The Coronavirus is definitely changing our days and our plans. If you follow this blog it means that you probably, like me, have planned your next trips but these have a big question mark and it is: how to ask for a refund of the tickets already taken because of the Coronavirus?
I share my experience with you hoping to give you useful tips to recover the money in advance.
My next scheduled trip would be from March 13 to 16 in the Czech Republic, destination Prague. I booked the outbound flight with Easyjet, the return flight with Ryanair and the accommodation with Airbnb. Below I will explain the policy of each company and how I got a full refund of the tickets.
REFUND OF AIRLINE TICKETS
In this period of uncertainty I suggest you to wait for the airlines to cancel your flight, because if the flight is cancelled then the airline is obliged to pay the full refund instead if you cancel it of your own volition you are only entitled to a refund of government taxes.
REFUND FROM EASYJET
At 10 days of the trip I received the following communication from Easyjet and, following the instructions, I have already obtained a full refund.
Dear Call Me Claire,
We are very sorry to inform you that your easyJet flight 3381 from VCE to PRG on 13-MAR-20 has been cancelled due to restrictions imposed by the Czech government for health reasons that do not allow, until 18 March 2020, the entry of passengers from flights departing from Milan, Venice and all other airports in the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Lombardy and Veneto. As with all other airlines, these restrictions have had an impact on our scheduled flights in the Czech Republic. This interruption of service is beyond our control and is considered an exceptional circumstance. We will do everything we can to help you reschedule your trip and you can find the details of the options we offer below.
What happens now? Please go to “Reservation Management” where you can request a refund for your cancelled flight or reservation.
If you have not booked your flights directly on our website, please contact us here to change your flight. If you wish to request a refund, please contact the travel agency you used to purchase your flights.
REFUND FROM RYANAIR
I thought it would be difficult to get a refund of the tickets from Ryanair, instead waiting for their cancellation, it was very simple and it all started with the following email.
Dear Call me Claire,
We are sorry to inform you that due to the spread of COVID-19 in Italy, Ryanair was forced to cancel your flight, FR8260 departing from Prague to Treviso on 16mar20. Please advise any customers who were supposed to travel with you. We are informing each customer of the possibility to choose between a full refund of the ticket cost or an alternative flight with the necessary assistance.
If you wish to cancel your booking and request a full refund for the unused flight(s), please click on Refund and enter your booking information. Refunds will be processed within 7 working days with the same form of payment used for the original booking.
And I inform you that after one hour I received notification of payment of the full refund.
REFUND OF ACCOMMODATION
Managing the refund with AirBnb has been very practical and the company has moved quickly to include as a cancellation option “the unavoidable surrounding” that you can find at this link.
However, AirBnb expects that due to unexpected circumstances beyond its control, there will be a refund without penalty. For example, the mitigating circumstances in question are travel restrictions, imposed by a government, that prevent travel in and out to the location related to your accommodation or experience.
HOW TO CLAIM A REFUND FROM AIRBNB
To request a refund of the reservation made with AirBnb you must:
1. Cancel your reservation;
2. If your reservation falls within the mitigating circumstances, you will receive a notification indicating your eligibility for a full refund;
3. The host may ask you for confirmation documentation, but in my case they trusted the news.
Call me Claire therefore advises you to be confident and keep a close eye on the companies chosen to apply for a refund when they make it possible and get a full refund of the tickets.