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Kiwi.com cancelled my flight ticket and took my refund from the airline

I bought a two way ticket with Kiwi.com from Brussles Airlines.
My return ticket disappeared from Brussels Airlines app on the day of the flight. When I called, their rep told me that anyone with my name and reservation number can cancel my flight if they do it online, not through a rep.
Really ?!?!
I had to scramble to buy a last minute ticket for the same day, double the price.

That happened 2.5 months ago. I filed a form with the airline, and since then all I get from their customer service is "We are busy, we'll get back to you..."

Posted by
11404 posts

My return ticket disappeared from Brussels Airlines app on the day of the flight

Any chance your finger hit the wrong spot on your phone while you were accessing your reservation?

Who had that info?

Posted by
2267 posts

This is not limited to Brussels Airline, but true for all (or most) airlines.

Do you know who had your record locator or how they got it?

Posted by
11 posts

"Any chance your finger hit the wrong spot" - no, no, - I had both tickets, there and return, reserved and visible in my email and on the app. and then, on the day of the return flight - the return ticket vanished!
No one had my reservation number besides me and my close family members that of course didn't cancel my flight.

Posted by
11 posts

"all (or most) airlines." why would they do it?

Part of my problem is that I bought the ticket through a ticket seller, Kiwi.com. Their credit card received the refund from Brussels Airlines. Kiwi claims that they were refunded only $70 and that's what they paid me after the cancelation. This is 10% of what I paid Kiwi for that return ticket.... Kiwi doesn't want to pay me more and Brussels Airlines doesn't answer my queries about how much they really refunded Kiwi.

Could it be a scam deal between the airline and the ticket company? That a certain percentage of the cheap tickets is canceled after the customers paid, so the airline can sell the ticket for a higher price and the ticket company get to keep the refund?

Will never buy from them again, and I will spread the news of what happened to me wherever I can, to warn other people.

Posted by
2267 posts

I see that you’re new to the forum, but the most common advice given here is to avoid third party ticket sellers—especially for airfares. Sometimes they’re just not equipped to service the sales they make, and sometimes it’s scam-y. (Often they issue tickets with super complex rules on the back end, saying you a buck and hoping there won’t be issues.)

I doesn’t sound like this is Brussels’ fault or responsibility. You might have to chalk this up to a lesson learned.

Posted by
5050 posts

I highly doubt that the fault lies with the airline, or that they are in cahoots with some obscure ticket aggregator. Did you read any of the reviews before buying your tickets from this site? Did you know anything about them before using them? I'd never heard of them before reading this thread, but 5 minutes of Googling was enough to amply reinforce the prevailing wisdom of this forum, which is to ALWAYS buy flights from the airlines and not from a 3rd party.

When buying tickets from any 3rd party site, the airlines won't deal directly with you. You have to go through the site you purchased from. Your complaint is with the aggregator, not the airline.

Posted by
3879 posts

Could it be a scam deal between the airline and the ticket company?

No, it could not be.

Posted by
27368 posts

I've read other tales of woe involving Kiwi. Don't use them, or other sites like them. If something goes wrong (whether because they screwed up, a flight got cancelled, or some other hiccup occurred), they will charge you an arm and a leg to fix it.

Posted by
15580 posts

When you buy a ticket from these sites, you are not buying a ticket from the airline. You are buying a ticket from the site. The site promises to buy a certain number of tickets from the airline at a much lower price than you can get. They then resell them at a higher price. The difference is their profit.

Brussels Airlines customer is Kiwi.com and not you. They don't have to answer your questions because you didn't purchase the ticket. Kiwi.com did.

Without sounding like a broken record, always buy airline tickets directly from the airline or from a licensed travel agent. However, many see the "wow, that's a cheap price for that flight" come on and buy from the third party. If everything goes right, you've saved money. But if there is a problem, you lose.

I highly doubt the airline did anything wrong. They can't legally cancel your ticket so they can resell it for a higher price. For most airlines, all it takes is the passenger name and record locater to access the flight records and cancel the flight.

Chalk it up to an expensive learning experience. You're not the first nor will you be the last.

Posted by
11 posts

"For most airlines, all it takes is the passenger name and record locater to access the flight records and cancel the flight." -
Someone cancelled my return ticket on the day that I was supposed to fly. Can you imagine the stress?

The airline refunded the money to the credit card that bought my ticket, Kiwi.com's credit card.
Who got my money? Who cancelled my ticket to benefit from the cancelation? It seems like some criminal activity is going on here. Could it be that I'm just a drop in the sea of Kiwi.com's customers, and they do this trick to every so-many passengers to make a profit?
Could it be a Kiwi.com's an employee that cashes the credit card?

Posted by
3184 posts

Ok, let’s start over and review what happened. You say it was a return ticket that was canceled. So you must have had a roundtrip ticket, right? And you flew the outbound leg without problems? Then on the day of the return flight you learned that part of the ticket was canceled? Was the flight itself canceled?

Where were you flying? Was it one flight in each direction? Same airline? Why did you buy it from kiwi—- have you used them before? Did you pay for a refundable ticket?

Posted by
27368 posts

Please read some of the reviews at the link provided above by joe32F--1375 one-star reviews out of 1433 reviews in total. It appears that Kiwi's business model is based on treating every wrinkle (and perhaps creating some of its own??) as an opportunity to put the screws to its customers. They have a history of doing this sort of thing. I've been reading about them for years. And they are not the only ones.

Posted by
3184 posts

I think 25yearstraveler has left the building. . . .

Posted by
11 posts

I'm here.
There is an FB page called “I got screwed by Kiwi” with about 600+ members and that is a very small percentage of people whom they have cheated. I think we should figure out if there's real criminal activity that is going on.

Posted by
11 posts

Answer to: "Ok, let’s start over and review what happened. You say it was a return ticket that was canceled. So you must have had a roundtrip ticket, right? And you flew the outbound leg without problems? Then on the day of the return flight you learned that part of the ticket was canceled? Was the flight itself canceled?"

Yes to all except to the flight was not canceled - someone mysteriously canceled my return ticket. It might be Kiwi.com or one of their employees, without the knowledge of the company.

Posted by
8546 posts

Okay. This was a rotten experience and nothing you were responsible for. However, unless you have actual proof of misconduct by Kiwi or its employees, you should probably tone down the accusations a bit. The truth is, you really don’t know what actually happened.

Posted by
10311 posts

Did you miss, walk away from, or try to change any part of your itinerary outbound? Missing or walking away from a leg automatically cancels the rest. Trying to change can sometimes lead to errors.

Posted by
11 posts

Reply to “ Did you miss, walk away from, or try to change any part of your itinerary outbound?” - no, I didn’t do anything to the ticket. Didn’t try to change anything. From my side I just had my trip, ready to go back, and poof - return ticket evaporated.

For accusing Kiwi, they refunded me 10% of what I paid for this lag of the trip. They were refunded by the airline, where is my money? At least give me that back. I had to buy a double-price last minute ticket.
And who canceled my ticket if not them?

Posted by
2267 posts

refunded me 10% of what I paid for this lag of the trip

The rules and structures of airfares are quite complex, and it's very possible that the cancelation of return legs might legitimately refund only a small fraction of the original total (if anything). That's true even if one buys a regular fare directly from a legacy airline.

Sites like Kiwi offer lower fares in part by 'gaming' the complexity of fare rules. When it goes as expected, the buyer saves a few bucks and never sees behind the curtain. When it doesn't go as expected... well...

Posted by
11 posts

To my understanding “non refundable” matters only when the passenger cancels or tries to change the flights. In my case it’s Kiwi that cancelled my ticket.

Posted by
8546 posts

You have no proof Kiwi cancelled your ticket, only assumptions. You may well be right, but you could also be wrong…….,,

Posted by
3184 posts

Scudder has a good point. Maybe the 10% was all that was due back——the cancellation of the return ticket ( however that happened) turned your trip into a one-way outbound, which is much more expensive than half of a RT ticket with most airlines.

I have read of people getting cheaper one-way flights by booking a RT with a third party like kiwi, then skipping (or canceling if they can) the return flight. Maybe that is what kiwi thought you wanted.

Posted by
919 posts

In reviewing the Terms & Conditions on the Kiwi.com it looks like your main venue for any legal action is in either the Czech Republic or Miami, FL (Dade County). Since more than 30 days have passed since the issue occurred; the only action can take is attempt to arbitrate with Kiwi.com. That gets very expensive both in filing fees and cost for legal counsel. You will be out more money trying to arbitrate it than you will ever receive if you were to prevail.

It really becomes your word against theirs. Most everyone on these boards has some sort about being taken advantage of while traveling. Time to lick your wounds and move on.

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you Joe32F, I will post on BBB.
For the last two comments, how is it OK that all these travel hurdles are happening to us passengers and it’s still OK with everybody involved. It shouldn’t be OK. We are consumers, paying large sums of money, but somehow we don’t seem to matter. How can we fix that?

Posted by
8546 posts

The first step, probably the hardest step, is to drop as much of the emotional rhetoric as you can. I fully understand that this was a very upsetting experience. If my reservation had been inadvertently canceled, I would be upset too. However, if you want a positive outcome or change, you will need to stick to facts and avoid accusations that you can’t prove.

You will also need to review the terms and conditions of your original ticket purchase as well as the fare breakdown which should be on your original ticket receipt. This will tell you what you agreed to.

The real challenge is that you didn’t cancel the ticket, so any outcome seems unfair. You don’t know who or .how it was cancelled, so it is hard to get compensated for the action of an unknown person.

Posted by
11 posts

Yes, I got the breakdown of the ticket prices. Kiwi gave me an invoice. For the return ticket I paid $700. They paid me back $70.

Brussels Airlines gave me the credit card number that received the refund. This is the credit card with which Kiwi bought my ticket. The airline have yet to answer my query on how much they refunded Kiwi.

These are the facts that I have. Isn't there somewhere an airline-airfare-expert-detective that can find out the facts? Who canceled my flight and how much Kiwi got as refund?...

Posted by
4442 posts

"How is it possible that all these travel obstacles are still happening to us?"
Although this is not what's happening to you, remember that the airlines in the US can take your money for a ticket and then bump you from the seat you already paid for and Congress refuses to do anything about it. And a flight can be cancelled(as happened to my husband) for no reason other than the fact that the pilot wants to go home instead of doing another flight.

Posted by
5050 posts

You have only got the selling price of the leg that was cancelled. But what is the penalty for cancellation of your category of ticket? That will be in the terms and condition section of both the airline and the ticket reseller, and one may not be the same as the other. And also, did you buy a refundable fare or not?

You can scream "it's not fair" til you are blue in the face, but if there are cancellation penalties in the T&Cs (which you agree to when you purchase), then you are screaming at a brick wall.

Posted by
16743 posts

Whomever you contact, whether BBB or Elliott.org, make sure you have the right terminology and use it consistently. In the airline industry, a “return ticket” generally refers to a roundtrip ticket—-x to y and back to x on a later date. A “return flight” on the other hand, refers to the second (inbound) leg of the return ticket—-y back to x.

You say you paid $700 for the “return ticket”, which sounds like the roundtrip ticket, but only the second leg was canceled. So why would you be due $700 back when you already used part of the ticket?

Or did you book two separate one-way flights, out and back? And the $700 was for a one-way flight back to the start (y to x in my example)? In that case the word “return”:is not appropriate and just confuses things.

Posted by
11 posts

This was a transatlantic flight that cost USD 1,400. The invoice from Kiwi showed that I paid USD 700 for the return ticket. This is the one that was canceled.