Booking a flight through an intermediator - how to collect your money back?

  • How could one have their payment refunded in case of a canceled flight if one purchased their ticket through intermediator?
  • What term would that happen?
  • Whom should one submit a complaint to, whether the airline or the agency? Neither is reverting …

Because of the large number of cancelled flights due to the pandemic, some passengers continue to face issues in having their tickets payment reimbursed. Those who have booked their trips via airlines websites are aware whom to contact over their complaint, should the refund be delayed. Consumers who booked their travel through a broker, a tour agent or an online intermediator, may face a different and a more complicated situation though.

Passengers who had booked their tickets through intermediators have recently submitted various complaints and queries to the European Consumer Centre Bulgaria but they have failed to collect their refund a couple of months following their cancelled flight. Some of them have found to be in a vicious circle as airlines’ explicit requirement is for passengers to, in this case, contact the intermediators whilst intermediators’ revert is delayed or they advise that they would process the refund as soon as they collect it from the carrier. 

Pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 in the event of a failed flight the airline should offer re-routing or reimbursement, subject to passenger’s choice. The exact way for reimbursement to be made is however not explicitly provided by the Regulation.  In case a reservation is made via travel agency or another intermediator, reimbursement is usually made to the intermediator who should pay it to the passenger.

What could the consumer do?

We advise you to first contact your travel agency or online intermediator where you purchased your tickets.

Should you fail to receive a satisfactory reply, you may try to contact the airline directly. In case you fail to collect a reimbursement, you are in Bulgaria and the airline or the intermediator is EU, Island, Norway or United Kingdom – registered, you may contact us for free of charge consultancy and support.