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Travel Agency Refusing to Refund Taxes for Cancelled Flight

Travel Agency Refusing to Refund Taxes for Cancelled Flight

Old Aug 1, 20, 9:16 am
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Travel Agency Refusing to Refund Taxes for Cancelled Flight

I am on hold with a travel agency through which I booked an EK flight from the US to Athens and they are saying that although they are able to refund the base fare due to the fact that the flight was canceled due to COVID and the ticket was never used, they can't refund the taxes under any circumstances. Is this true or should I dispute through the credit card?
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Old Aug 1, 20, 9:25 am
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They're trying to pull a fast one, just dispute with CC instead.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 10:48 am
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File a chargeback. Make certain that you include:
1. Copy of relevant DOT rule.
2. Copy of e-ticket receipt.
3. Notice / screenshot showing cancellation.
4. Your request for a refund.
5. Refusal to issue full refund.

Make everything complete in your initial submission and you should not have any problems (presuming a US-based credit card issuer). Some countries, you may find card issuers harder to deal with.

At the same time, file a DOT complaint. Upload the same documents above with your complaint (omitting, of course, the DOT rule). DOT will not take action based on individual complaints, but it will forward to EK requiring a response to you (with a copy to DOT). So long as properly documented, EK will likely refund and simply ADM the TA.

It would be helpful if you provided the full details of the TA as others may have dealt with the same one and may have TA-specific advice to offer (besides the standard advice of not using TA's).
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Old Aug 1, 20, 11:30 am
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Thanks very much. TA is FlyEx.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 12:21 pm
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OK. So, not a TA, but a "travel arranger" to be avoided at all costs.

By my calculations, the taxes here should be $10.10. Is there anything else the arranger passed off as a tax?

If you do a partial chargeback for the $10.10, it is likely that your card issuer will simply approve it because it costs more to process than it's worth.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by safra1 View Post
I am on hold with a travel agency through which I booked an EK flight from the US to Athens and they are saying that although they are able to refund the base fare due to the fact that the flight was canceled due to COVID and the ticket was never used, they can't refund the taxes under any circumstances. Is this true or should I dispute through the credit card?
Was a flight cancelled by EK or did you decide not to travel? One could interpret the OP as saying that the traveller cancelled the trip.

BTW, what is FlyEx? FT search didn't lead to anything other than this thread.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Aug 1, 20 at 12:37 pm
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Old Aug 1, 20, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Was a flight cancelled by EK or did you decide not to travel? One could interpret the OP as saying that the traveller cancelled the trip.

BTW, what is FlyEx? FT search didn't lead to anything other than this thread.
I'm not sure it matters. His vendor advised that he was due a refund, so he's due a refund. Why the $10.10 in taxes is being witheld is the open question.

FlyEx has an easily located website. It describes itself as a "travel arranger" not a TA.
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Old Aug 2, 20, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Was a flight cancelled by EK or did you decide not to travel? One could interpret the OP as saying that the traveller cancelled the trip.

BTW, what is FlyEx? FT search didn't lead to anything other than this thread.
The flight was canceled by EK due to COVID - it wasn't that I decided not travel. To that end, does anyone know how I can get proof that my flights were cancelled for the CC company? FlyEx never sent me an update when this happened, but the reservation disappeared from the Emirates website at the time. These were flights from June and July from EWR to Athens and JFK to MXP.
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Old Aug 2, 20, 9:13 am
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I was charged over $400 in taxes for each RT ticket (JFK>MXP>JFK & EWR-ATH-EWR)
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Old Aug 2, 20, 11:04 am
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1. As to proof, a screen shot of the website showing the absence of a flight on that date will do just fine.

2. As to the taxes, this is a bit different than your original question. Originally, you said that this was a US-to-Athens ticket. It now appears that this was a roundtrip to Greece and that there is also another roundtrip to Italy and that the taxes were $400+ for each ticket, thus roughly an extra $390 per ticket. Your e-ticket receipt for each ticket should break down the taxes. If you could post the break down of taxes for each ticket with a description or code that would be helpful (be careful not to inadverdently post any identifying information about you). I am not certain that it matters much, but it is always good to have all the facts in hand before pulling the trigger.
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Old Aug 2, 20, 12:04 pm
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This is what I have in the receipt from FlyEx for Athens (2x passengers):

Payment Details
Passenger Type Adult
Count 2
Base 852.0
Taxes & Fees 406.71
Sub Total 2627.42
Total 2627.42
* All fares and taxes are subject to change and are only guaranteed once ticketed

​​​​​​This is what I have for Milan (2x passengers):

Payment Details
Passenger Type Adult
Count 2
Base 436.0
Taxes & Fees 400.92
Sub Total 1783.84
Total 1783.84
* All fares and taxes are subject to change and are only guaranteed once ticketed
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Old Aug 2, 20, 2:58 pm
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Don't worry about overthinking it.... contact the card company and explain that you want to dispute the charge to FlyEx due to it being a purchase for a flight and that the flight was cancelled

It will likely as some questions , such as whether you have tried to resolve with merchant and clarifying anything it needs - it will then pass the dispute to the travel agent/arranger and give it time to respond ; the onus will be on the travel agent to prove eligibility to keep the money

Since service was not provided, it has no valid defence to keep the money

Bit confused on the arithmetic of the fares

Passenger Type Adult
Count 2
Base 852.0
Taxes & Fees 406.71
Sub Total 2627.42
Total 2627.42

852+406.71 = 1258.71
2 of these comes to 2517.42

Payment Details
Passenger Type Adult
Count 2
Base 436.0
Taxes & Fees 400.92
Sub Total 1783.84
Total 1783.84

400.92 + 436 = 836.92
2 of these comes to 1673.84

Where is the other $110 coming from? if this was a fee from the agency for its service , it may be able to justify keeping that since it did provide the service

Last edited by Dave Noble; Aug 2, 20 at 3:05 pm
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Old Aug 2, 20, 3:03 pm
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To be clear, the $400 includes fees, e.g. charges imposed by the carrier and perhaps FlyEx for all we know. There should be an available breakdown of what the taxes are. In any event, you are seeking a refund of both, not just the taxes.

As noted, should not matter, but the better informed you are, the better you will fare in a chargeback as merchant vendors spend a lot of time these days pushing back and it is easy enough to lose out if you are not fully prepared.
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Old Aug 2, 20, 6:01 pm
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Got it - thanks for that. I've asked for a detailed breakdown. Separately, I didn't take a screenshot showing the flight was canceled or that it fell off the original reservation (my bad). Is there another website where I can go to get proof that specific historical EK flights (from June/July) were canceled?
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Old Aug 3, 20, 2:00 am
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Originally Posted by safra1 View Post
Got it - thanks for that. I've asked for a detailed breakdown. Separately, I didn't take a screenshot showing the flight was canceled or that it fell off the original reservation (my bad). Is there another website where I can go to get proof that specific historical EK flights (from June/July) were canceled?
FlightRadar24 will show whether a flight went or not, but it won't specifically say it was cancelled.
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