Please sign in to post.

Flight change - can I hope for a refund?

I've been holding out on my November flight on TAP (obviously not going), hoping for a significant change to the itinerary that might result in a full refund.

I've just gotten a communication that my flight's departure from Toronto has moved from 22:50 to 20:10. A quick search of these boards suggests that 90 minutes would be enough to demand a full refund. This is a one-way flight.

The connecting flights, Lisbon to Barcelona, was changed from 14:10 to 11:10, but I'm not sure if that matters at all, or if it is just the departure from Toronto time.

Am I correct in this understanding? Just want to be clear when I call tomorrow morning.

Thanks for any input.

Posted by
3666 posts

Even the change on the second flight...if on one ticket, should allow for argument to cancel. That is 5 hours earlier. What is the layover in Lisbon now?
Was the observation of 90 minutes specifically for TAP?
Also, is it a rebook or a time change? If a new flight number, more leverage.

Posted by
627 posts

whether this is enough delay all depends on what they say in the Conditions of Carriage for the airline. This is a document nobody ever looks at until it matters.

And furthermore what matters is what it says when you bought the ticket, not what it says now. The day you bought the ticket is when the contract was formed, they can't later change the terms. I point this out because the terms have been constantly changing for new purchases. A When you call they might try and point at their current terms as if them's the rules. You need to know what they were on the day you bought the ticket, which you can do by searching for them on https://archive.org/web/ For example for AA you can see each time they changed them at https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-service/support/conditions-of-carriage.jsp and what you'd do is pick the last change before your purchase date

Also since you are flying into the EU then you should see if Rule 261 applies

Posted by
1177 posts

Thanks, MariaF.

The layover is now 3 hours - 8:10am to 11:10am. It was originally 3h 20 mins.

The 90 minute observation wasn't specifically for TAP. I can't recall the airline that the poster was referring to, but it sounded like that may have been some kind of rule.

The Toronto to Lisbon flight has the same flight number, but the Lisbon to Barcelona flight has a different number.

Posted by
2303 posts

90 minutes is the amount of time on Delta, which historically has had the most generous refund policy for schedule changes. Most of the other US Airlines pre-COVID-19 were 2 hours. I think it was United that tried to make it something like 26 hours at one point after the epidemic began, but that did not stick.

As for TAP, it will be a matter of contract of carriage and EU261 rules, as noted above.

Posted by
3038 posts

I don’t think the layover length matters, just if your departure or arrival has changed by 2 hours or more (or whatever the ticket rule is).

Assuming your ticket was bought in Canada from a .ca website, you should be up on those federal regulations first, then the ticket terms.

In the US the federal regulations require a refund if
1. Flight is canceled
2. Significant time change

No. 2 is then defined by the ticket terms, 90 min for Delta, usually 2 hours for everyone else.

It’s not clear to me what happens if your flight is canceled but you are put on another flight that both departs and arrives within the delay window, for US flights.

Posted by
1177 posts

No luck -- the phone agent said five hours is the amount for TAP. I will call back again later to try to speak with a different agent in case I get a different answer.

I bought the "Classic Fare" -- which means I can get a refund of most of my money anyway. I was just hoping that this change might work in my favour to get all.

Posted by
24849 posts

Have you looked at the conditions on the TAP website, https://www.flytap.com/en-gb/transport-conditions?=undefined, and then used the wayback machine to see what they were when you booked the flight?

Under 261/4 on that website currently for flights operated by them to Europe over 3500 km (Lisbon to Toronto is over 5000) they can move you up to 4 hours without compensation.

Posted by
1177 posts

Peter, I haven't blinked yet. Still waiting to see if they cancel. I expect to have some time to delve further into it Friday.

Posted by
1177 posts

Update:

I logged on this morning and saw the LIS - BCN portion of my flight was cancelled (never notified). It said to call for voucher or refund, if applicable. I called the 1-800 number this is the result.

I was unimpressed that when I called, the fellow put me on hold, then came back and told me to refresh my screen, only to see that he'd put me on a different flight to BCN (without asking me if I wanted that).

In the end, I requested the refund under the terms of my Classic Fare, which is with a $160CAD penalty per person. They offered a voucher for 110%, but only good for one year. I decided to cut my losses and my ties with TAP, take the reduced refund, and think very hard before purchasing with TAP ever again (actually that goes for just about every airline).

At the end of the call he said that they might not refund taxes and gave me instructions on how to fight that, if I choose to when I see the refund. This seems the worst of the whole thing, since my understanding is the taxes should always be refunded.

I'll post the results when I see the refund, which I expect to take ages.

I guess only losing $320CAD on travel this year is not bad at all, compared to many people out there!

Posted by
18 posts

You will be lucky if you get anything back. Many people have been waiting for months on refunds for flights that were canceled by TAP. The only people that get refunds are the ones that dispute the charge with their credit card issuer. Check out TAP Air Portugal - UNSATSIFIED CUSTOMERS page on Facebook. My flight was canceled in June and I am still waiting for my refund. I will never book with TAP again!