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Cannot get refund on flight to Singapore


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Last year my wife and I booked a business class flight to Singapore. We wanted to go during a busy period and while we were debating about dates etc the airfare cost rose by around £1000. Not wanting to pay any more than that since the original fare was around £10,000 . So we booked through Trail Finders on  non refundable tickets and because of our age we couldn't get travel insurance with them so we took the tickets  without travel insurance and expected to get it from another company .

Because of illness it was not possible to fly at the time and we tried to cancel the tickets. They refused. Didn't even offer to repay anything not even for the fuel nor the taxes that we no longer would be liable for. In the end the only way not to lose the money was to rebook for later this year. 

Since then at long last I have been granted a Green card to go to the USA [I started 5 years ago] so not able to get to Singapore again. We still haven't any travel insurance so I am looking for a way not to lose our money. Obviously it might have been possible to swap the destination from Singapore to the USA but Singapore airlines do not fly from London to the USA. So we are in a bit of a cleft stick.

Do we have a way out please?

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I'm no expert LFI, but I would think in the worst, most disastrous scenario (which hopefully won't happen) that you should at least get the taxes back.

I once had to cancel flights with Aeroflot.  In the relationship between me & Aeroflot, that was my fault.

(The real culprit was a third party who I absolutely hammered, but that's another story).

Aeroflot didn't refund me the cost of the flight which i wasn't entitled to, but they did refund the taxes, because I didn't fly so no taxes were paid.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks Dave. I called them today and they have offered to repay the taxes. Doesn't sound enough to me. OK we are the ones breaking the contract but to lose the whole lot [less taxes] seems waaay to greedy of them. I was not expecting to get it all back but losing £10,000 is hard to take and being Scottish I am looking to fight it.  Possibly the Consumer Rights Act might work.

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@Kyosanto ive pinged him.

 

 

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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LFI, I've just had a faff around on the Singapore Airlines site, and they do Manchester > New York (not sure about other USA destinations).

They also do Paris > New York and Amsterdam > New York for example, and if 10 grand is at stake, a cheapy flight from GB to Paris or Amsterdam surely would be worth it.

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We could do with some help from you.

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After further faffing around on their site, they do the USA from virtually all (not all) of their European bases

https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/it/plan-travel/destinations/where-we-fly/

It'd just be a case of getting an extra flight from London to Amsterdam/Frankfurt/etc.

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We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

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Hey, I'll follow up later with a more complete answer.

For now please don't do anything, and especiallly, don't cancel!

Give us the dates of your flights/flight numbers if you don't mind.

Don't expect a miracle though, as you are not in a very good place here.

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Ok, so first the preachy bit: it seems you bought a very dear ticket that's non refundable, for a trip which you weren't sure you'd be able to travel, and without having any travel insurance. That's obviously not something someone should ever do, but I'm sure you've already learned your lesson by now, so... moving on.

 

Swapping your ticket for another ticket  You'll need to check your ticket conditions very carefully from when you bought the ticket, or paste them here. Some airlines allow changes "for a penalty fee" even on non-refundable tickets. Some airlines do not. Also swapping the destination city within the same region is always easier. Say your London Singapore to a London Kuala Lumpur. But changing to a Frankfurt-New York is going to be a lot harder. 

Brief look at Singapore Airlines seems to suggest that if you are on a "Business Lite" you can indeed change your ticket for a £198 fee + fare difference even on non-refundable ticket, so there is hope.

What I regularly recommend to people is that the call the airline directly (and record it) rather than go through their crappy OTA who never do anything and just tell you "computer says no". However it looks like the travel agent you used in this case seems very highly reated so in theory they should be one of the proper ones who can do these things for you. Have they exaplined the reason why they were not able or willing to change your LON-SIN to a LON-JFK for a penalty fare? I think it's time you pay them a visit/recorded call, and say what you want to do.

Before your visit to your agent, go to https://www.singaporeair.com/ and note down the dates and fees for flights from London to JFK (via Frankfurt, it's the only way), choose days which have existing flight, ideally where Business Lite fares (if that's your fare) are still being sold. Normally they do this for you but it helps if you come prepared. Explain that you want to change your ticket and pay the penalty fee + fare difference. If they refuse to do this for you and don't give you a good reason, you should try the same again direct with the airline this time.

 

This looks to be your best option right now. Give it a shot and tell us know what you end up with.

If you don't manage to change your ticket, and there's actually a good reason for it (for example you bought a cheap TA only fare that's not changeable), we'll look at other options like using the flight to go to the USA. Cancellation is not an option since your ticket is nonref and you will get something like £250 per person back for taxes, DON'T DO IT. The best option is to wait for 2 hours before your flight to cancel the ticket, that way there's a chance your flight gets moved or cancelled and you become eligible for a full refund. We can talk about further options again once you find out more about whether your ticket can be changed.

Good luck!

 

 

Edited by Kyosanto
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Buy in haste repent at leisure. I hear what you say but we had a friend in Singapore was paying for an apartment for us for a month so we were obviously keen to go for that reason. When we started looking the fares were increasing daily so we jumped in and bought the tickets without insurance from Trail finders since we were both over 80 [just].  We bought the tickets in October 2022 so we have to use them before that date in October 2023.

My wife unfortunately was ill when the holiday was due so we changed the time to 30th August this year on flight SQ321 leaving around 10pm. Then returning SQ 318 on the 26th September  leaving shortly after midday flying Business class both ways. [My wife was an asthma sufferer and disabled so not able to fly economy.]

Now after five years of negotiating I finally received my Green Card to go to America. I have until the 17 th September to get there which clashes with the Singapore flight. I have spoken to TF and I asked if we could change the tickets again and leave from LA to Singapore return with the additional costs of changing the tickets and journey included. They weren't sure if that could be done but later they phoned and said that it would be possible and once I knew the available times they could alter the tickets again.

I explained that the reason I was doing this was because I didn't want to lose something like 10 grand and was there anything I could do to avoid that happening. [I asked the the last bit before I came up with the flight change from the USA as I was told that they couldn't say a way round us losing the bulk of that money though it would be possible to get a small refund -taxes for instance].

Thank you for your help and suggestions . It does seem very unfair that while I accept that we have broken the contract that we made with them that they can keep virtually the whole amount and are still able to sell the seats to someone else if we don't go.

Is one of the ways you are thinking of that we could sell our tickets to someone else at a lower price than Singapore airlines is selling them or is that out of the question?

 

 

PS. Kyosanto I am so sorry I misread your  post about flying back from Singapore to the USA. I would prefer Los Angeles rather than New York and I see they do fly to LA.

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Right, well it's good to hear that they will indeed change your ticket. Trust me, that is already a very positive outcome!

Singapore don't fly to LA from this side of the world, but you can ask anything to your travel agent, and they might be able to do a LON--FRA-JFK-LAX using partners Lufthansa and United. You could also try and change the ticket to a LAX-SIN. Do be advised that tix from the US cost a whole lot more so you might need to pay a further fare difference.

Have a look around at ticket availability and prices on the website so you know roughly what you're getting into, before you get back to your agent and ask for specific flights.

Selling the ticket to someone else = not possible, the ticket is in your names and that's the end of it.

Not being allowed to refund = yeah, it's not great, but then there's a reason why the tickets that you can refund are sold for more. If you could refund the cheaper tickets then there wouldn't be a point charging more for refundable ones, welcome to capitalism and flexible pricing!

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looks ok LFI re reported posts 

prob just a database glitch 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have changed the date of the flight coming back from Singapore. This will cost an extra £3000 plus travel insurance will add another £1200. We are flying out on the 30th August and am seriously thinking of not going and asking for a refund. Obviously I cannot expect to get a full refund since we didn't take out travel insurance at the time -mainly because we were too old to qualify for it  with them

I know that by cancelling we have broken our contract but it does appear to me that to retain the full cost of the flights seems an unfair penalty. Is there any mileage in going to Court since they are adamant that the most they would refund would be the taxes which is a fraction of the amount we have laid out. 

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You've already paid much more than you should have for this.

 

I tried to explain in an earlier post - but obviously failed - that you should be looking online for day combinations where the tickets are not more expensive than the price you paid, BEFORE you call them to change your ticket, so that you already know what you're getting into, and in this case it should have cost you no more than £198, certainly not 1.5k.

 

I also tried to explain that you will not be able to get a refund for these tickets, other than the tax which is about £250 per person. And on that point I think I was very clear, so I'm struggling to figure why you would throw an extra 4k at it and hope to get a different answer.

 

I'm sorry to come across as so harsh, after all it''s your money and you do what you want with it.

 

Your only hope to get a refund is to wait patiently until the very last minute, and hope that one of your planes gets either cancelled or has a consequent schedule change, as this is the only way you will get a full refund. If no schedule change you are out of luck, and you fly it or lose it.

Not a lawyer but I don't think you'd have much luck claiming you should be able to refund a non-refundable ticket in court, not to mention that you are already over the threshold for SCC (10k) so it will cost you if you lose.

 

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