Booking.com denied flight cancellation refund

I booked a flight ticket for travelling from Brisbane to Queenstown (17 Dec) through booking.com on 28 Oct 2022 and cancelled it on 10 Nov 2022. A total amount is 3320$. When I did call for cancellation booking.com, their agent said I can cancel my ticket by paying cancellation fee of 80$ per ticket (320$ for 4 tickets). At that time, I also checked with the Virgin Australia about cancellation fee. So, I accepted to pay cancellation fee and cancelled my flight booking. Until last week, I was waiting for my refund from booking.com. However, on 17 Nov, I received an email saying that my ticket is non-refundable, and I can get refunded nothing, and the agent said it is the Virgin Australia’s cancellation policy. Meanwhile, I indeed did speak to one of the employees at Virgin Australia and she confirmed that our ticket is classified as refundable and flexible. She told me that once the agent sends the refund request, Virgin Australia will process the refund because it is the purchase through third party. I also found out booking.com has partnership with gotogate.com for their flight booking. I did read review about gotogate, there were a lot of people who couldn’t get their refund and waited for over 2 years. I should’ve known about booking.com’s partnership with gotogate on their flight booking before booking my flight.

5 Likes

Welcome to the Community @puje

Your post reads as a statement of experience rather than a solicitation for advice or assistance. It appears you have acquired your evidence and are continuing to deal with booking.com for your refund. Is that correct?

Note that Booking.com is a Dutch company owned by Booking Holdings, a US company with many subsidiaries. The Australian contact number is listed as 02 9255 9200 (office hours) which may or may not be answered in Australia, but it may be a corporate number different from those that essentially hide the company from the customers, or could be the same switchboard.

Prior to booking flights, accommodation, or event tickets again you might be well served to search the Community for the seller prior to pressing ‘buy now’. The problems consumers have experienced can be eye opening and in cases eye watering.

Please let us know how you go.

4 Likes

The T&Cs for booking.com on flights is worth reading…

They indicate they are not a contractual party and when booking flights through them, your contractual arrangements are with their third party aggregator (which you think is gotogate.com for your booking) and the carrying airline. Effectively they wipe their hands of any responsibility associated with a flight booking.

It also indicates that you should have been provided T&Cs from the third party aggregator, which you agreed to, at checkout/payment. What to these say about cancellations, ticket types and refunds? This might give some insight to what may be possible.

It is also possible the T&Cs of the third party aggregator will be different to the carrying airline. They might say any bookings through them in non-refundable, when the airline indicates differently.

I am not an expert on what terms and conditions would apply and which one you could rely on, but have a feeling the third party aggregator may have some weighting as this is who the booking is through. It might be worth obtaining legal advice if there are differing T&Cs about cancellations and refunds.

It might be worth trying to deal with the third party aggregator or airline directly in relation to your cancellation.

3 Likes

There are a multitude of posts about dealing with these overseas based online booking sites, for travel, or accommodation, or car rental. Almost all bad.

Invariably it just complicates things when issues like refunds come up. And you cannot deal with them in the same way you could with a local ‘bricks and mortar’ travel agency with actual people.

3 Likes

Bookling.com Australia (BCA) is a registered ABN in Victoria with shares held in Amsterdam. I am fed up with this garbage too and taking them to small claims, so they can pay court costs too.

Do let us know how you get on taking a company that operates out of the Netherlands, and owned by a US parent, to a small claims court here in Australia.
:rofl:

1 Like

“Booking. com” has this to say about “Legal

In its marketing it boasts it is supported international by 198 offices in over 70 countries. Whatever that sounds like read carefully,

It is the job of these support companies to provide in-country support for Booking. com. The support companies do not provide an online reservations service and they do not own, control, host, manage or maintain the Booking. com website (or any other website).

The ACCC maintains that companies based over seas but selling products and services in Australia are subject to the provisions of Australian Consumer Law. What’s possible?
https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2022-04-21/australia-fines-expedia-groups-trivago-33-million-on-false-hotel-rates

What’s involved in serving a notice on a foreign company?

2 Likes