COVID-19 travel refund: BC man loses dispute IG News

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A B.C. man has lost his bid to get his money back after he canceled a non-refundable flight to Germany after COVID-19 restrictions were imposed in that country.

A decision from the province’s civil resolution tribunal was posted online on Wednesday, outlining the reasons the traveler argued he should get a full refund and decided not to give one.

Hamid Syed Almolhoda, according to the decision, booked his plane ticket in October 2021, planning a holiday over the Christmas holidays. The airline ticket cost $1,760.36 and was booked to fly with Lufthansa.

On 7 December – amid a surge in cases driven by the Omicron edition – he decided not to travel.

“Mr Alamolhoda became concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and elected to cancel his flight reservation,” wrote tribunal member Andrea Ritchie.

“Notably, Mr Almolhoda says most shops in Germany were closed, and he had to go on holiday, not in a ‘ghost town’.”

Though the booking was made through a travel agent, the tribunal heard, Alamolhoda approached the airline directly for refund.

A Lufthansa representative told the tribunal that the ticket was non-refundable, and provided documents to that effect, while also stating that Alamolhoda had the right to rebook its journey at any time within the following year without any change fee. The option was given.

For its part, Alamolhoda denied purchasing a non-refundable ticket, but “provided no evidence showing the ticket fare rules,” Ritchie wrote.

Ultimately the tribunal ruled in favor of the airline.

Richie concluded, “I think it was Mr. Alamolhoda’s choice to cancel his reservation based on his holiday preferences, not any COVID-19 travel restrictions.”

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