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How much is 'significant' according to IB

How much is 'significant' according to IB

Old Mar 29, 21, 3:32 pm
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How much is 'significant' according to IB

Hi, so IB changed my long haul flight 8 hours before original departure. They refuse the cash refund and insist on voucher. Sadly I booked with expedia and their horrible CS is not able to solve this. Do you know the practice of IB handling such flight change? There are more of us on the itinerary, so its quite hefty ticket, I really have no use for voucher... Is there somewhere stated how many hours is significant change, that would force them to refund? Thanks a lot! Andre
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Old Mar 29, 21, 4:26 pm
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Please provide the exact routing and schedule (including arrival and departure times as ticketed and as changed). By way of example, if you had a 10-hour connection at MAD and that is now only 8 hours, but you arrive at the same time, that might not qualify (or it might).

Also important to provide the date of travel and the date you were notified.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 1:51 am
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Unfortunately, booking via Expedia has made this a problem that is unlikely to be resolved to your satisfaction.

Expedia won't do anything without an official IB policy allowing a refund. They may or more likely not even be willing to liaise with IB to discuss. (I've found before that they put you on hold whilst they pretend to talk to the airline) You calling IB directly is unlikely to be productive because of this being an OTA ticket.

In normal times, having booked direct with the airline, an 8-hour schedule change would give you the automatic right to a refund (much less of a schedule change in fact). But I am not sure that I have ever seen this published. (and if it were, in these COVID times I imagine it would have been "unpublished")
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Old Mar 30, 21, 7:12 am
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IB is an EU carrier. EC 261/2004 may well provide a Section 8 rebooking right to a full refund. If so, there may well be various simple remedies. But, not really worth discussing those until OP provides the requested information.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Unfortunately, booking via Expedia has made this a problem that is unlikely to be resolved to your satisfaction.

Expedia won't do anything without an official IB policy allowing a refund. They may or more likely not even be willing to liaise with IB to discuss. (I've found before that they put you on hold whilst they pretend to talk to the airline) You calling IB directly is unlikely to be productive because of this being an OTA ticket.

In normal times, having booked direct with the airline, an 8-hour schedule change would give you the automatic right to a refund (much less of a schedule change in fact). But I am not sure that I have ever seen this published. (and if it were, in these COVID times I imagine it would have been "unpublished")
It is unclear to me what kind of change happened. OP indicated "IB changed my long haul flight 8 hours before original departure."

Did IB effect a change 8 hours before departure time on day of departure (potential IRROPS depending on how much changed) or moved departure time 8 hours earlier weeks/days before departure? IB has provided travel agencies guidance.

When COVID first started to affect schedules last year, OTAs were a mess. I was able to refund an IB ticket issued by OTA by reaching out to IB directly but Expedia should be first point of contact before calling IB.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 9:49 am
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Hi guys, thanks for getting back to me, so the details:

return flight MAD-LIM
original departure of the 2nd leg: flight back LIM-MAD changed from original 8pm to 11:30 am same day

yes Expedia delares: IB is not willing to process refund, just credit; its J ticket, not the cheapest on I would say.. I said expedia no way, I raised the request month ago, needed to ask 3 times since then what is the status, no reply whatsoever, always waiting hour and half on hold, first 'processing' call took 80 minutes (!) exactly as one poster wrote before, they must have been pretending they are talking to IB, the first agent said sure, its significant you will have full refund, now they say, no way. Of course I try to book directly with an airline, try to avoid online agents as much as possible, but till now I thought Expedia is one of the better ones, I am kinda disguised. Not speaking about useless GOLD status with expedia
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Old Mar 30, 21, 9:56 am
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Just curious why you would want a refund, or do you just not want to travel?
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Old Mar 30, 21, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
It is unclear to me what kind of change happened. OP indicated "IB changed my long haul flight 8 hours before original departure."

Did IB effect a change 8 hours before departure time on day of departure (potential IRROPS depending on how much changed) or moved departure time 8 hours earlier weeks/days before departure? IB has provided travel agencies guidance.

When COVID first started to affect schedules last year, OTAs were a mess. I was able to refund an IB ticket issued by OTA by reaching out to IB directly but Expedia should be first point of contact before calling IB.

Thanks a for posting guidelines - clearly say more than 5 hours schedule change - refund... now trying to explain to expedia...


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Old Mar 30, 21, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Just curious why you would want a refund, or do you just not want to travel?
There are probably a lot of people around FT who no longer want to travel (or would be allowed to) and want to find an excuse for a refund instead of taking the voucher.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Just curious why you would want a refund, or do you just not want to travel?
different schedule does not work for me so I need to change plans completely...
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Old Mar 30, 21, 10:16 am
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Section 8 of EC 261/2004 provides for passenger rebooking rights which include a full refund in the case of a significant change. There are many arguments about what is "significant" but the fact that IB defines it at 5 hours for your ticket clearly entitles you at 8 hours.

The Regulation imposes the obligation on IB as the operating carrier. IB and Expedia can sort this between themselves if need be.

Presuming that you paid with a credit card and that you have chargeback rights still in play, you should initiate a chargeback. Do it in writing (online is fine). Make certain that you attach a copy of your e-ticket receipt, a reference to Section 8, your selection of a refund, and the fact that Expedia has told you that IB refuses a refund. Documentation is absolutely essential as it makes it harder for IB or Expedia to suggest that a credit is OK or that you agreed to one. Even though this may take longer, you have a greater success chance.

For the benefit of others, yet another example of why one should never book through third party vendors such as Expedia. Not suggesting that IB would have been more compliant, but forcing the refund would have been a lot easier.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Section 8 of EC 261/2004 provides for passenger rebooking rights which include a full refund in the case of a significant change. There are many arguments about what is "significant" but the fact that IB defines it at 5 hours for your ticket clearly entitles you at 8 hours..
Does this apply here? My understanding of EC261 is the passenger is entitled to receive a full refund in the event of a 5+ hour delay, measured beyond the scheduled time of departure.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
Does this apply here? My understanding of EC261 is the passenger is entitled to receive a full refund in the event of a 5+ hour delay, measured beyond the scheduled time of departure.
Yes, 5 hours is clearly spelled out in Article 6.1, towards the end. BA's Conditions of Carriage used to have a "significant change" provision, allowing arguments to be made in specific cases for shorter periods, but this has now gone to 5 hours for them too. In this Iberia case you can pursue Iberia directly for the refund, or get your credit card company to recall the payment to Expedia, if they are willing to do so. But making Iberia bookings with Expedia is an act of madness even in normal circumstances.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
Does this apply here? My understanding of EC261 is the passenger is entitled to receive a full refund in the event of a 5+ hour delay, measured beyond the scheduled time of departure.
Because the flight is due to depart 8 hours early, all mentions of "delay" in EC261 are moot...
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Old Mar 30, 21, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Because the flight is due to depart 8 hours early, all mentions of "delay" in EC261 are moot...
Thats my thinking. Focus should be on Iberia significant schedule change policy, which clearly permits a full refund in this case, then of course the mightier task of persuading Expedia to act on it
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