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Icelandair refusing refund or credit even in case of travel ban

Icelandair refusing refund or credit even in case of travel ban

Old Mar 17, 20, 11:51 pm
  #1  
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Icelandair refusing refund or credit even in case of travel ban

Just beware, folks, FI is butchering their customers.
My mother, a Chinese citizen, is supposed to travel to KEF from YVR in about 20 hours. Due to the travel restriction in Schengen and in Canada, she is unable to initiate the journey, not to mention the incredible social irresponsibility of traveling now. I called FI almost a dozen times, and in the few that connected, the agent was very clear: no refunds, no travel credit, only $350 change fee waived. They then proceeded to quote nearly 2k each time to re-issue my mother's Saga Class ticket, even though I explicitly explained that the chances for her to get a new visa for Iceland (via Denmark Consulate in Canada) again this year is virtually nil. I feel extremely bad as one agent was clearly at the verge of tears as she told me it was the case for everyone calling, and she was just a call center agent located in Asia with no power nor ability to escalate. Finally I called the Icelandic number as directed by an agent to look for a supervisor, and the Icelandic lady receiving the call is extremely rude and refuses to consider any other option.
In times like this, with severe travel restrictions everywhere, FI is still holding high prices just to trap rebooking passengers, and refusing even a travel credit. And what made me infuriated is the fact that all attending a certain music festival in KEF was given the chance for refund, while normal passengers somehow do not have it as an option. I am extremely disappointed by the greedy policy and sincerely hope they go belly up.
What can I do now? Should I issue a cc chargeback? Is there any way to file a complaint? Has anyone successfully dealt with FI?
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Old Mar 18, 20, 12:29 am
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Originally Posted by beyounged View Post
Should I issue a cc chargeback?
I am not an expert on this (but looking into it regarding some other airlines), but if the flight is not cancelled how can you claim that the paid for service was not provided?
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Old Mar 18, 20, 12:36 am
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If she shows up for the flight, they'll deny her boarding. In which case they have not provided the service paid for through no fault of the ticketed passenger.
Then initiate a chargeback. Depending on the card and your relationship with it, they could get your money back or they could accept FI's lame "not our fault, not your fault, but you get to pay for it" excuse.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:48 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
If she shows up for the flight, they'll deny her boarding. In which case they have not provided the service paid for through no fault of the ticketed passenger.
Then initiate a chargeback. Depending on the card and your relationship with it, they could get your money back or they could accept FI's lame "not our fault, not your fault, but you get to pay for it" excuse.
It is solely the passenger's responsibility to have required documentation for admission to the destination and the airline is not required to refund where the passenger cannot travel due to something that is passenger's responsiibility
No more entitled to a refund in this case than if just turned up at airport without a passport and was denied travel

According to its website

Originally Posted by Icelandair
We are waiving all change fees for flight bookings for travel up until April 15, 2020. The new travel period has to be before January 1, 2021.
See https://www.icelandair.com/support/c...nge-fee-waiver

Perhaps change to a date where may be able to travel and if the agent wants to try charging a change fee, refer to the policy
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Last edited by Dave Noble; Mar 18, 20 at 6:56 pm
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Old Mar 19, 20, 12:24 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
It is solely the passenger's responsibility to have required documentation for admission to the destination and the airline is not required to refund where the passenger cannot travel due to something that is passenger's responsiibility
No more entitled to a refund in this case than if just turned up at airport without a passport and was denied travel

According to its website



See https://www.icelandair.com/support/c...nge-fee-waiver

Perhaps change to a date where may be able to travel and if the agent wants to try charging a change fee, refer to the policy
But the travel ban imposed by the government should not be a reason to attribute it to the passenger? Icelandic embassy in Canada has stopped issuing Chinese citizens tourist visas indefinitely, so even if she changes dates, which date can she change into? This is not passenger's fault for sure, right?
Yes, all agents waived the change fee, it is just no lower fare buckets for Saga Class is open as I suspect FI knows they are not gonna get any new bookings for the time being no matter how cheap the tickets get, so they pulled all lower fare buckets to force anyone changing dates to pay the high fare difference. My mother has to pay 90% more than its original ticket price for a trip 8 months out in low season in November, it is not reasonable. We bought the original ticket just 40 days ago. For me, for a one way fare, I have to pay 120% extra.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by beyounged View Post
But the travel ban imposed by the government should not be a reason to attribute it to the passenger? Icelandic embassy in Canada has stopped issuing Chinese citizens tourist visas indefinitely, so even if she changes dates, which date can she change into? This is not passenger's fault for sure, right?
It is not the airline's fault though is it?
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Old Mar 19, 20, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
It is not the airline's fault though is it?
Yeah, but that is why maybe airlines should negotiate with their customers instead of just taking their money? Or even worse, eliminating cheap fares in the future to create an illusion of choice? Worst case scenario, both the individual passenger and the corporate airline take half of the loss?
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Old Mar 19, 20, 6:16 pm
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1. A chargeback will fail. Card issuers are wise to attempts to beat the rules these days, so this one will get dealt with quickly.

2. On the other hand, this ought to be a fairly easy claim on her travel insurance.
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Old Mar 20, 20, 8:06 pm
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Existing bookings: cancel and receive a travel credit voucher

If you booked your ticket before March 3, 2020, for travel before May 1, 2020, you may cancel your booking and apply for a travel credit voucher.

The following conditions apply:
  • Travel credit is valid for 1 year from date of issue.
  • Valid for all Icelandair tickets (ticket number starts with 108).
  • Valid for all Icelandair classes of service.
  • For Icelandair Holiday bookings, please contact us through this form.
  • If you booked through a third-party or travel agent, please contact the issuing office of your ticket directly.

https://www.icelandair.com/support/c...nge-fee-waiver
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Old Mar 20, 20, 8:34 pm
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Originally Posted by beyounged View Post
Yeah, but that is why maybe airlines should negotiate with their customers instead of just taking their money? Or even worse, eliminating cheap fares in the future to create an illusion of choice? Worst case scenario, both the individual passenger and the corporate airline take half of the loss?
If you had a fully refundable ticket - what would your response be to the airline trying to negotiate that it give a 50% refund?

If purchased before everything flared up, travel insurance may cover it - the airline is offering a travel credit, which seems to be on par with other airlines
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Old Mar 21, 20, 2:15 am
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IS FI ACTUALLY EFFING WITH ME NOW!??? ARE THEY OUT OF THEIR D#[email protected] MIND?!
This is a brand new policy today!!! Just yesterday it was just pay 4 digits of fare diff to change or lose it, and today they issue this sh#*?
I called, the agent said it does not apply retroactively, so if you have a flight that departs on 20th, you can get full credit, but for 23:55pm on 19th, tough luck, cough up a few stacks to change or just lose it. Is any airline with policies as inconsistent as this? So even with this policy in the department, I cannot get a credit. I can only get 90-ish dollars of taxes back. Full stop, end of story.
This has to be a joke.
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Last edited by beyounged; Mar 21, 20 at 2:22 am Reason: typos of fury
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Old Mar 21, 20, 2:17 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
If you had a fully refundable ticket - what would your response be to the airline trying to negotiate that it give a 50% refund?

If purchased before everything flared up, travel insurance may cover it - the airline is offering a travel credit, which seems to be on par with other airlines
My mother's Chinese travel protection does not cover any Coronavirus-situation since mid-Feb. Also refer to my post right above this one for the credit. It is only for flights departing after 20th. If you travel before 20th, you have no option but to pay the fare-diff that they kept high.
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Old Mar 21, 20, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by beyounged View Post
Is any airline with policies as inconsistent as this? So even with this policy in the department, I cannot get a credit. I can only get 90-ish dollars of taxes back. Full stop, end of story...
Icelandair has managed to infuriate hundreds if not thousands of customers (check out their Facebook page). We had already repositioned to NYC when on the night of March 12 after the president's speech we decided not to take our JFK-KEF-BRU flight the following evening. I'm glad we made that prudent decision.

Icelandair was clearly overwhelmed, which was understandable. They further worsened the situation by suggesting customers contact them via Facebook or Twitter. We tried all three and eventually got through on the morning of March 13. We were given the same alternative as you were on two separate phone calls.

If Fl had offered a travel credit good for a year to us we would have cheerfully accepted it. We quite possibly wouldn't have used it but the option would be open, we could fly out of SEA, much closer to home, and it's possible they would have made some more money from us. Demanding that we choose a date with return no later than August 31, to fly the same itinerary, and to pay the whopping difference in fare (it would have more than doubled our sale fares) would simply be throwing good money after bad. As it was, we got notice that one of our returning flights BRU-KEF-JFK was canceled.

I just tried to fill out the form but when I enter my booking number or ticket number I get a "login failed" message. I'll probably see one of those 10% refunds of "some of the taxes and fees" on my credit card at some point.

I did manage to fill in forms for Mrs. Fredd and me using the following link, and we've received automated confirmations they were received, but I won't hold my breath waiting for a credit:

https://www.icelandair.com/support/c...rop-us-a-line/

Last edited by Fredd; Mar 21, 20 at 10:26 am Reason: additional information
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Old Mar 23, 20, 8:35 pm
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For our March 15 trip, Icelandair would only let me rebook my exact same itinerary (YYZ-CDG) and cabin class (Saga) for a trip ending by August 31, an “offer” that would have cost me an *additional* $5400. I let the booking lapse without cancelling it and filed an insurance claim on Sunday. I would have taken the credit they are now offering others in the same situation; it’s a pity they were so unreasonable and out of step with many of their competitors.
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Old Mar 24, 20, 9:27 am
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This Reuters article reveals what bad shape they're in, with share price down to about US 2 cents...

UPDATE 2-Icelandair cuts jobs, pay in virus response; shares slide

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