years – contacted them to ask why the cancellation email hadn’t arrived, they claimed the flight had in fact departed as normal.

Cancelled Flight 1
FLIGHT CANCELLED

Beck, who works for Jet2, had checked the flight schedules online and had noticed that her flight was cancelled and sent Vueling a screenshot of the image, with the airline refusing to acknowledge that the flight was in fact cancelled.

With the Barcelona based airline refusing to accept Beck’s claim for a refund or the option to change her flight, she contacted her bank to issue a chargeback.

When the bank contacted Vueling, the airline sent them an email with a screenshot of an email they had reportedly sent to Beck, informing her of the cancellation and that she can change her flight to another date.

“I’m royally p***ed off, they’re acting illegally”, Beck, originally from Greater Manchester told the Olive Press.

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VUELING’S EMAIL THAT THE FLIGHT WAS NOT CANCELLED

“This whole time they’ve been adamant that the flight went ahead, but when my bank contacts them then suddenly they change their narrative and send them an email offering a flight change that they apparently sent me.

“I never received a single email from them about a refund or even a flight change.”

For Beck it’s never been about the €122 flight cost.

“It’s about principle, their customer service is atrocious.

“Even on social media when I’ve complained, all they’ve said is follow the instructions, they don’t actually listen to their customers.”

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VUELING’S LETTER TO THE BANK STATING THEY OFFERED A FLIGHT CHANGE OR VOUCHER BECAUSE THE ORIGINAL FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED

The Brit has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority and has informed Vueling that she also plans to take legal action.

Juan Carlos Nunes, 42, who was flying from Miami for his holidays to Spain at the end of April also is ‘angry’ at Vueling’s customer service.

“They cancelled my flight from Madrid to Barcelona and they didn’t offer a single refund or voucher option,” he told the Olive Press.

The Cuban who’s lived in the US for the past seven years is furious with how airlines can get away with just not paying back the money they owe.

“They’ve sent me seven emails and the last three have just gone on and on about how they’ve acted within the law and are not entitled to refund me. I just can’t believe it.”

Vueling failed to comment.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. We have had similar experiences with the organization comprised of BA, Finnair, American airlines and Iberia.
    We have for almost 2 decades travelled between Chicago and Asturias via Madrid starting on June 3 remaining until August or September. Already by March of this year it was clear that we would not make the trip due to the pandemic. In April I logged into my Iberia account to see if flights were being rescheduled or cancelled. The US and the EU have quite clear rules about compensation for unreasonably long delays/rescheduling and outright cancellations. The details in your ticket contract are critical to how to proceed. If you have a highly discounted ticket, the fine print will say that the carrier will offer a voucher as a refund. You can expect carriers to equate ‘refund’ with ‘voucher’ on their web sites.
    This is where one must read carefully and NOT click and accept a voucher. And, you must respond in a tel call to Customer Service giving your flight information and SPECIFICALLY insist on a CASH refund. Get the person’s name if possible.
    We were pressured to accept ‘refund voucher with a bonus incentive if we would fly within a fixed period of about one year. There were a number of blackout dates, and in our case, we would have had to return only 3 weeks from our 2021 June departure! Well, we were not going to do that.
    We called Iberia’ and were transferred to their new Customer Service representative with (oddly) little waiting. A polite man explained Iberia’s policy, using voucher synonymously with ‘cash refund’. We needed to correct him every time. He gently insisted that a ‘voucher refund’ fulfilled Iberia’s obligations. I gave him this example: “I contracted for a cheeseburger and Iberia wants me to except a slice of bacon in its place. We can’t accept vouchers which do not allow us to travel during out set vacation time.” He got it. I asked,”Is Iberia’s voucher offer because they are trying to get as many people as possible to accept non-cash reimbursement?” He: “Well yes”. And THIS is the critical point. “Because the flight is not yet officially cancelled even though EU and Spain are not accepting international flights, Iberia offer vouchers.” Hoping uninformed people will accept the bacon.
    We then contacted VISA which confirmed that VISA will not get your money back unless 1) you contact the carrier first and specifically ask for it; 2) take notes on the telephone conversations and keep emails, 3) DO NOT EVER click buttons regarding vouchers, because once done the customer has broken the contract and the carrier has no obligations. On-line attorneys specializing in air carrier attempts at defrauding customers agree: steel your nerves and wait for the carrier to cancel, take notes, then contact VISA and they will follow up on your request even if it means you go to the airport on departure day, since some carriers will cancel at the last hour in order to avoid refunds if you are a no-show.
    That is where we are now. But we got cancellation emails from Iberia a few days ago. Iberia customer service said we qualify for CASH refunds back to our VISA account, but the process will take 4-5 weeks. He said he was not allowed to send us a cancellation confirmation of refund email. So I have taken note of the details and will contact VISA through our local bank, and they will process the claim. They are weasels not to be trusted.

    Location : Chicago Asturias
  2. Tried to contact BA about my cancelled flight fro Malaga in April. I spent hours trying by phone for 2 weeks after the flight was cancelled without getting through to anyone, and also sent emails from which I have so far had no response. Eager to take your money, a nightmare trying to get a refund when the airline cancels.

    Location : Marbella
  3. People having air fare refund problems must be very persistent, keep notes on conversations and email, and file reports with the relevant aviation control authorities. Emails are best as there is a record. The EU and USA has rules supporting passengers, but this may take another court ruling. Don’t give up – that’s their strategy.

    Location : Asturias and Chicago
  4. Good advice chas, we booked our BA flight & hotel to Majorca for June through one of the 3 companies WHICH travel investigated although they’ve probably investigated more since, they are in breach of the Package Travel Regulations. They, like many companies refuse to answer emails, phone calls & chat lines. We’ve given an ultimatum which they ignored & we’re now going to pursue our deposit refund via our Bank Cr Card under a Section 75. We will need to provide correspondence but the Bank should refund us we believe.

    We realise these companies have problems, but some will go bust before refunding customers, & worse, they could take customers final payments before that happens, fraudulently, & from the same cards used. So, we cancelled our card & had another issued & asked for a cheque from the company, although we expect our bank to credit our account.

    Location : T Wells

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