Question about how to get money back from Austrian Airlines

Old May 8, 20, 6:13 pm
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Question about how to get money back from Austrian Airlines

Hello,

What is the best course of action to get the money back from Austrian Airlines for the cancelled flight? The flight was Canada-EU-non EU. The ticket was purchased through Expedia to use up the points I had through the bank credit card. The points were ~$300 out of $1100 ticket price. The charge on the credit card showed the full price charged by airline, and than ~ (-300$) from the points.

Here’s what I am thinking of doing in this sequence. Any suggestions on what else to do or how to modify the steps below?

1. Contact the airline in writing on through the web form https://www.austrian.com/Contact/All...m.aspx?cform=3 and via email [email protected] stating that I require the refund and I do not accept the credit. This is to have the paper trail. Should I mention Article 8 point 1a of EU regulation 261/2004? Any other suggestions on what to write? Save the screenshot of both webform submission and email. Save the screenshot of response, if any. Does Austrian Airlines normally respond twice - first time when the request for refund is approved and the second time when the refund is issued?
2. Do I need to contact Expedia prior to charge back? If yes, contact Expedia in writing on through the website stating that I require the refund and I do not accept the credit. Should I mention EU regulation 261/2004?
3. Contact the credit card for the charge back using the online portal (if possible). Provide the screen shots from above.
4. File a complaint with Canadian Transport Agency. Is there an equivalent in Austria?
5. If the above three steps fail, file a lawsuit in a small claim court. Should I be using airline office in the airport or ticket sales office in Toronto to send the claim to?

Thanks!

Last edited by Vit007; May 8, 20 at 6:48 pm
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Old May 8, 20, 7:21 pm
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Since you bought through Expedia contact them first.
Also let your credit card know about what Expedia says, that is if no refund then start a chargeback
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Old May 8, 20, 7:37 pm
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Make this simple.

1. As you chose to use an agent rather than dealing directly with OS, contact Expedia and note that as your flight was cancelled by OS, you elect a refund. Nothing more. Do not cite rules and do not tell Expedia what you do not want. All of that is confusing and not necessary.
2. Wait 7 days.
3. On the 8th day, file a chargeback dispute with your credit card issuer (bank). Provide copies of your e-ticket receipt, the notice of cancellation, your request for a refund, any denial of the refund or a note that you have not heard back. Nothing more.

Keep it simple, in writing, and complete. The easier you make this, the more likely this is to happen and to happen quickly.
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Old May 8, 20, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Make this simple.

1. As you chose to use an agent rather than dealing directly with OS, contact Expedia and note that as your flight was cancelled by OS, you elect a refund. Nothing more. Do not cite rules and do not tell Expedia what you do not want. All of that is confusing and not necessary.
2. Wait 7 days.
3. On the 8th day, file a chargeback dispute with your credit card issuer (bank). Provide copies of your e-ticket receipt, the notice of cancellation, your request for a refund, any denial of the refund or a note that you have not heard back. Nothing more.

Keep it simple, in writing, and complete. The easier you make this, the more likely this is to happen and to happen quickly.
Sounds good, thanks. I there a reason for specifically waiting for 7 days, not more, not less?
It does not look like it is possible to submit the request for cancellation online for Expedia for TD. How do I prove to the credit card issuer that I contacted the agent and waited 7 days?
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Old May 9, 20, 12:00 am
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In a very similar situation, I called Expedia and they sent me an email confirming that my flight was cancelled, the airline only offers credits not refunds, and that I refuse the credit option. This email I then used with my bank for the credit card chargeback.

My bank took on the chargeback request, but said that it will take up to 30 days for a temporary credit to be posted to my account, and then if the merchant challenges the chargeback within 90 days, the temporary credit may disappear again.

In the 7 days since my chargeback, neither of the two has happened.
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Old May 9, 20, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by airoli View Post
In a very similar situation, I called Expedia and they sent me an email confirming that my flight was cancelled, the airline only offers credits not refunds, and that I refuse the credit option. This email I then used with my bank for the credit card chargeback.

My bank took on the chargeback request, but said that it will take up to 30 days for a temporary credit to be posted to my account, and then if the merchant challenges the chargeback within 90 days, the temporary credit may disappear again.

In the 7 days since my chargeback, neither of the two has happened.
Was it Expedia or Expedia for TD? How long was your initial contact with Expedia? Have you filed a complaint with regulator?
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Old May 10, 20, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by Vit007 View Post
Was it Expedia or Expedia for TD?
Expedia for TD.
How long was your initial contact with Expedia?
Not quite sure what you mean here. The phone call took about 20 minutes.
Have you filed a complaint with regulator?
No.
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Old May 10, 20, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by Vit007 View Post
Sounds good, thanks. I there a reason for specifically waiting for 7 days, not more, not less?
It does not look like it is possible to submit the request for cancellation online for Expedia for TD. How do I prove to the credit card issuer that I contacted the agent and waited 7 days?
1. 7 days because the Regulation requires that the refund be initiated within 7 days. Thus, unless denied outright sooner, you can't presume that you will be denied. Not longer because you are simply delaying your own refund.

2. You may certainly call if you think that it's worth it. But, use the chat function as well. Just screen shot as you go so that you can document when the refund request was made.
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Old May 10, 20, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by airoli View Post
Not quite sure what you mean here. The phone call took about 20 minutes.
I missed "ago" in how long ago did your request the Expedia for TD to provide the refund? I guess 7 (now 8) days ago.


Expedia for TD actually called me and asked which option I would like as one of my flights was cancelled by the airline. I was given an option to cancel for refund, not voucher (albeit it was the last option after a pause), so I asked to receive the refund. It already shows up as the entire booking is cancelled on Austrian website, it still does not show as cancelled on Expedia's website. I will be calling the credit card in 7 days.

I contacted Austrian to see if they can help get the money within 7 days and got the following (somewhat expected) response:
We would like to inform you that as your reservation was created via a travel agency, we cannot handle your request. We do not provide authorizations for travel agency reservations.
Please contact the travel agency directly in order to receive further assistance.

In the event that your travel agent requires assistance, we advise them to contact Lufthansa Group Agency Helpdesk.

In a case I do not have the money refunded within a month even with the chargeback - do I submit the complaint to CTA against Austrian (that's what the credit card statement says, and they issued the tickets) or against Lufthansa? The same question if I have to file a claim in court.

Last edited by Vit007; May 10, 20 at 5:36 pm
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Old May 10, 20, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Vit007 View Post
I missed "ago" in how long ago did your request the Expedia for TD to provide the refund? I guess 7 (now 8) days ago.


Expedia for TD actually called me and asked which option I would like as one of my flights was cancelled by the airline. I was given an option to cancel for refund, not voucher (albeit it was the last option after a pause), so I asked to receive the refund. It already shows up as the entire booking is cancelled on Austrian website, it still does not show as cancelled on Expedia's website. I will be calling the credit card in 7 days.

I contacted Austrian to see if they can help get the money within 7 days and got the following (somewhat expected) response:
We would like to inform you that as your reservation was created via a travel agency, we cannot handle your request. We do not provide authorizations for travel agency reservations.
Please contact the travel agency directly in order to receive further assistance.

In the event that your travel agent requires assistance, we advise them to contact Lufthansa Group Agency Helpdesk.

In a case I do not have the money refunded within a month even with the chargeback - do I submit the complaint to CTA against Austrian (that's what the credit card statement says, and they issued the tickets) or against Lufthansa? The same question if I have to file a claim in court.
Austrian is not your counterpart you have to deal with. That's Expedia, as already mentioned several times. At least not at the beginning. The charge back you have to file is also against Expedia and not Austrian, as Expedia has taken your money.
The delay of the charge back is not related to the 7 days. It may take substantially longer. It is depending on your credit card company. In addition your CR company will reimburse you the money with reservation until the dispute between the CR company and Expedia/Austrian is finally cleared.
Why do you think about bringing Lufthansa into the play? Why not going against Air Canada?
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Old May 10, 20, 11:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Vit007 View Post
In a case I do not have the money refunded within a month even with the chargeback - do I submit the complaint to CTA against Austrian (that's what the credit card statement says, and they issued the tickets) or against Lufthansa? The same question if I have to file a claim in court.
wow, I'm speechless.

You were told by Exp that you would get a refund. How about waiting for Exp to process your refund rather than contacting Austrian, doing a chargeback with your credit card, initiating complaints etc.?
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Old May 10, 20, 11:06 pm
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Originally Posted by airoli View Post
Expedia for TD. Not quite sure what you mean here. The phone call took about 20 minutes.No.
Originally Posted by athome View Post
Austrian is not your counterpart you have to deal with. That's Expedia, as already mentioned several times. At least not at the beginning. The charge back you have to file is also against Expedia and not Austrian, as Expedia has taken your money.
The delay of the charge back is not related to the 7 days. It may take substantially longer. It is depending on your credit card company. In addition your CR company will reimburse you the money with reservation until the dispute between the CR company and Expedia/Austrian is finally cleared.
Why do you think about bringing Lufthansa into the play? Why not going against Air Canada?
I already have been contacted by Expedia and I dealt with them, Expedia requested the money back.

I am looking at the scenario that for some reason Austrian (or Lufthansa Group) denies the refund and the CR company does not get the money back from Expedia/Austrian. I could be anywhere between 1 to 4 months away from that (7 days wait + upto 30 days for chargeback + upto 90 days for the vendor to respond). Who do I go after that? I would like to file a complaint with a regulator at that point - if that complaint does anything, that's another story.

Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
wow, I'm speechless.

You were told by Exp that you would get a refund. How about waiting for Exp to process your refund rather than contacting Austrian, doing a chargeback with your credit card, initiating complaints etc.?
I never said I would be filing the complaint now, I am looking at what to do if I do not get the refund - people have been promised the refund, but still have not seen the money after 6-8 weeks even before the coronavirus.

Last edited by Vit007; May 10, 20 at 11:15 pm
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Old May 11, 20, 12:06 am
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There are many reports of refunds taking 2-4 months, so I think you are going to have to sit tight for a while.
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Old May 11, 20, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by athome View Post
Austrian is not your counterpart you have to deal with. That's Expedia, as already mentioned several times. At least not at the beginning. The charge back you have to file is also against Expedia and not Austrian, as Expedia has taken your money.
That's not necessarily true. In case of flight-only bookings, an OTA like Expedia is merely the processor, but not the merchant of record. In such cases (as my booking through Expedia for TD was), the charge shows up on your credit card bill under the name of the airline, not Expedia. Consequently, the chargeback goes against that airline transaction.

In case of bundles or package deals, the OTA is typically the merchant of record.
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Old May 11, 20, 1:14 am
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Originally Posted by Vit007 View Post
I am looking at the scenario that for some reason Austrian (or Lufthansa Group) denies the refund and the CR company does not get the money back from Expedia/Austrian. I could be anywhere between 1 to 4 months away from that (7 days wait + upto 30 days for chargeback + upto 90 days for the vendor to respond). Who do I go after that? I would like to file a complaint with a regulator at that point - if that complaint does anything, that's another story.
You are certain to get your money back, it is just a question of when.

If you have cashflow problems then making a chargeback claim now will get you a temporary credit for the flight costs, meaning you can spend the money again. Check your banks terms and conditions to ensure you would also get the credit card points back. Chargebacks in this situation are somewhat anti-social, as they create additional work/cost for your bank, the merchant bank and Expedia. Of course the airlines behaviour at the moment could also be considered anti-social, still two wrongs don't make a right.
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