I booked flights through Skyscanner.net. The issuing agent was Travel Trolley. Like thousands of others, we have been impacted by the coronavirus travel ban when my flights were cancelled. Travel Trolley has offered a credit note for the full amount and when I requested a refund it demanded a £75 admin fee to pass on the money already repaid by the airline! It can’t be legal to hold me to ransom like this.
Other readers have written in with the same complaint. Travel Trolley, owned by multi-millionaire tycoon Kuljinder Bahia has insisted all passengers pay £75 if they want a cash refund rather than a credit note, despite the fact that its terms and conditions only mention the charge if a passenger, rather than the airline, cancels a flight. Skyscanner has publicly condemned the policy. “We’ve been supporting travellers who contact us and have been working closely with providers to try and ensure that any admin fees for refunds are reasonable,” it says. “We’ve seen success in some partners changing their policies as a result, and will continue discussions with providers to ensure travellers are being treated fairly. We’re asking Travel Trolley to treat cases from Skyscanner referrals as priority.”
Travel Trolley failed to respond to requests for a comment. The trade association, ABTA, of which Travel Trolley is a member, says: “Travel agents may charge an admin fee to cover the cost of the work they have done in relation to a cancelled booking. However, these fees must be reasonable and clearly set out in their terms and conditions. If they have not reserved the right to do so, they should not charge a fee.”
It referred the company to its legal team after the Observer alerted it. A notice has since appeared on Travel Trolley’s website announcing that it will cancel its fee and refund customers who have already paid it. “Whilst this is of significant financial loss to our business, our customers are of paramount importance to us,” it says. “As customers are facing huge financial difficulties, we hope that removing the fee will go in some way to ease their personal burdens.”
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