The Crusader reports on a family’s dissatisfaction with a travel agent over a flight refund delay.
“It’s been a nightmare,” says a family attempting to reclaim £3,900 for flights booked through Dream World Travel (DWT) and then cancelled by the airline. According to the Musengezi family, Finnair made it clear that they were not a stumbling block and that they wanted to return the payment – for four one-way long-haul tickets – as soon as possible. All that was required was an official request from the agent.
Dad Sidwell, a mental health specialist, turned to Crusader for help as the agent’s answers “kept shifting,” he alleged. He purchased the tickets on February 2 for departure from the United Kingdom at the end of March. On February 10, they were canceled, and he requested a refund.
He was upset when Finnair told him that despite requesting DWT three weeks prior, it had not received an official refund clearance request.
Sidwell added, “We have no idea when the money will be given back.” “I’m traveling for work, as I’m starting a new position overseas. It’s quite tough to receive a refund and maybe compensation, especially when you’re far away.”
++ Please contact consumer and small business champion Maisha Frost at [email protected] if you’ve been affected by this issue or believe you’ve been a victim of injustice.
The story of the Musengezi family demonstrates how the Covid crisis has exposed the restricted and complicated rights of flight passengers who book through an agent rather than directly with an operator.
Carriers are compelled to repay within seven days under the EU Denied Boarding rule, which is now part of UK legislation. However, flight-only bookings made through an agency are subject to the conditions of the agent’s contract.
“Refunds can take anywhere between two and six weeks, and in certain exceptional instances up to six months,” according to DWT.
According to Sidwell, the company informed him that his reimbursement had been processed but not to them, and that they were waiting for a third-party supplier to complete the task.
However, in the eyes of customers and government agencies, the agent, together with the customer and the carrier, is the third link in the chain. DWT has yet to clarify this perplexing remark.
Finnair has now notified Sidwell that DWT was refunded on March 7.
“The global epidemic has seen an unprecedented amount of disruption affecting the whole travel industry,” DWT told Crusader. “Brinkwire Summary News,” we say.