All EOS blogs All Spain blogs  Start your own blog Start your own blog 

Spanish Business News

The latest business, economic,property, stock market and financial news from Spain. Keep up to date with what is happening with the Spanish economy, stock market, the economic crisis, the euro zone debt sovereign debt crisis and the Spanish property market.

The budget airline cancellation policies that charge passengers for NOT flying!
20 October 2010 @ 15:15

Few travellers cancel their holiday plans without a very good reason so being charged for not flying seems like insult to injury. A combination of insurance red tape and hidden charges is leaving passengers out of pocket if they don't fly as planned.

Exasperated holidaymakers are having to pay out for expensive letters confirming they did not fly and are being hit with hefty administration charges that prevent them from claiming back airport tax.

This double trick is putting off many from reclaiming, or leaving families with just a tiny fraction of their outlay.

The cost of a budget flight can be made up of many elements, including booking in a bag (£18 with easyJet, £35 for a second bag with Ryanair); choosing a seat (£10 with BA); checking in online (£5 per person, per flight with Ryanair); air passenger duty (APD); and credit or debit card charges.

Insurers will refund some of these charges if you don't fly, but most won't refund APD - which should be repaid by the airline - or card processing fees.

When it comes to making a claim, insurers demand evidence you haven't flown. But many budget airlines charge up to £25 for 'no show' letters, which can eat up most of any reclaim.

Thomas Cook charges £25, Bmibaby's fee is £20 and Ryanair's letter costs £17 per booking. Flybe doesn't make a charge, neither does easyJet. Major airlines such as BA and Virgin also don't charge.

Insurers won't cover this cost, arguing that it's part of the written proof you have to supply. To cap it all, you'll have to pay the first part of any insurance claim - typically £50 to £100.

In a second blow, when it comes to reclaiming airport duty the budget airlines can charge more in administration costs than the tax you can recover.

Flybe and Bmibaby apply a £25 per passenger administration fee for refunds.

As they will only refund APD - not the other fees - and they only do short-haul flights where the tax is £11, the administration fee is more than twice the amount you can be refunded.

A Flybe spokesman says: 'The charge reflects the significant administrative costs of refunding this tax.'

Bmibaby says the fees are 'in line' with other airlines. Ryanair charges the second highest for refunds at £17 per person - again more than the £11 duty.

EasyJet is the only no-frills airline that will refund the tax in full without charges. Airlines only have to pay duty based on the number of passengers on board when the plane takes off, so if you don't take the flight, the airline can pocket the profit.

Consumer watchdog the Air Transport Users Council wants airlines to refund other add-on charges such as fuel surcharges, airport and security costs when you don't take the flight.

Bob Atkinson, of, says: 'These charges are just a licence for airlines to hold on to your money. Charges for no-show letters, when the airline is already retaining the full amount paid, are out of order. Not only are they keeping the APD, in many cases they may be able to sell the seat twice.'

Read more:


Like 0


Marie said:
20 October 2010 @ 22:26

'EasyJet is the only no-frills airline that will refund the tax in full without charges'

Recently I (& my husband) couldn't fly as booked with Easyjet as I took ill. We didn't rebook immediately as we didn't know when I'd be well enough. We managed to fly 12 days later. We haven't asked Easyjet to refund the APD on the flight we didn't take. How do we go about it?

Only registered users can comment on this blog post. Please Sign In or Register now.


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x