1. Check your insurance
In most cases, where an airline refuses you a refund, then your insurance company is likely to refuse a refund of the flight as well. However, it’s worthwhile checking what your insurance does include for ‘trip interruptions’. Some policies will compensate you in cases of death or accident, if you are required to appear in court, if there is now a ‘no travel’ restriction on your destination, or if you are injured.
2. Check the law
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, if your flight is cancelled then you are entitled to a refund – even if it’s a non-refundable flight. Contact your airline about the refund or credit immediately, then contact the ACCC if you have issues claiming.
3. Change your flight instead
In some instances, it’s easier to simply pay to have your flight changed than it is to argue a case for a refund, as many airlines have a strict no-refund policy. Alternatively, it might be cheaper to upgrade your ticket to a ‘flexible’ ticket that allows date changes.
4. Ask for a refund of the airport tax
If you never fly, ask the airline for a refund of the airport tax as you never travelled. If you can’t get a refund, at least you can try to get some tax dollars back.
5. Contact the airline as soon as possible
Some airlines have a 24 hour rule where flight details can be changed free of charge. Remember, being friendly with your customer service operator can help you in your quest to get a refund. Ensure you put your best argument forward politely, and ensure you quote any airline or ACCC policies that allow for a refund in your circumstances. If all else fails, ask for a flight voucher, or a flight change.
6. Still having trouble?
If you’re dealing with the likes of Jetstar, Qantas, Rex, TigerAir, and Virgin Australia, and getting no where, it might pay to get in touch with the Airline Customer Advocate which handles customers who are entitled to refunds, but who were never credited by the above airlines.
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