Long wait for Gotogate flight refund | Money


A flight I booked through Gotogate was canceled last year due to the pandemic, and 16 months later I’m still awaiting my refund. Online, I see that I am far from alone.
TSP, London

One of those who keep you company is OM from London, which is only waiting 13 months for its reimbursement. He had also booked through Gotogate but Covid ended his vacation.

You pay the price of the reservation through a third party. The choice and cheap deals offered by booking platforms may seem appealing, but add-ons can inflate the price significantly and customer service can be unreliable. Gotogate, which is part of the Swedish Etraveli group, invites passengers to pay for after-sales service. Those ready to part with £ 8.99 or more are promised faster responses and priority refunds, though a notice warns Covid continues to delay the process.

Those who aren’t are put in the back of the queue – and charge a hefty administration fee to claim their dues. For a fictitious New York booking, I was quoted £ 29 for help after any airline schedule changes, unless I paid £ 17.99 for an ‘Assistance Pack’ Platinum ”.

In June, Gotogate confirmed to TSP that its refund had been received from the airline, but warned that the pandemic disruption meant it could take “a long time.” It wasn’t until this month, 20 months after her flight was canceled, that the money arrived. Gotogate told me that she contacted the airline for a refund last July (four months after the canceled flight), but contrary to her June message, she had not yet received the money. The OM was also reimbursed. Gotogate blamed the airline.

Passengers who book through a third-party agent risk finding themselves in a refund limbo. Legislation giving passengers the right to reimbursements or compensation in the event of flight disruption only applies to airlines. However, some insist that passengers claim through the booking agent. Gotogate’s terms and conditions clearly state that it is an intermediary and that it is not responsible for airline breaches.

Bott & Co attorneys Coby Benson said empty-handed clients are unlikely to have legal recourse against Gotogate. “The best option is to sue the airline directly, because they are the ones who have a legal obligation (both under EC Regulation 261/2004 and under contract law),” he says.

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