The coronavirus pandemic is keeping the world in a state of deep uncertainty, even if borders have been reopening throughout the summer and airlines have started to operate international flights again.
Travelers are wondering if they can travel if they have COVID-19 (short answer: no), struggle to keep up with the ever-changing coronavirus travel restrictions set up by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other governmental agencies, and hesitate to make future travel plans.
And who can blame them, when air travel has become so unreliable? Most airlines are flying blind (figuratively) and end up cancelling many of their scheduled flights.
While it’s not fun for air carriers who are losing tons of money this year, it’s not exactly good news for air passengers who are left with unused flight tickets and wasted money. If this happened to you, there’s no doubt that you’ve asked yourself:
Can I get a refund if the airline canceled my flight due to COVID-19?
At ClaimCompass, we’re here to answer your question and offer you the solution you’ve been dreaming of - even if you didn’t realize it.
Was your flight canceled due to COVID-19? We might be able to help you claim a refund!
What to do if your flight is canceled due to COVID-19?
If the airline canceled your flight because of coronavirus, they must offer you one of two things:
- A new flight to your destination
- A flight cancellation refund
Now, keep in mind that if the airline offers you an alternative flight, you do NOT have to accept it. Feel free to let the airline know that you’d rather get a full refund instead.
What to do if the airline offers you a voucher or miles instead of a refund?
Several airlines already went bankrupt as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many others, unwilling to follow in their footsteps, have elected to offer travel vouchers or miles to their passengers when they canceled their flights due to COVID-19.
This way, they don’t have to give cash back and they’re almost guaranteed that you’ll fly with them in the future, once you’ve made new travel plans.
But no rule from the US Department of Transportation or the CDC states that you are forced to accept this offer. If a flight credit is of no interest to you, maybe because you don’t know when your next trip might be or if it should be with the airline that just canceled your flight, you may still request a cash refund.
One thing to consider, however, is that refunds for flight canceled due to COVID-19 may take a long time before being processed.
How to get a refund for flights canceled due to COVID-19?
You may contact the airline directly and request a refund for your canceled flight, instead of asking them to rebook you.
Or you could let Service do all the work for you.
A leading air passenger advocate, we have already helped over 200,000 travelers claim and receive millions of euros in compensation from the world's leading airlines. And now, we’re giving travelers victims of flight cancellations due to COVID-19 assistance to claim a refund.
Why? Because Service was no exception to the existential challenge brought by the COVID-19 outbreak and we had to make some very difficult decisions to survive and make sure we're there for the travelers who have trusted us with their claims.
We received thousands of help requests from passengers seeking a refund. Passionate travelers ourselves, this is our modest way of expressing our deep commitment to helping fellow travelers in need.
What information do I need to request a refund?
To request a refund, we need your flight number, travel dates, booking number (or PNR), as well as the names of the passengers for which you're requesting a refund. Some airlines may also ask for the payment method, which was used at the time of purchasing the tickets.
The value of the ticket (airfare or ticket price), the travel class (basic economy, business, first, etc.), whether it was a non-refundable ticket or not… all this has no importance to claim your refund.
Does the airline’s cancellation policy matter?
No, since you’re not the one canceling the flight. When you do, you may incur cancellation fees or change fees, but those do not apply when airlines cancel flights themselves.
However, most airlines have updated their refund policy as a result of the pandemic. Some of them claim that you’re only entitled to a travel credit or miles, but if you wish to receive a refund, we’ll fight for you to get one wired to your credit card!
You may also want to check with your travel insurance if you’re covered in case of flight canceled as a result of COVID-19. The same applies when you purchased your flight tickets from a travel agency.
Conclusion on flight cancellation refunds during the COVID-19 pandemic
Governmental and non-governmental agencies urge travelers to eliminate all non-essential trips from their immediate travel plans. When you do take the plane, make sure to wear a face mask and respect safety measures.
Should your flight be disrupted, we’ll be here to help you claim your COVID-19 flight cancellation refund (since you can’t get compensation).
And if your flight was cancelled for a reason other than COVID-19, there's a good chance that you're entitled to flight cancellation compensation.
Did you know that you could get compensation for your flights that are delayed or canceled in the United States, Canada, or Europe?
Our Service app automatically finds eligible flights in your inbox. On average, we find $30 per year in compensation and savings in a traveler’s inbox.