THE UK government has been asked to step in and help as thousands of passengers waiting months to claim a refund on cancelled flights but Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca residents want answers too!
According to a survey by Which?, just 14 per cent of easyJet customers received a refund within seven days, and around 63 per cent are still waiting for their money back.
However, 23 per cent of British Airways customers and 19 per cent of Jet2 customers are still waiting for their money back, with 39 per cent of BA customers receiving their money back within the legal time frame.
The local viewpoint
This ridiculous situation does not just affect the UK of course as thousands of expats bought seats on flights that were cancelled, requested refunds, and are still waiting for their cash back. As it was only recently announced by Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez that “Spain is open for tourism,” Brits over in Spain were hesitant to accept vouchers or to rebook flights, not knowing when or even if they could get over to the UK.
Local British resident Johnathan Hamilton from Marbella said: “The problem is that in Spain we don’t have, or don’t know of, an organisation that can speak on our (expats’) behalf and we have to just look and observe what happens in the UK before we can make a move. I’m personally not going to rebook or accept a voucher as I’ve heard stories of prices being hiked, which is totally wrong, I’ll have my money back and drive to the UK, petrol prices are down and so is the traffic!”
In response, an easyJet spokesperson said: “Customers on cancelled flights can transfer to an alternative flight free of charge or receive a voucher for the value of their booking online.
“Customers may also request a refund by submitting a claim in writing via a dedicated refund web form, online. We are processing refunds for customers and aim to do so in less than 28 days.”
A spokesperson for Jet2 said: “Like all other airlines and tour operators, the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted us. With aircraft grounded, our focus has been on looking after the many thousands of customers whose flights and holidays have been affected, and we are very proud to have been repeatedly praised by customers, media outlets, industry commentators and consumer organisations for how we have been treating customers in response to the pandemic.
“We are continuing to operate a fully staffed call centre, and even though our teams are subject to the same difficulties and restrictions as everyone else, they are working tirelessly to proactively contact customers in departure date order to discuss their options.
“We believe that contacting customers in departure date order is the fairest way to deal with this, and the feedback we have received tells us this has been the right thing to do.”
A BA spokesperson said: “If a customer’s flight has been cancelled, they should call us to discuss their options. They can rebook, refund or choose to take a voucher to fly at a later date. Refunds can be requested at any point up to 12 months after the start date of the journey.”