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Vueling not refunding cancelled flight, offering only a voucher with a time limit

My Vueling flight from Paris to Mallorca has, not surprisingly, been cancelled. Vueling has offered me a voucher valid until Dec 31, 2020. This voucher is worthless to me since I have no plans to visit Europe for the remainder of the year. I was under the impression that cancelled flights in Europe have to be refunded. Am I mistaken in this belief? Or am I misreading the email?


Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting Vueling Customer Services. We have received your request and we are processing it.

We will reply to your request as soon as we can.

If your request is for a refund, you will receive an email in the next 10 days, which will include a voucher for the value of your booking to use on your next trip. The voucher is valid for all purchases via the Vueling website until 31 December 2020.

Due to the extremely high volume of calls that we are receiving, we strongly recommend that you avoid contacting with our Customer Attention centre via telephone and await our response via email.

We would like to take this opportunity to send you kind regards,

Yours Faithfully,

Customer Services Department
Vueling Airlines, S.A.

Posted by
139 posts

Airlines are heavily regulated. You may have recourse against them but you will have to dig into it.

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks for the replies. It's a minor nuisance for me, to be honest. Getting the money back would be nice, but c'est la vie. I was just surprised that I bought a service, they could not provide the service (for reasons beyond their control), yet all I get is a time-limited voucher instead of my original payment.

Anyway, stay safe.

Posted by
5036 posts

Most airlines (even the most generous and responsible ones) are generally only offering credit to be used at a later time, rather than a cash refund. This is true of most businesses in the travel industry. Don't be surprised and don't take it personally.

Worth considering: many of these businesses (both large and small) are bleeding out, and may not survive if this goes on for a long time. Travel is a huge industry, and lots of people working in it stand to lose their jobs. Yes, it sucks to be a consumer who has to lose money and just get back "credit" for a future purchase which you might never get to use, but there are going to be a lot of big losses all around from this pandemic. Having to eat some money lost on a ticket or hotel booking is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

Posted by
21 posts

And I believed I echoed those sentiments in my last post (with a lot less words), but thanks for the lecture nonetheless.

Posted by
71 posts

I was surprised that Thai Airways (via my travel agent) offered a refund with a 100.00 cancellation fee. This was on a no-refund flight. The $100 is nothing compared to the original cost of the ticket of over $1,600. The flight was a total of 40 hours once you factored in stops and layovers, including in Seoul. It was designed to avoid going through China. I felt fortunate to be able to get most of it refunded and to cancel my trip under these unprecedented circumstances.

Posted by
6543 posts

Just be glad that the European budget airline fares are so cheap. Often it's easier to just write off the flight and airfare as applying for a change of dates is too much of a hassle.
I have a round trip on EasyJet booked in a few weeks.

Posted by
1103 posts

Your credit card company will refund the money if you paid for the tickets with your CC.

Posted by
12 posts

I had flights booked with Ryan Air for travel 3/20 and 3/24. They had sent out an email advising that you could change the date of flights without a fee. I cancelled all my plans for Europe 2020, and as I plan to do the same trip next year, I was able the book in 2021 and both tickets were about $18.00 more. I probably could have waited as the flights were now probably cancelled, but as I have been reading, they can use the future business. I have contacted Air Malta for my flight on April 13 from Amsterdam to Malta and I'm still waiting on a response.

Posted by
1 posts

Bastards. Just ran int this as they cancelled our UK to Italy flight on 4.4 today They say repeatedly refund and then force a voucher on you . Avoid this airline like the plague (plague not Covid), If IAG let this subsidiary go bankrupt it will probably be too late to claim on you CC.

Posted by
1 posts

The email received from Vueling to poster blackmci ( similar to the one I received ), has now been furthered by two more this morning ( 28/03/2020 ), in reference to the situation and in most cases, we flyers opted for the REFUND from the very first point of contact..
All of us a little disturbed to have seen the emphasis they were placing on FUTURE travel credit when first, we never asked for a credit and secondly, unless Vueling have a guaranteed crystal ball that states all will be well in the world in the next couple of months, then there could be no other logical option to go for but " money back please ". So, let's see what they tried to say this morning.. ( abbreviated to fit here )
"
Hi, John ********
We are writing to inform you that as your flight has been cancelled because of etc, we've turned the amount you paid for your booking into Flight Credit. ( WHY?? )
Details of your cancelled flight:
- Route: BHX - BCN
- Flight no: VY8755
- Date: 2020-03-31
- Booking code: OC****
- Flight credit:**** GBP
etc etc..
How to use Flight Credit ( NOT INTERESTED SO NEXT 4 PARA'S DELETED AS IRRELEVANT )
SO, ONTO THE RELEVANT BITS....
If you prefer to be refunded the price of your cancelled booking, you must call us so we can process your request. Due to the current situation, this process may take up to 8 weeks. ( *WEB SITE STILL STATES 7 DAYS!! )
**SO,, now remember the bit about " you must call us "..

Contact telephone numbers: From UK +44203868570
We advise you to keep this email for future reference. ( *
yeah, sure Vueling, I will ** )
Call the number by all means IF you want your level of anger and frustration to get even higher.. Spend 4 mins listening to the pre-recorded, non relevant speel and press ( according to their advice ) button 4 for REFUND. Strange, after using THAT selection, the speel sounds identical to that of the first output and on it goes. After about 10 mins and still listening to total irrelevance and no sign of any possibility of human interaction, they will thank you for calling and drop the line..
OK, I've tried every conceivable option to give them a fair chance but after 3.5 hour marathon on this episode,, time to bring the credit card company in.. Sadly, all I could get from a Saturday service was,, try this number we have - 02035143971 - ( and I did ), but again, as half expected, it's another line with fob off pre records and again, kicks you off the line after pre prescribed period..
So, all my fellow ticket holders of the non existent flights,, Vueling are certainly depicting that the LAST thing they want to do is refund your hard earned dinero, despite article number whatever of the EU code etc.. The EIGHT week thing is not only a convenient statement to ward off the claimants, it is co-incidentally, the date of their next formal airline consortium board meeting, at which time, it would be very easy to see this subsidiary of Iberian, going to the wall. Why else are they dishing out info and telephone numbers that lead to zilch? If they HAD have been fair, I may have reciprocated. Sadly, now performing as online scammers, they've now lost my vote and come Monday morning,, it's credit card " CHARGEBACK " rules that will take over my predicament.. Good luck to you all!

P.S. Any of you considering maybe an OMBUDSMAN intervention ( even if it was possible ), you will find another co-incidence ? They too will not handle till after 8 weeks since complaint was brought about,, giving the respondent time to effect their own resolve,,,like going to the wall and leaving this message.. Hasta luego suckers! ;-)

Posted by
2837 posts

Clearly the airline is doing everything they can to make you choose flight credit over refund. Including this: "Due to the current situation, this process may take up to 8 weeks. " Is that how long you'll have to wait on hold?

Posted by
196 posts

I do know that if ANY airline using an American airport cancels a flight they have to give you a monetary refund. They will try to give you a credit for another flight but you don't have to accept.

Posted by
8716 posts

If Vueling canceled your flight, they have to refund your money. They don't have to make it easy, but if you insist, you get your money back. You will probably have to call and wait on hold and find someone who speaks English. Vueling even states that if you deal with them on email, you are going to get a voucher.

I just went through that with British Airways. I could accept their voucher or try to call. It took three days and over an hour on hold at 3AM but I got almost all my money back. I'm still waiting for the seat fee which the agent I spoke to said I should get back.

Even the same airline can have different procedures. I canceled two Delta flights this month. The first gave me a voucer autmotically. (I canceled so I couldn't request a refund on non-refundable flights.). The second I had to put a request for refund in and now have to wait. I don't know why the two different procedures.

Airlines prefer for you to get a voucher. This way they don't have to give any money back and they hope you may never use it. It's legal and most people accept it.

Posted by
21 posts

As a followup to my initial post, I was able to contact Vueling by phone. My wait time was not that long. The person on the end tried hard to convince me that I should stay with a voucher rather than get a refund. The conversation was polite, but I held my ground; so in the end I was told that my money would be refunded but that the wait time would be ~ 8 weeks.

I did not question why 8 weeks was required.

Posted by
2 posts

I am super frustrated. I checked the refund box not the voucher box on my email and also got a voucher email. I will probably never be in that are of the world. This was a once in a lifetime trip. I cannot find a viable phone number to call from the United States.

Posted by
2 posts

I found a number 13159612348, but it runs you through a series of push the button numbers and eventually hangs up on you. So frustrated. This whole thing makes me never want to plan a trip of any sort again.

Posted by
21 posts

Yes I just tried. I have one more flight to get refunded, but now Vueling, after making you go through their various menus, just hangs up. I don't even know what to say anymore.

About 2 weeks ago I got through and requested refund of my two most expensive flights. They wouldn't process the third flight ('I'm sorry sir, we can only process two flights per telephone call'). I honestly don't expect to see any money back.

Posted by
196 posts

A refund back to a credit card in normal times can take 7-10 business days. Could be shorter or longer. But with the number of refunds being done now it could take weeks before you see it. I would suggest not calling / emailing the company or the bank once you are told you are getting a refund. In these times I would wait at least 2 months before doing so.

When I had to do a refund for someone 7 times out of 10 they would call me everyday. Some would call in the morning to ask for the refund and I tell them OK and do the refund. They would call back that afternoon yelling that I didn't do it as it wasn't showing in their account. Refunds must go to the company's bank to the credit card company to the customer's bank. That takes time.

Posted by
21 posts

We're just trying to talk to someone in order to get the refund process started. Perhaps you should read the thread?

Posted by
196 posts

We're just trying to talk to someone in order to get the refund process started. Perhaps you should read the thread?

If that was directed to me, why? My last post was explaining why a refund could take so long as someone couldn't understand why they were told it may take 8 weeks.

Posted by
6369 posts

'I'm sorry sir, we can only process two flights per telephone call'

Appears covid causes stupidity, as well as all the other documented ailments

Posted by
1 posts

Hello everyone, I am in the same situation! Which telephone number did you get through on? I cannot find one where I am able to speak to a person!

I bought flights for a group of us so it is a lot of money and I need it back.

Thanks so much in advance!!

Posted by
21 posts

Followup: Yesterday my credit card account showed that my three flights with Vueling have been refunded.

Posted by
1 posts

I reached them easily on phone number +13159612348 calling from the US about 8:30AM MST. I max waited 15 minutes throughout the entire call and spoke to a very professional agent. Yes you will get the shpeel about getting a flight voucher and all the wondrous advantages of them a couple times. (2-3 times through the phone auto messages) and once from the agent- but they are probably required to do that. After he explained the "benefits" of the credit, I said I would like a refund to my original payment instead. No biggie- it may take up to 8 weeks.
It was relatively painless and took less than 20 minutes overall.

We had a hoilday booked with love hoilday for May 18th flying with vueling iv had no email or sms message about a refund of the cancellation on this flight I cannot get hold of vueling through email or by phone I can't go into manage my booking as I dont have any information on the flight. Katherineboard@hotmail.co.uk

Posted by
1 posts

We would be happy to accept a flight voucher if it was valid for more than 10 months. Flights out of Australia will not happen this year so this is not a useful option for me. Aegean Airlines are giving 18 months to re-book which is far more reasonable. I had the same issue with Air Arabia, after many e-mails and complaining on social media they finally agreed to extend the end date of the voucher until the end of April 2021 which we can use as we have a flight to Europe booked early April 2021... Anyway our flight is this Friday 15 May, just 3 days away and it hasn't been cancelled as yet and bookings can still be made.... will wait until they cancel - I presume they will but as it's a flight from Granada Spain to Barcelona it still may go ahead?

Posted by
1 posts

Don’t want to make you feel worse than you are already but must tell you that Vueling notified us by emails in March 2020 that our return flights to Mallorca in the first week of April 2020 had been cancelled as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak. We immediately logged on to our online account and requested that their full cost be refunded back to the credit card from which they had been deducted.

As the only confirmation of this refund request that we possessed was a screenshot, it was decided to telephone Customer Services to ensure that this decision had been accurately recorded. In the course of a conversation with Vueling representative Isa on 29 March she confirmed that our refund application was to be processed but that, because of staff shortages, it might take up to eight weeks.

As stipulated eight weeks had passed, felt that our patience had run out, particularly bearing in mind that the airline had a legal obligation to refund us within seven days in accordance with articles 5(1)(a) and 8(1)(a) of EC Regulation No.261/2004, so decided to chase it. Numerous attempts to contact the company by telephone came to naught as, after holding for a while, the automated system cut us off.

Further emails sent this week to Customer Services and the company CEO (Javier.Sanchez at vueling.com) have been met, almost laughably, with a standard acknowledgement which asks that we telephone their offices if we wish to request a refund! As previously, attempts to contact this company fail with calls being cut off.

Whilst appreciating the problems currently besetting the airline industry the facts in this matter are that monies held by Vueling since we booked in January were legally repayable long ago since this is a clear breach of contract with no flights having been provided.

Posted by
1 posts

I think you'll find there's only one language that Vueling understands (and I don't mean Spanish).

Legal action.

Sue them in Madrid under the European Small Claims Procedure (https://www.gov.uk/recover-debt-from-eu).

That's exactly what I did after being given the runaround by Vueling and they were served last week.

The case is decided in your home court on the papers (no court appearance) if they haven't already settled in full by then.