Life Smart Consumer

Sunday 31 August 2014

I booked the wrong flights -- how can I get a refund?

Published 02/03/2012 | 06:00

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Q: Sean writes that he "booked flights for my holiday the wrong way round in error."

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So, for his outbound flight he booked Malaga to Cork instead of Cork to Malaga and vice versa.

In order to rectify the mistake he contacted Aer Lingus, with whom he had made the booking.

He says they "advised me to cancel the original wrong booking and re-book correctly, but all I will get back are the taxes and so I will be €300 out of pocket for a booking that is five months away."

He asks "can you advise me what to do"?

A: Normally when you book non-refundable flight tickets that you no longer need, you can cancel but will just be refunded taxes and charges minus an admin fee, which is €20 each way with Aer Lingus.

An alternative is to pay to change the flight times and dates (€40 each way with Aer Lingus for European flights), plus any difference in price between the original and new fare.

However, neither of these solutions is going to help Sean, in an obvious case of a mistaken booking.

Smart Consumer contacted Aer Lingus, and they responded, "when a customer calls the helpdesk and explains that they have booked their flight in the wrong direction, our reservations staff advise the customer to make a new booking and following confirmation of the new booking, the original booking is then refunded, fare including taxes and charges, less a handling fee of €20 per person per flight."

Sean's ticket has now been fully refunded (minus a €20 fee each way) and Sean was able to book new flights.

Irish Independent

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