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No refund from vueling for cancelled flight after their subsidiary goes bankrupt

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No refund from vueling for cancelled flight after their subsidiary goes bankrupt

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I have looked online for this in many places, read a wide variety of legal documents and this circumstance seems to have slipped through all the cracks. I also didn't put it under the covid section as it speaks to a wider issue that might happen again regardless of the virus, but I do think the virus is somewhat responsible for this and would not be offended if someone moved this post to that section.

Way back in November I booked and paid for a flight with Vueling from Austria to Cyprus. Turns out that flight wasn't run by Vueling but was run by one of their subsidiaries, a company called LEVEL Europe, yeah, I haven't heard of them either. Anyway, LEVEL Europe has gone bust which now means my flight has been cancelled Vueling as a 'goodwill gesture' gave me two choices, receive flight credit or change the flights for another flight on their network. The latter option is completely pointless as they do not run that route themselves, they only go in and out of Barcelona as far as I can see, and even if I wanted to go to Cyprus from the UK through them it is not something they do. Vueling sent out a generic email saying if I wanted to receive a real refund I would need to go through the administrators who are sorting through the finances of LEVEL Europe as part of the wrapping up process. They enclosed a 'helpful' link which took me to a website which was dead. My question is this, surely when I paid Vueling for the flight I entered into a contract with them, if their supplier (LEVEL Europe) went bust then isn't it Vueling's responsibility to find or source an alternate method to make that flight happen and if they don't then shouldn't they be refunding me properly for failing to fulfill the contract and then going to the administrators themselves to reclaim any losses. I cannot find anything that fits this scenario. I have read the practice of airlines doing this is called 'codesharing.' I have also seen many examples of chargeback working on a credit card to return costs after an airline goes bust but in this case, the company that was paid on my credit card has not gone bust it is someone else. Any ideas and help would be great. My insurance company doesn't cover for airline failures - I have found recently that the only thing 'platinum' about my yearly cover was the price; because they are basically refusing to pay out anything for anything.
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  • edited 3 July at 3:24PM
    brianposterbrianposter Forumite
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    edited 3 July at 3:24PM
    Who did you pay ? If you paid via the Vueling website then Vueling are responsible.
  • LadyDeeLadyDee Forumite
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    Have you contacted the Administrators, as they will be the people dealing with Vueling's debts.  Try contacting your bank if you paid with a debit or credit card as you might be able to instigate a chargeback.
  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    Level Europe flights were operated by Anisec (which isn't applicable to flights on the A330, as they're operated by Iberia. Anisec was a completely different company to Vueling and Vuelings assets are completely irrelevant when you booked an Anisec-operated flight.

    Exactly which company was paid, on what website and when? When we know this, we can help you further. If (as I suspect) it was Level, your claim will be with the administrators of Anisec, and Vueling have no liability to you.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
  • hmhmmhmhhmhmmhmh Forumite
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    Thanks all for the replies so far.
    @CKhalvashi I paid vueling, they are the ones on my credit card who received my money. I can't remember where I booked it through, I booked it in November last year, I think it was through Expedia.
    @LadyDee I tried to contact them, but the link for the administrators is a dead link and vueling just don't reply.
    I have tried to go through my credit card chargeback but this situation doesn't match their example scenarios precisely so I don't know what's going to happen with it, I'm waiting on them.
  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    @hmhmmhmh. You'll need to write to the address on this link. https://www.flyleveleurope.com/

    How you pay the fee, I don't know, however there is a €23 fee to register your claim.

    The link to the court file works fine for me. If it still doesn't work for you, you can try to clear your cache and it should work at this point. On my browser, it's Settings>Advanced>Clear history.

    It looks like you need to register your claim with the court,  not the administrators/liquidators. I'm not sure how this works in relation to paying Vueling, however the Spanish Vueling if acting as a payment processor will have no liability to you at all.

    Vueling have as far as I'm aware never operated between Austria and Cyprus.

    In response to my message yesterday, Anisec was renamed as Level Europe late last year. There's nothing dodgy in this, as it was likely a simplification within IAG, the group that owns both brands.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
  • hmhmmhmhhmhmmhmh Forumite
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    That link you sent me works, it is different to the link vueling sent me. I have no idea what any of the boxes mean in the context of my flight and I am assuming that the 23 Euro charge will not be refunded to me in the event my claim, if I can even make it, is unsuccessfull. I thought Expedia were the payment processers? Can there be two payment processers? This seems like a needlessly complex arrangement to screw over innocent consumers. How do you know so much about this?
  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    If Expedia have taken the payment (it will be on your bank statement), then Vueling are still not liable.

    The payment the company went to will be the one on your bank statement, noone else.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
  • brianposterbrianposter Forumite
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    If Expedia have taken the payment (it will be on your bank statement), then Vueling are still not liable.

    The payment the company went to will be the one on your bank statement, noone else.
    It seems to me that this advice is nonsense. You need to work out who you paid or thought you paid - presumably from your emails.
    In the UK you claim from whoever you paid or appeared to pay..


  • hmhmmhmhhmhmmhmh Forumite
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    That's what I thought Brian, I paid through Expedia but I also paid through vueling, there is a £6 charge from Expedia (I'm assuming they took a cut as the organiser/agent) and then there is a £180 charge to vueling on my credit card on exactly the same day, email confirmations came from both Expedia and Vueling. I assumed Expedia were the agent and vueling were the provider as they are the ones that received the bulk of the money. I haven't paid LEVEL anything on my credit card statement. I have read a large amount of boring Ts and Cs about this from Vueling but can't find anything that matches it.
  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    That makes more sense now.

    Vueling will be the liable company in this case, so if they aren't responding to you, write to them at one of the addresses on their website. https://www.vueling.com/en/we-are-vueling/contact.

    If you're not sure, then write to IAG (the owner of Vueling and the Level brand) at Waterside and ask them to forward it to the relevant company once they've figured it out. Their contact details are here. https://www.iairgroup.com/en/site-services/contact-us.

    It may also be worth contacting the court, as you don't want to miss the deadline if your claim is ultimately with Level Europe in Austria. Level's website also states that 'An administrator will be appointed to answer further questions.'

    It's also likely worth contacting your credit card company, as this may be the quickest and easiest way to get your money back at no cost to you. You'll need details of any correspondence with Vueling, Level and IAG in general for this. You'll need to ask for a chargeback in relation to non-receipt of services. I should have mentioned this yesterday and I'm sorry for forgetting.

    Brian - If Expedia had taken the payment, Vueling not being liable is not nonsense, as they are completely different companies. If Vueling have taken the payment (as it may appear), then they are the liable company. I believe I'd made that perfectly clear, however it seems possibly not.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
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