Travel agent holding on to my £800 refund from airline for cancelled flight
I’m wondering whether anyone can advise on the next step I should take to attempt to get back £809 that is owed to me from an online travel agent that I suspect has gone bust…
In January 2020 I purchased flights for April 2020 through flightsbank.com. Because of the pandemic, the flights were cancelled by American Airlines. I have been trying since April 2020 to get flightsbank.com to refund me my money, to no avail.
In September 2020, flighsbank.com sent me an email confirming they had received the refund from American Airlines and asked me for my bank details which I gave them. Since then I have heard nothing from them apart from one reply in early 2021 telling me they would refund me soon.
Now when I email them I get an automated response saying the inbox is no longer in use. There is also no answer when I call.
I have tried to claim this money back through my credit card company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. However after about 6 months of applying for this, American Express have told me that they are unable to help. They said this is due to the fact that when I purchased the flights through flightsbank.com (“the Supplier”), the payment went directly to JTA Travel Group (“the Merchant”) and therefore there is no direct relationship between American Express and flightsbank.com and therefore American Express are not under obligation to consider my claim. I have contacted JTA Travel Group and they confirmed that they refunded my money to flightsbank.com last year.
Flightsbank.com is continuing to hold onto my money and I'm getting extremely worried now about how I can make them pay me back. I am at a loss as to know what to do next. If anyone has any advice of what next steps I can take/who I can contact I would be extremely grateful.
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Flightsbank.com appear to be US based although I suspect that the real operation might be more in the Indian Asia locations.
I am not sure having looked at their website I would have booked via them - https://flightsbank.com/about-us.php. What was the attraction?
I can't see there trading position and not sure how you can check on the status of a US registered business. You might find some inroaded via the Better Business Bureau in the US - https://www.bbb.org/
If the UK telephone number is not working (0203-608-5944) have you tried the USA one - 001-855-636-0786?
JTA is a UK business but I suspect that they are innocent in this. Flightsbank.com likely just using them to buy the flight seat on your behalf. Well done for investigating that route and establishing that the monies were returned to flightsbank.com
I wish you well sorting this out and hope that you get your money back. I suspect you will have since discovered and understood the pit falls of buying online via unknown and overseas based businesses.
You appear to have no claim against JTA as you had no contract with them. The one thing missing from their website is an IATA logo, without that they cannot issue airline tickets and always have to buy in from someone else, so it can never be the lowest price
I am not certain whether this is possible or not, it may depend on whether the agency is still in business, it doesn't belong to any travel trade association here or in the US but if JTA still has a relationship with the company, they might be able to debit a card they hold for the agency and get your money back. This is the only suggestion I can think of and I am not sure that is even possible but it's worth asking them
We've had an almost identical experience with Fightsbank (it's a nightmare) although our flights cost £2460. Can you please let me know if you've had any luck getting a refund. Thanks Jeni
There is no direct relationship between American Airlines (the supplier) and American Express, so this route is unlikely to be of help. You will be out of time for the Chargeback route to potentially be an option.
A non-IATA accredited agent can issue airline tickets, but they must be pre-paid. It looks like they have been. IATA is irrelevant in this matter completely. One of my business undertakings has supply agreements for tickets with a specific (small, non-EU) airline on specific routes at a lower price than can be achieved via other methods (knowing a contact of the Chief Executive of the airline in this specific scenario gained this), but these aren't supplied directly to the public and also aren't supplied as standalone fares and are very restrictive.
The last paragraph is, however, correct.
I can spell, my iPad can't.