can I get a refund from my credit card? – Which? News

Some people whose flights were canceled during the coronavirus crisis are getting money back on their credit or debit cards, after their airline refused to reimburse them.

However, passengers do not receive consistent advice from banks as to whether credit card claims will be honoured. And some customers say their bank told them it wouldn’t help.

The law – the Section 75 legislation – says credit card providers can be held liable when a product or service is not provided, if you have paid more than £100 and less than £30,000 .

But that may not be enough if you just can’t reach your airline or they are evasive.

Bank confusion over credit card claims

Ryanair passenger Laura Smith says she tried to ask the airline for a refund but received no response. When she tried to call her card provider, M&S Bank, she was told Ryanair was not in breach of contract and she was unable to respond to a complaint.

It was only after contacting M&S that he said he might be able to help in certain circumstances. In the end, she got a full refund on her bank card.

Another passenger, Calum Chace, tried to get a refund from easyJet, but after failing he turned to his credit card provider, Amazon.

He says: “I had a conversation with the call center adviser and she told me categorically that they were instructed at the start of the coronavirus crisis to insist that customers negotiate exclusively with the salesperson. .”

We asked Amazon if this was the case. He told us that New Day, the bank that issued the Amazon card, would be responsible for any claims.

The law on credit card refunds

At first glance, the law seems clear to those paying for a service, on a credit card, that costs more than £100 and less than £30,000. When a company is in breach of contract and does not refund, the credit card company is also liable. You can claim the money from the card provider, who will then sue the company that should have provided you with the service.

But it’s unclear whether airlines canceling flights constitute a breach of contract. Their terms and conditions are carefully written and give them a lot of leeway in terms of changing schedules and canceling flights.

How to make a claim

Which? Legal advises members that it is worth trying to get your credit card refunded when there is no other option.

Some banks supported this view. M&S Bank told us: “In order to advance a chargeback or Section 75 claim, customers are encouraged to contact their airline or travel supplier as they may receive a refund or an appropriate alternative. If a refund or alternative is not offered, customers should contact us and we will be able to assist with a chargeback and/or Section 75 claim.’

We received a similar response from Lloyds Bank, while other banks such as Virgin Money told us they would consider complaints on a case-by-case basis.

What should I do if I can’t get a refund from my airline?

If the airline does not reimburse you at all and you paid by credit card, there is no reason not to make a claim on your credit card. Although it’s not the guaranteed way to get your money back as some sources claim, it won’t cost you anything and is worth a try. There are advice on what to do and an online form to use here.

If you are not satisfied with your card provider’s response to a complaint under Section 75, you can take it to the financial ombudsman.

If you paid by PayPal you can try to dispute the payment, although it is important to know that if the airline does not agree you are entitled to a refund, they may then ask you to refund.

If you do not receive a response to a refund request within eight weeks, you can also submit it to an arbitration system. EasyJet, Air France-KLM and many other airlines are members of AviationADR. British Airways is a member of CEDR. Ryanair and Jet2 are not members of any scheme, so you must apply to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Travel insurance is another avenue worth trying. If you purchased your insurance before the onset of the current crisis and you are covered in the event of trip interruption, you may be able to make a claim. Learn more about coronavirus and travel insurance.

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