Revealed: The airlines with the stingiest refund policies – from the one that charges you £1.45 a minute to claim back cash, to the one that won’t even accept chicken pox as a reason to cancel

Revealed: The airlines with the stingiest refund policies – from the one that charges you £1.45 a minute to claim back cash, to the one that won’t even accept chicken pox as a reason to cancel

Travellers who’re compelled to cancel a flight face a refund lottery as some airways repay in full whereas others received’t hand again a penny.

And since it’s left to the airline to resolve its personal cancellation coverage, some throw all method of obstacles in your option to put you off claiming.

For instance, Wizz Air prospects who desire a refund to their checking account can solely get one by phoning its customer support quantity — at a price of £1.45 a minute plus any charges utilized by their cellphone firm. 

Clients who apply on-line as an alternative have their cash put into their Wizz Air account — the place it might probably solely be spent on future flights.

It’s as much as the discretion of every airline whether or not it refunds you, and all have their very own guidelines. Some refund you should you or a beloved one fall sick, others don’t.

Wizz Air: If you would like a refund you have to cellphone buyer companies at £1.45 a minute

It at all times is sensible to purchase journey insurance coverage, which can pay out should you’re compelled to cancel even when the airline refuses to reimburse you. You must do that the second you purchase your ticket so that you’re coated ought to you must cancel.

And it pays to take a look at your airline’s guidelines earlier than you make a declare. Airways don’t at all times play honest, and refund you based on their very own guidelines — and so they have appreciable discretion about once they select to pay out.

Earlier this month Cash Mail shopper champion Sally Hamilton needed to step in after Wizz Air refused to ­reimburse a buyer the £364 price of her flight when she needed to cancel ­following the loss of life of her husband.

Right here we have a look at how the airline refund insurance policies examine. 

British Airways: You must cancel within 24 hours of booking for full refund without penalty

British Airways: You will need to cancel inside 24 hours of reserving for full refund with out penalty

British Airways 

In case you cancel a flight inside 24 hours of reserving it, you’ll be able to declare a full refund and not using a penalty cost. When you’re outdoors of this window, you must contact British Airways as quickly as attainable.

If you wish to cancel a flight attributable to extreme sickness or the loss of life of a member of the family, you’ll need to offer ­documentation comparable to a medical or loss of life certificates.

British Airways says it’s going to refund the tickets of passengers who’ve been identified with a terminal sickness. Those that usually are not critically sick however usually are not capable of fly can often put their ­tickets on maintain for as much as a yr. However once they rebook, they might want to pay the distinction between the 2 fares and any will increase in airline taxes.

EasyJet: Charges more if you call customer service to cancel rather than doing it online

EasyJet: Costs extra should you name customer support to cancel quite than doing it on-line


Passengers who cancel an easyJet flight on-line inside 24 hours of reserving will obtain a full refund, minus the £49 reserving charge. Cancel on-line should you can because the charge rises to £55 for many who do it by calling customer support.

Passengers affected by a ­severe or terminal sickness should submit an internet medical ­declaration type, as soon as submitted easyJet will evaluation the case and should give you a refund or flight voucher, for use inside six months.

When you have been bereaved, easyJet will evaluation your case and should supply a refund, free change of flight or voucher in the direction of a future flight, inside six months.


All Jet2 flights can’t be refunded. The airline suggests passengers ought to take out journey insurance coverage on the time of reserving to cowl for unexpected occasions which will forestall them from ­travelling as deliberate.

Jet2 says there could also be sure conditions the place it might probably help, however this can’t be assured. You possibly can change the identify or date of your flight for a £35 administration charge, plus the distinction in worth between your authentic fare and the brand new flight worth. To make modifications to your flight, go to

Ryanair: The airline does not offer refunds for common illnesses such as chicken pox

Ryanair: The airline doesn’t supply refunds for frequent sicknesses comparable to hen pox


You could possibly cancel a ­Ryanair flight and declare a refund if somebody you had been set to journey with or a right away member of the family passes away. Ryanair doesn’t think about aunts, uncles or cousins as speedy relations.

Relying on the circumstances, the airline could refund the entire price of flights for everybody travelling on the reserving.

You could possibly get a refund within the type of journey credit score should you change into significantly sick and are not capable of journey. All functions are thought of on a case-by-case foundation and the airline doesn’t supply refunds for frequent sicknesses comparable to hen pox or routine medical procedures together with ­pre-planned therapies.

Go to to use.

Wizz Air

If you’re identified with a ­severe sickness or incurable ­illness you could possibly declare a full refund when you present an ­official medical certificates.

All refunds are paid as Wizz Air credit score, so if you wish to the refund to your checking account then you have to cellphone the airline’s customer support — costing £1.45 a minute.

Holidaymakers who’re sick however usually are not in a important situation could also be entitled to a 50 per cent refund in the event that they ship the airline a replica of their medical certificates.

The refund solely applies to the affected person and never different passengers included of their reserving.

In case your baby is sick, you’ll be able to apply for a 50 per cent refund on their ticket and yours. And if a detailed member of the family dies inside 30 days of a flight departure, you’ll be able to request a full refund by making a declare on-line.

A Wizz Air spokesman says: ‘When reserving we advise utilizing our WIZZ Flex service should you really feel that your plans could change sooner or later.’

Travellers face a lottery as airlines decide their own cancellation polices when you can't fly

Travellers face a lottery as airways resolve their very own cancellation polices when you’ll be able to’t fly

Demand your tax again

Even in case you are not entitled to a full refund, you must be capable of declare again the Air Passenger Responsibility taxes you paid in your ticket. This levy is paid by ­passengers and handed on by the airline to HMRC. Nonetheless, the tax is barely paid should you take the flight so should you don’t you ought to be refunded the tax by the airline.

Airways don’t routinely refund it and yours could not even inform you that you’ve a proper to assert it. Contact your airline and inform it you’d like to assert yours — in any other case it’s going to pocket the cash for itself. The quantity of Air Passenger Responsibility you pay on every flight is determined by the gap you journey and sort of seat you guide.

A passenger who flies from Edinburgh to London Gatwick in an economic system seat pays £7 in taxes, or £14 for a premium seat, comparable to these with additional legroom.

For a flight of lower than 2,000 miles, to locations comparable to Italy, Greece or Turkey, you’ll pay £13 in taxes for an economic system seat or £26 for a premium seat.

For further-afield hotspots such because the Bahamas or Costa Rica, you’ll pay £88 for the standard seat however this rises to £194 for an upgraded seat.

A flight to a vacation spot greater than 5,500 miles away, comparable to New Zealand, has £92 of Air ­Passenger Responsibility in a median seat, or £202 for an upgraded one.

Anna Bowles, head of shopper coverage and enforcement on the Civil Aviation Authority, says if prospects have a problem with their reserving or flight, they need to complain to their airline first.

‘If they’re nonetheless not glad with the response they obtain, customers can search redress by the authorised Various Dispute Decision service, which can independently evaluation their declare,’ she says. Go to

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