Customers can choose from several options to request refund and cancellation of disrupted travel
With airlines introducing changes to flight schedules in light of the evolving coronavirus situation, many travelers have been forced to rebook, postpone, or cancel their journeys altogether. These changes have had an impact on Kiwi.com customers as well.
In normal times, our Customer Support agents have the capacity to handle each customer request to the expected Kiwi.com standard. If a customer applies for a refund, we pay out of our own pocket and then wait until the carrier sends us a refund. However, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, many airlines are struggling for survival and cannot currently release the funds to be claimed by their customers.
Kiwi.com refunds are largely dependent on the policies of the hundreds of carriers with which we cooperate. Based on the great volume of refund requests we have been receiving in the last several months, we are simply unable to handle them quickly and refund them out of our own pocket all at once.
We have introduced a number of refund options for customers to choose from when their travel plans have been disrupted by global circumstances. Read more and watch our refund explainer videos below.
How to request a refund if the airline cancels the flight
When it comes to involuntary cancellations, Kiwi.com is processing all the available refunds and credits for every one of our customers. We then pass the recovered funds on to them as quickly as we can.
Based on customer feedback and in order to streamline and speed up our processes, we have introduced several refund options for our customers. Customers can find them in their Manage My Booking (MMB) account on the Kiwi.com website or mobile app and select the one they find fits them best.
When applicable, they will be visible to customers after they sign in to their account. However, we would like to ask our customers for their understanding as we release the new features in batches and it might take a short while before they’re visible in accounts.
For all applicable bookings and whenever available, the customer will see and be able to access this option in their Manage My Booking page on the Kiwi.com website and mobile app.
Whenever possible, we’ll share the relevant booking credentials with the customer who wishes to contact the airline to change their booking or claim any available refund and / or credit from the carrier. The customer can use the shared credentials to log in to the carrier’s website and request a change or refund or contact them directly.
After selecting this option, our agents will no longer be handling the booking — we will automatically forward all the communication, such as email, vouchers, credits, or refunds to the customer. In case the carrier sends us a monetary refund, we will pass it on to the customer using the payment method used for the booking.
Please note that this option is not available for all bookings as we cannot always share the booking credentials for each carrier.
Within the Assisted refund, customers can select from two refund options: Free assisted refund and Priority assisted refund.
Free assisted refund
On the customer’s behalf, we will contact the airline free of charge and pass all the available refund and / or credit from the carrier onto the customer. We are dependent on airlines’ policies and processing schedules and the waiting time can be longer than with our other refund options.
If your trip consists of multiple flights, it might happen that you receive your refund in multiple stages depending on when Kiwi.com receives the refunds from the carriers. We estimate the processing might take up to three months.
Priority assisted refund
We launched this option for customers who feel that their case is urgent and wish to speed up the process. For an upfront fee, we will prioritize the customer’s case with the airlines and deliver any available refund from the carrier to the customer as quickly as possible. The processing time of the request will depend on each airline’s policy and schedules.
Based on our estimates and each carrier’s processes, it may take up to six weeks. Since many airlines are delaying issuing refunds, it might result in delays on the customer’s end as well.
Instant refund from Kiwi.com
Even if the customer’s airline is not offering any refund or credit, we will! This option will cover a portion of the booking costs in the form of Kiwi.com credits which can be used for future bookings. The amount is automatically calculated and will vary for each itinerary but we make sure to offer at least something even if the carrier does not.
Rebooking the trip
In case the flight has been canceled by the carrier, we will offer an alternative itinerary for customers to consider. After choosing an alternative, the customer won’t be able to apply for a refund for the initial trip.
Is it possible to cancel a booking and get a refund even if the airline hasn’t canceled the flight?
Due to the current travel restrictions and bans around the world, travelers might be facing a tough decision whether to take their trip, change it or cancel it altogether. It is possible to cancel a booking voluntarily after signing in to their Kiwi.com Manage My Booking account and following the instructions on the page.
In cases of voluntary cancellation of a flight that is not affected by coronavirus restrictions and customers wish to pursue a refund, they have several options to choose from as well.
When applicable, they will see the Carrier self-service option in their Manage My Booking page. We’ll share the airline’s credentials with them so they can handle any compensation or a change directly with the airline.
They will also be able to apply for Instant refund from Kiwi.com. The refunded amount will be based on the Fare Type selected during booking. Kiwi.com customers will also be able to make use of our Free assisted refund — we’ll contact the airline on their behalf and handle everything for them. Lastly, it’s also possible to rebook the trip, in which case the price of this option will depend on the Fare Type selected during booking.
Customers are our priority
Our refund and cancellation solutions focus on automation — we provide the customer with options to manage bookings on their end. This way we can lower the daily volume of customer support contacts by phone and email in order to prioritize those travelers who need urgent assistance, such as those in transit.
We’re constantly implementing new measures and simplifying our refund policy. With the higher volume of requests, we apologize for the longer waiting and processing times that our customers might be experiencing. We are committed to helping all our customers to get their money back and, just as importantly, get everyone safely to their final destination.