The Independent

I was told the wrong checkin time – can I get a refund?


Q I flew back from Australia last week. The original flight informatio­n stated I should check in on Friday 24 February. The flight was shown as departing at 12.10am. Apparently, I should have checked in on Thursday 23 February. The airline said it was my mistake and was very unhelpful, and refused us entry to the flight 24 hours later. We had to pay £3,000 for new flights back.

All the paperwork, including boarding passes, stated 24 February. So how do I claim back the money we had to spend?

Julie R

A I read your question with a heavy heart because this kind of confusion happens all too often. The most extreme case I have been close to involved an extremely expensive trip to the Yemeni island of Socotra; we were instructed to board a 1am flight, and one would-be traveller got his timing wrong by 24 hours – and was sleeping happily in his hotel while the flight was being called. With only one flight a week, he sadly lost thousands of pounds.

A good travel agent will be experience­d in the potential muddle that flights in the very early hours can involve, and will always run through what needs to be done: for a 12.10am departure, as you now know, you should check in at around 10pm the night before. While many people, for good reasons, choose to book direct with the airline or through an online travel agent, this involves surrenderi­ng the expertise of travel profession­als.

I am interested that you say the flight informatio­n stipulated that you should check in on Friday 24 February. If you have clear evidence of this, then you can challenge the airline (or agent, if you booked indirectly) and make a claim for your loss. But absent such proof, I cannot see that you can expect to get your money back. The airline has treated you as a no-show and is likely to hang on to your cash. A small consolatio­n could be that you may be able to extract some fees and taxes from your original ticket home, but even this will probably prove fruitless if you booked through an online travel agent.

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 ?? (Getty) ?? Passengers from China arrive at Perth internatio­nal airport
(Getty) Passengers from China arrive at Perth internatio­nal airport

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