IB insisting on voucher refund

Old Mar 24, 21, 6:54 am
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IB insisting on voucher refund

I booked an itinerary using an IB future travel voucher plus about £2 additional payment on a credit card.

The itinerary has now been cancelled by IB and they’re insisting that I can only get my refund of £2 plus a new travel voucher. I thought I’d be able to get the full value of the fare refunded to my CC just like you can on BA?
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Old Mar 24, 21, 7:44 am
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This has nothing to do with BA and everything to do with EC 261/2004. IB is wrong. But, you will likely have to bring an MCOL action to get your funds.

EC 261/2004 provides Sec. 8 rebooking rights to include a refund in the case of a cancellation. That refund must be in cash (equivalent) unless you affirmatively agree otherwise.

I would send IB a short note pointing to the specific language of the Regulation, noting that it is IB cancelling and advising that you will commence an action in some number of days if a refund is not issued. Provide your bank information so that IB cannot go another round with you.

On the day after the above, be prepared to file an MCOL action for the amount of the ticket. Keep everything simple and short, sticking to the simple facts, e.g. ticket cancelled, refund requested, refund denied (or no further action).
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Old Mar 24, 21, 8:07 am
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Was your original flight fully cancelled and you generously agreed to accept a voucher? Or was it voluntary for you to choose the voucher?

Although you are due a refund because of the latest cancellation, the regulations aren't designed to cover situations where the airlines voluntarily allowed you to cancel non-refundable flights in exchange for a voucher. It's perfectly legitimate to argue that the refund should go back to the original form of payment (i.e. a voucher) in the same way that you would expect to get miles refunded (not a cash equivalent) if an award flight is cancelled.

By the same token, I have no idea if people who recently bought IB gift cards at a 25% discount would be entitled to a cash refund, instead of getting their gift card back. Maybe some people are attempting that sort of arbitrage...

An MCOL claim is certainly the only way you will get more than the voucher refund that IB has offered. What BA does is 100% irrelevant.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This has nothing to do with BA and everything to do with EC 261/2004. IB is wrong. But, you will likely have to bring an MCOL action to get your funds.

EC 261/2004 provides Sec. 8 rebooking rights to include a refund in the case of a cancellation. That refund must be in cash (equivalent) unless you affirmatively agree otherwise.

I would send IB a short note pointing to the specific language of the Regulation, noting that it is IB cancelling and advising that you will commence an action in some number of days if a refund is not issued. Provide your bank information so that IB cannot go another round with you.

On the day after the above, be prepared to file an MCOL action for the amount of the ticket. Keep everything simple and short, sticking to the simple facts, e.g. ticket cancelled, refund requested, refund denied (or no further action).
Article 8 seems to be a grey area that refund "must be in cash (equivalent)." Article 8 (1)(a)
(a) reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant,
Article 7(3) refers to cash but in practice if it is an award ticket, you don't cash (equivalent) back; you get your miles back. In OP case, OP is getting back original form of payment (FOP) for this ticket which is voucher plus an additional collection.

To your point, maybe a claim thru regulatory channels can result in cash back but that's a grey area at this moment.
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Last edited by seawolf; Mar 24, 21 at 9:02 am
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Old Mar 24, 21, 8:50 am
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Thanks for the replies. Agreed that what BA does is irrelevant, I was just citing that as an example of the process I thought would be followed.

Flight Voucher came from a voluntarily cancelled flight operated by BA, but booked on an IB code in August last year PMI-LHR. The flight operated.

The itinerary which has been involuntarily cancelled was LCG-MAD-LHR on IB/BA metal booked with Iberia (£120 voucher + £2 cash). I wanted to confirm whether they’re trying to fob me off with the voucher or whether they should be refunding the lot to my cc.

Sounds like I’ll have to hope that I need to book an itinerary with an IB operated sector in sometime before the new voucher expiry.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 8:51 am
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IB is refunding what you paid. I don't see a problem with that.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
Article 8 seems to be a grey area that refund "must be in cash (equivalent)." Article 8 (1)(a)


Article 7(3) refers to cash but in practice if it is an award ticket, you don't cash (equivalent) back; you get your miles back. In OP case, OP is getting back original form of payment (FOP) for this ticket which is voucher plus an additional collection.

To your point, maybe a claim thru regulatory channels can result in cash back but that's a grey area at this moment.
I see no gray area. Section 8 refers to Section 7(3) for means of payment and that provides:

"shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques, or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services."

It would be entirely fair for the EC to amend the Regulation (and the UK its companion statutory instrument), but neither has done so.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I see no gray area. Section 8 refers to Section 7(3) for means of payment and that provides:

"shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques, or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services."

It would be entirely fair for the EC to amend the Regulation (and the UK its companion statutory instrument), but neither has done so.
Yes, and the OP is being offered a full refund of the £2 they paid in cash...
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Old Mar 24, 21, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I see no gray area. Section 8 refers to Section 7(3) for means of payment and that provides:

"shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques, or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services."

It would be entirely fair for the EC to amend the Regulation (and the UK its companion statutory instrument), but neither has done so.
If you don’t see the grey area then as indicated earlier, how would award tickets be refunded in cash? What about BA 2 for 1 tickets?
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Old Mar 24, 21, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
If you don’t see the grey area then as indicated earlier, how would award tickets be refunded in cash? What about BA 2 for 1 tickets?
That is a valuation issue, not a question of how the refund is to be made.

In OP's situation, the voucher had a face value.

A redemption purchase presents thorny issues of valuation which may well be impossible - or not -- but which have nothing to do with how the refund is to be made once the valuation is achieved.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
That is a valuation issue, not a question of how the refund is to be made.

In OP's situation, the voucher had a face value.

A redemption purchase presents thorny issues of valuation which may well be impossible - or not -- but which have nothing to do with how the refund is to be made once the valuation is achieved.
So you are saying award/2-for-1 should be refunded in cash?
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Old Mar 24, 21, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
So you are saying award/2-for-1 should be refunded in cash?
No. I don't say anything.

The law does.

EC 261/2004 is clear as to what is required. How one arrives at a number is far OT to this thread.

But, this passenger's particular issue has nothing to do with awards or 2-for-1's. Thus, arriving at a "number" (valuation) is simple.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
No. I don't say anything.

The law does.

EC 261/2004 is clear as to what is required. How one arrives at a number is far OT to this thread.

But, this passenger's particular issue has nothing to do with awards or 2-for-1's. Thus, arriving at a "number" (valuation) is simple.
I have 0 miles in account. Purchased just enough miles to redeemed ticket, airline cancelled flight. So should I get miles back or the cash paid to purchase those miles?

If the law was clear there would be no need for case law especially those associated with EC261/2004.

Last edited by seawolf; Mar 24, 21 at 12:40 pm
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Old Mar 24, 21, 12:55 pm
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I think we're going around in circles and worse, it's on something OT to this thread.

It is crystal clear and not a gray area that this OP on these facts is due a refund in cash (equivalent) of his ticket purchased with a vouche

Your issue has to do with valuation, not refund.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I think we're going around in circles and worse, it's on something OT to this thread.

It is crystal clear and not a gray area that this OP on these facts is due a refund in cash (equivalent) of his ticket purchased with a vouche

Your issue has to do with valuation, not refund.
There is no confusion about valuation.

If it is crystal clear, the answer should be easy; no need to dance around the question.

If you insist, go to post #3. It appears IB sold gift cards at a discount. No confusion there with value either. So should a refund be back to gift card (original form of payment) or back to cash?

OP also indicated voucher was the result of a voluntary change of plans. Should refund be back to original form of payment (voucher in this case) or back to cash?

Miles, gift cards, flight vouchers, 2-for-1 vouchers all have value. If Article 8 is crystal clear, then there should be a equivalent application of the law back to cash but that doesn’t work well in real life. Only really works well if refund back to original form of payment.

EC261/2004 has a history of grey area and this is no different. There’s even a guidance document summarizing case laws since adoption clarifying how the law should be interpreted.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-cont...801%29&from=EN

One that comes to mind is delays and compensation. The law is crystal clear that compensation only applies to cancellations not delays. It took Sturgeon ruling to apply compensation provisions to long delays. The text of the law at face value appearing to be crystal clear can become grey when applied to the real world.

Last edited by seawolf; Mar 24, 21 at 2:28 pm
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