Malév Refund Information

Malev 737-700 landing in London | Malev Ceases Operations | Commercial Aviation and Airline News

Malév Hungarian Ceases Operations

We’ve been covering news related to Malév Hungarian Airlines since they have ceased flying and are terminating business.  Previous articles include Malév Ceases Operations, our first article, followed by Oneworld Carriers Assist Malév Passengers.

If you are not protected by Malév, we suggest you obtain new tickets immediately if you wish to travel.  Other carriers, including Budapest based Wizz Air and other oneworld carriers, are providing special fares to Malév passengers.  Details are outlined in the above linked articles.

Tickets Purchased by Credit Card

Malév has released a statement with procedures to follow to receive a refund, however, if you purchased your tickets from Malév using a major credit card – Visa, MasterCard, American Express – we suggest you contact your credit card issuer to dispute the charge for services not rendered. It appears refund claims filed with Malév will be subject to the bankruptcy court and laws in Hungary.

Call your credit card issuer and inquire as to what your options are.  The first person you speak with may not be familiar with all consumer protection rules.

Major credit cards such as Visa have procedures in place which allow for what is called a “charge back” when a merchant goes out of business and/or services are not rendered.  Consumer protection policies and credit card rules will vary depending on what country your card is issued in.

It’s suggested you look into rules which govern credit card transactions in your country as well as consumer protection laws.  It may be a good idea to dispute the charge both over the phone and in writing with the bank which issued your credit card and request the transaction is charged-back to Malév.  Look for the correspondence address on your credit card statement.

If you made the purchase with Malév via PayPal, file a dispute with PayPal.

Malév Refund Procedures

 

The following procedures were provided by Malév in a written statement.

To obtain a refund, Malév requests you send your claim for refund of costs to [email protected] by e-mail or via post to the following address:

Malév Hungarian Airlines
1476 Budapest, Postafiók 79
Hungary
 

Malév requests you attach to the claim copies of all documents relevant to your travel.  In a statement, Malév has indicated they will only be able to assess claims when in possession of all documents.  Keep your original documents in a safe place.

In the statement from Malév, they request you proceed as follows to obtain a refund of your airfare:

 .

If you have any further questions, please call the Malév Contact Center:

  • From Hungary: 06-40-21-21-21
  • Abroad: +36-1-802-11-11

In conclusion, we know many people have had travel plans impacted by Malev’s shutdown.  If we obtain further information or official statements from Malev, we will publish the details here on FlyersPulse.com.

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101 Responses

02.05.12

Thank you for the information. I had flights booked on Malev for next month. I called my bank up (Visa card issued by HSBC) and started the charge-back procedure. They have given me provisional credit already and expect it’ll result in a permanent charge back.

Have since bought new flights on KLM.

02.05.12

I paid by paypal which does not honour airline tickets (so I now discover). What are the chances of refund – any ideas?

02.05.12

Agnes,

I don’t know what country you are in, so the following guidelines may be a bit vague, but hopefully will point you in the right direction.

What country are you in?

Did you buy from a travel agency or did you buy directly from Malev?

How did you submit your payment to paypal? Was it from a bank transfer, funds in your paypay account, or a debit or credit card?

How long ago did you make the purchase?

If you used a travel agency, I would first look to them. If you paid directly to Malev, I would then look at paypal.

Did you use a paypal account to make the payment where you had to login to your paypal account?

If yes, log back into your paypal account and locate the transaction. It should display with your other transactions and there should be a link named “details” for each transaction.

Click on the “details” link. This should bring up an overview of the transaction between you and Malev.

At the bottom, look to see if there is a notice that reads: “If there is a problem with this transaction, you can dispute this charge. Transactions must be completed before you can dispute them.”

The wording may be different – but look for similar wording. If you can find this, follow the instructions to initiate a dispute.

I realize PayPal operates differently in each nation and consumer protection laws vary in each country — as a result of this, there are not hard or fast answers.

Worst case scenario, you can always put in a claim with Malev – but depending on paypal policy where you are located and laws that govern them, a dispute with paypal may be your best chance.

I would both write and call PayPal in the nation your account is based in.

If you don’t get the answers you need from PayPal, I would look into any government bodies that govern them, as well as consumer protection laws that govern transactions.

Best of Luck,

Steve

02.05.12

I paid an online travel agent via pay-pal to my credit card. Who’s liable? They are all denying responsibility!

02.05.12
02.05.12

Will your bank not allow you to dispute the charge for services not rendered?

It’s not your banks fault, but when you initiate a dispute for services not rendered, a dispute letter will be sent to Malev’s merchant bank. Chances are they will not respond and the funds for your tickets should be credited back to your account.

Not sure where you’re based, but I’m aware of individuals in the US, Canada, and Australia, who have already received credit (a refund) from initiating a dispute with the bank which issued your card.

There’s a decent chance Malev’s merchant bank is holding onto funds from credit card sales.

If you used a major credit card, best thing you can do is initiate a dispute for services not rendered, providing your bank will allow. Both Visa and MasterCard international have protocols on how to handle such disputes.

02.05.12

Karen,

In your case, it would appear the online travel agency holds the responsibility. Are they a major online travel agency and where are they located? Consumer protection laws vary for each nation, but the extra information may be able to help someone point you in the correct direction.

Also, did you use your paypal account to pay the travel agent, or did use PayPal in a “passthru” mode where you provided your credit card and payment went direct to merchant?

I am based in the US – and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paypal policy to vary by nation. However, if you log into your paypal account you should see:

Date – type – name/email – Payment Status – Details – Gross – Fee – Net Amount

Jan 8, 2012 – pruchase – xyz airline – completed – Detals – $xxx.xxx

When you click on details, it will provide all details on the Paypal transaction. Look towards the bottom of the screen for this print:

“If there is a problem with this transaction, you can dispute this charge. Transactions must be completed before you can dispute them.”

Where it says dispute this charge, there should be a link in place to create a form that needs to be completed to dispute the charge.

If needed, I’d be happy to provide a screen shot.

Wish you the best of luck.

Steve

02.05.12

I booked the ticket on January 16th with eDreams (who are based in Spain) to fly on May 12th. I purchased the ticket using PayPal as a passthru and it went direct to my Australian credit card.

I called Paypal about my options in getting a refund but they told me they have no agreement with airlines/travel agencies to cover tickets, especially those sent virtually. Told me to try my credit card merchant who I am now raising a dispute with in order to get a chargeback. Not sure how successful I will be with this.

As for the travel agency I only now find out that they are not reputable and have had MANY customer complaints in the past. When I contacted them, they say they dont have any further information and to contact the Malev number.

What do you suggest I do in regards to getting a refund?
In the meantime I need to book an alternate flight but am unsure whether Wizz Air will extend their rescue offer for forward flights after March?

02.05.12

Karen,

Follow-through with your credit card issuer with a dispute for chargeback. This would most likely be your best bet.

Out of curiousity, on your credit card statement, who does it show the payment went to?

As for the flights, you should have plenty of time to book something. If you go the route of a discount carrier, just be aware of luggage allowances and extra fee policies.

Best of Luck!

02.05.12

If you are encountering problems obtaining a refund, please provide the following information with any comments:

a) Country you are in;

b) Type of Credit Card used and what country was it issued in;

c) If you used PayPal, country your PayPal account is located in and how did you fund the purchase?

d) Did you make payment to a travel agency or directly to Malev.

The above information will allow others to help answer your questions. Unfortunately, consumer protection laws do vary depending on the country you are located in and there is no fast and easy answer to each scenario.

I wish everyone the best at obtaining their refunds.

Steve

02.05.12

Hi Steve, on the credit card statement it said the transaction was made by Paypal.

02.05.12

Interesting – I was kind of hoping it listed the travel agency, but I would continue the the route of disputing the item with your credit card and having them complete a chargeback.

First of all, when I look at the transactions details, I don’t see the message “If there is a problem with this transaction, you can dispute this charge. Transactions must be completed before you can dispute them.” Instead, I see: “Having problems with this transaction? Please talk directly to the seller and try to resolve the issue with them. You can still report the problem in the Resolution Centre within 45 days.” Following the “Resolution Centre” link and choosing “Item dispute”, I receive “Airline tickets are not eligible for dispute resolution in the Resolution Center. Please contact the airline directly to work out any issues with your transaction.”

I’m in Ireland, but my PayPal account is linked to my German debit card. I paid for the tickets online, via Malev booking procedure, directly to Malev.

I contacted PayPal, let’s see what they have to say.

02.05.12

As Malev has gone under, you don’t exactly have the choice of contacting the airline directly. I get the impression it may be listed as a “general policy” to prevent disputes with companies like Ryanair.

Please let us know what your outcome is after contacting PayPal directly. If you emailed them – watch out for canned responses.

If they stonewall you, I’d then look to your bank and see what they say. If the debit card has a Visa / Mastercard / Maestro logo, there could be additional protections.

Worst case scenario, I would then look at what consumer protection laws are on the books that may apply to you.

Best of Luck!

I’ve received a response from PayPal. They are giving me a runaround. For the interested readers, here it the response in full:

Dear Oleksandr Manzyuk,

Thank you for contacting PayPal regarding Malev Airlines. We have reviewed your payment and it shows that your payment is already completed.

Once a payment has the status of ‘Completed’ it has been credited to the recipients account and therefore it is no longer possible to cancel it, but you can contact the recipient directly and ask that they refund your payment. We recommend that you do this within 60 days of the transaction to help ensure you get a full refund.

To find the contact details for a seller:

Go to http://www.paypal.co.uk and log in to your account.
Click ‘History’ near the top of the page.
Click ‘Details’ next to the transaction you would like refunded.
You’ll see the seller’s name, email, and customer service phone number, if available.
If your seller doesn’t know how to issue a refund, here’s how it works:

Click ‘My Account’ and click ‘History’ near the top of the page.
Find the payment and click ‘Details.’
Click ‘Issue Refund.’
Enter the refund amount and click ‘Continue.’
Confirm the details and click ‘Issue Refund.’
You’ll find answers to any further questions in our improved Help Centre. Click “Help” at the top of any PayPal page to get started.

Yours sincerely,
Shireen Rauch
PayPal

Copyright © 1999-2012 PayPal. All rights reserved.

PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A.
Société en Commandite par Actions
Registered Office: 22-24 Boulevard Royal L-2449, Luxembourg
RCS Luxembourg B 118 349

I am based in UK.I booked direct on Malev website for x3 return fares (departing March 3, returning March 7th) on Feb 2nd and paid for with my UK Mastercard. Somehat dismayed to find that Malev had done bankrupt on Feb 3rd ! I checked with my bank that issued the mastercard and found out that the bill had already been charged to my account just prior to the collapse of Malev. I was told that they would issue a claim letter for me to fill out “for services not provided by retailer”, when it arrives in 7-10 days.I would however still be charged for the booking on my next forthcoming bill.They asked for all communication & documentation to be attached when I send this back to them.The adviser stated that they would likely file this against Malev, but time wise it could be a long drawn out affair , and I would be lucky if it was completed within 6 weeks if the claim was successful at all, but he didn’t sound very hopeful.I phoned the Malev helpline listed on their posted letter at their defunct website (0036 1 802 1111) and spoke to a woman called “Katerina” whose English was not great, but effectively said “bad luck”! No useful information was gained from this,apart from telling me to file everything to : [email protected] whole thing was a complete fiasco. What consumer protection do I have?
Any help & advise would be most appreciated.

02.05.12

It appears you are going in the right direction – it shouldn’t matter that it posted to your account in order to complete a chargeback.

I held a UK Visa card in the past and their policies were very similar to what we have here in the states.

When you complete the paperwork, you may want to note you never signed a sales slip to complete the sale. This will often make a charge-back go smoother.

Secondly, you may want to alledge they acted in bad faith – or that they were acting in a borderline fraudulent manner in accepting your payment on February 2nd.

On that date there were many rumours going around about Malev’s impending shutdown. As I understand it, they initially filed for bankruptcy protection January 31st. I don’t know if this was mentioned on their website when you made the purchase, but if it wasn’t, it probably wouldn’t hurt for you to not only claim services not rendered, but to include they acted in bad faith selling tickets while they knew an impending shutdown was likely.

At any rate, it sounds like your credit card issuer has you going in the right direction.

Try a google on “credit card consumer protection UK” or “consumer protection agencies UK” from google in the UK. Limit it to results from the UK — you may find some helpful information from conducting some searches.

Best of Luck!

I paid to a travel agency by Visa card, issued in Sberbank Russia. The agency, which is ignoring me, is in Budapestm while I’m in Russia. My bank said that I can’t get any refund, because the card wasn’t insured. Do I have any options?

02.05.12

First, I would keep on the travel agency – they sold you the ticket and either received a commission or you paid them for their services. It is their job as the agent who sold you the ticket to act on your behalf.

I would also try your bank again – the bit about the card not being insured doesn’t quite make sense. The laws that govern bank cards do vary between countries – but I do know Visa International has rules and procedures card issuers (banks) must follow in order to use the Visa logo.

I don’t know how banks handle Visa cards in Russia, but it is my understanding Visa International has a set of rules and regulations that must be followed, this includes the ability to dispute a charge.

I would write a letter disputing the charge for “services not rendered” to the correspondence address on your Visa statement. If you did not sign a sales slip, I would also mention the fact in the letter.

I did a search for Visa Russia and the site that came up appears to be Visa’s Middle East site. It originally came up in Russian, but I located the English icon to reload the site.

The website is: http://www.visacemea.com

I clicked on the contact us link and an FAQ came up. In the FAQ, I located this:

“I believe a merchant has acted fraudulently. What can I do?”

Your bank has access to the appropriate Visa rules and regulations as well as to the Notification of Customer Complaint forms which should be used by your bank to document and file merchant complaints.

Did the charge appear on your statement from the travel agency or from Malev?

While Malev wasn’t fraudulent, you may be able to claim the travel agent was if they continue to ignore you — this may be a bit of a stretch, but you made the purchase in good faith with a travel agency and now that your flights don’t exist, the agency you made the purchase with is acting in bad faith and purposely ignoring you.

Hopefully another individual from Russia is reading this who has more knowledge on consumer protections in your country and could leave a comment, providing more information.

I hope this helps – I suggest you use google to see if you could find more information on the google.ru site.

Best of Luck!

I bought round trip tickets from Madrid to Budapest for next weekend directly off the Malev website. I purchased the tickets using my Mastercard, from Banco Santander in Spain. When I went into the bank today to try to get a chargeback, they told me to come back in a week as the refund “wasn’t going through.”

A bit difficult with Spanish as my second language, but does this sound correct? I figured they would at least front me the credit back, as Jason mentioned his bank had done.

02.05.12

I would keep on the bank, perhaps have a friend who natively speaks Spanish and fully understands the situation go in with you next time.

I’d also look at writing a letter, where you can ensure your Spanish is correct. Typically there will be a communications address on your credit card statement, often it is located on the backside. Send a dispute letter to that address.

I suspect obtaining provisional credit during a dispute may be unique to the United States as a result of US consumer protection laws. I don’t know anything about Spanish or EU comsumer protection laws, perhaps you can locate something on google.

Some higher end credit cards, noteably American Express, will typically go to bat for the consumer as well. The downside is the high yearly fee.

02.05.12

I bought my tickets to tel aviv on the 2nd of Feb. I spent almost 700 euros on them. I am in France and unfortunately I bought them with my debit card. My bank said that they couldn’t do anything other than send them an email. I looked for their agency here in Paris but they were all closed now. I spoke to the french agency that sold me the tickets but they keep giving me the number of Malev and nobody answers. I called the number that they posted on their website and nobody answers either. I am so upset now because I think that it is impossible to get my money back.

02.05.12

I would contact the French travel agency and push them to provide you a refund.

Malev filed for initial bankruptcy protection on January 31st. On the 2nd of February, there were many rumors about their impending shut down.

The travel agency should have been aware of this – this is something they should have at minimum informed you about prior to the ticket purchase.

I would press the travel agency for a refund. Was it an online agency or was it an agency you walked into?

Additionally, what country is your debit card issued in? Did you make the purchase with a PIN or did you make the purchase as a Visa, MasterCard, etc?

Best of luck!

thanks a lot for the advice!

02.05.12

I paid by PayPal Brazil, i opened a dispute, and they mail me back saying that PatPal just refunds materials things, not services (like airline tickets).

What can I do?

02.05.12

Unfortunately, as I was having some problems with making the payment with my debit card, I made a payment via a bank transfer to Malev’s Polish account (I am from Poland). I wrote Malev, but so far there is no reply. What can I do (if anything) and what are the chances of getting my money back (flight in April)? P.S. I bought the tickets off Malev’s official website.

02.05.12

a) The Netherlands

b) ABN AMRO Mastercard – issued in Netherlands

I bought the flights directly via Malev’s website.

I phoned Mastercard and they said they have to wait for official announcement that Malev is bankrupt…

I’m a bit worried as I bought the flights in august last year, and I know that my card has 180 days period for their guarantee which is very soon….I have sent in a formal request via their site for a charge back.

Thanks very much if anyone can help, we can’t afford to lose all this money.

Kind regards

Matthew

02.05.12

I booked my Malev flights via an online travel agency (lastminute.de) and paid them by bank transfer to this travel agency. I was able to cancel the bank transfer, because it was made recently, which means I will get my money back. But I wonder if the online travel agency now has the right to claim “their” money? Does anybody know? (they told me so. But I know that other online travel agencies have even asked their customers contact their credit card companies to charge back the payment)

02.05.12

We have contacted PayPal public relations and requested an official statement.

Will post any new information as it is received.

02.05.12

i booked round tickets for the summer through a travel website (expedia), and have sent a claim to the malev email stating the reservation number and passengers. the payement was made through a visa debit card (santander) in the uk, do i need to contact the bank since it wasn’t a credit card and will i be able to get a refund.

02.05.12

I would first go to Expedia and request a refund, since they’re your travel agent and they either made a commission or charged you a fee to make the booking. They should act on your behalf, but whether they will or not is another issue.

I would also contact your bank; as the card has the Visa logo on it, you should, in theory, be able to dispute it for services not rendered if the transaction went through as a Visa. Call your bank, see what they say.

Visa International has a set of rules and regulations which govern Visa transactions, but as to how your bank follows those is likely to vary.

Try every avenue possible starting from Expedia to your bank.

I’d also suggest you do a google and see if you can locate consumer protection laws in the UK that may govern the transaction.

02.05.12

Hey, I have also the same problem with expedia. I paid it with credit card. Expedia and also the bank refuses to give the money back. Did you achieve any results? Thanks for the help

02.05.12

What type of credit card and what country is it issued in? Also, which Expedia site did you buy from?

I could see Expedia giving you the run around, but there are regulations set forth by Visa and MasterCard that must be followed in order to obtain a license from Visa/MasterCard to issue cards.

Also – what day was the purchase made and what was the initial date of travel?

With the information, I may be able to provide a bit more advice. Depending on the type of credit card, it may mean escelating to a supervisor or higher – or you may have to write a formal dispute to the correspondence address on the back of your credit card statement.

Always conduct these things in writing and send it via post office certified mail – or equivalent of certified mail. You just want a record you mailed it and a record your bank received it.

The dispute / charge-back process can take 4 to 8 weeks; in some cases it may take longer.

Given Malev’s financial status, I wouldn’t be surprised if their merchant bank was holding back a percentage of sales to cover chargebacks. This is something merchant banks / credit card processors sometimes do when they know a business is having problems.

I’m aware of a half dozen airlines where this is happening at the moment as the holding of funds results in cash flow problems — in some cases, I’ve even seen it force an airline into bankruptcy reorganization.

Best of Luck and do keep on your credit card issuer. Be assertive – make it clear services were not rendered. When you call your bank / credit card issuer, the person that answers the phone is in a call center somewhere and may not have the necessary knowledge.

02.05.12

Hi Steve,
thanks for the advice. Yes I have already written an official letter to Commerzbank, Germany, this is where the mastercard is issued. Also the website was: expedia.de, and the booking date 16th of jan, for travel 6th to 9th April.

02.05.12

I booked my Malev flights via an online travel agency [ebookers.ie]and paid them by laser debit card.what can i do?what are the chances of getting my money back[flight in 20.02.12]

02.05.12

Unfortunately I am not familiar with the laser debit card. In that case I would first go afer ebookers.ie as your travel agency.

Is the Laser Debit Card issued via a major bank? If so, it can never hurt to talk to the bank and dispute for “services not rendered”

Unfortuantely laws, speciefically consumer protection laws vary greatly from nation to nation. I presume you are in Ireland?

I would suggest you do a google to see if you come up with anything regarding consumer protection laws.

Last but not least, if you don’t get anywhere through another avenue is to submit the claim to Malev, but I would go after the travel agency first followed by the bank.

Best of Luck.

02.05.12

Thanks.i am in dublin.my Laser card is issued via major bank(AIB) .ebookers said:they are currently awaiting a clear policy and process from the airline for any refunds due to cancellation of their flights.I have no idea how long that will take?should I rebook or wait?

02.05.12

Did you book a package of some time with the travel agency or just airline flights on Malev?

If you plan on traveling during the period of the original flights – I would suggest you look at purchasing a new airfare.

As far as a refund for your original air transportation, that appears to be within the hands of your travel agency.

If you haven’t, it still cannot hurt to goto your back and ask them to charge-back your payment for services not rendered – for the Malev airline tickets. No guarantee on outcome, but I would at least try.

02.05.12

I paid via paypal NL. Just received email from paypal that flight tickets are not under “buyer protection rule”. I will forget paypal for a while. I also have 2 open cases with MASTERCARD issued by ABN AMRO. Waiting for the answer, Will post if have new info.
Csaba

Sounds like your dispute with MasterCard is the way to go in your case. Wish you the best.

Hi,
I bought 2 tickets on 15th January directly on Malev website. I only found out about the bankruptcy yesterday and immediately called my bank here in Paris. I spoke to a couple of people who said they couldn’t do anything!
I had a look at the statement issued by Malev and I don’t fall under the conditions set out to be able to get refund from them. Seems like my only option is my bank.
I paid with my French visa (debit card) issued by my bank ‘La banque postale’ (small national bank). What should I do? I read somewhere that I’d better try and pretend that it was a fraudulent transaction( ie that I hadn’t bought the tickets and knew nothing about the amount charged) and simply ask for a refund on the grounds of ‘fraudulent use of my credit card details on the Internet’. Does that sound like a good idea? Would it be easier than arguing with the bank to get a refund for services not rendered…?
Thanks a lot for your help.

02.05.12

Rightly or wrongly, I’ve heard of others taking the same approach in similar situations. As an editor here, I personally am not in a position to provide my opinion. Perhaps someone else can provide their opinions.

If it was processed as a Visa, even as a debit card, and your bank follows through the Visa Intl rules and regulations for a dispute, it should land in your favor. However, I’ve discovered that not all banks apply the rules equally.

Between Spanair going belly-up and now Malev, I suspect many European banks are being overwhelmed at the moment.

Last thing to look into is any consumer protections you may have in France or within the EU. I’m not familiar with your consumer protection laws.

I know US consumer protection quite well and I know this would be an easy dispute / charge-back in the US, but I don’t know anything about your consumer protection laws.

I would think EU laws would at least be on par with what we have on the books here, but sadly that is not my area of expertise.

An aviation attorney I’ve spoken to has suggested:
1) Try working with travel agency – if they stonewall, ignore calls, or make you play a waiting game immediately go to step 2:

2) Dispute the credit card charge for services not-rendered. Request Charge-Back

It is important to get the dispute in to your credit/debit card processor as quickly as possibly and to do so verbally and in writing. On the back of your bank statement, it should have an address for correspondence and disputes.

I’m of the opinion the dispute and charge-back is the way to go, but not all banks follow policy equally and sadly, I just don’t know your consumer protection laws. i.e. what is one supposed to do when the bank says no? I know what to do here, but what options do you have in national and EU laws?

steve

02.05.12

For those of you who made purchase via PalPal, we have reached out to PayPal corporate communications for a statement.

We made the request on February 8th and have yet to receive a response.

It is our intention to have an editor make a second follow-up on Monday, February, 13.

02.05.12

Hi there ! On 1st of january 2012 i bought a ticket by travel agent called Kilroy Travels.
The flight is from Budapest to Bourgas (Bulgaria) for 01.07.2012 paid by mastercard witch is issued by my local bank ING Belgium (i am living in Brussels).

I have contacted them when i heard aboit Malev and this is the answer i got !

“Dear Krasimir

As all Malev flights are cancelled you will unfortunately have to buy new tickets. We are still waiting for information regarding a possible refund, but as you do not have a bankruptcy insurance the value of your ticket will probably be lost.

We will get back to you as soon as we have any news regarding possible refunds.”
What do i need to do next ?
Tnx a lot !

02.05.12

I mean i contacted the travel agency withc is by the way a dutch one i think.

02.05.12

Go to your bank that issued your MasterCard and dispute it for services not rendered. Tell them you’d like a charge-back.

That seems to be the best avenue as this point.

02.05.12

We just want to make a brief statement indicating going forward, the best option when purchasing airline tickets is to use a Visa / MaserCard / Masestro / American Express branded credit card.

The use of debit cards, even with a Visa or MasterCard logo, can still place you in a grey area.

A few golden rules when buying tickets: Do not pay cash, Do not pay be check (cheque), Do not pay by bank transfer or wire, and do not Pay by PayPal (note: we are still waiting for a statement from them).

Use a major credit card to purchase air transportation. If you’re able, use an American Express or an “upscale” Visa or MasterCard where the focus is on customer service. I’m aware American Express is not available everywhere, but there are higher end Visa and MasterCards on the market.

We also understand that not everyone will qualify for a higher end credit card – in such cases, a Visa / MasterCard debit with a well known bank is the next best choice. Travel insurance is also an option, but airlines with financial problems may be exclused at the time you purchase your ticket.

For those who paid with PayPal, we will follow-up with PayPal corporate communications in the morning.

02.05.12

Hello,
I was wondering i paid cash for tickets i purchased from an agency, they have filed a claim but they aren’t sure if we will get the refund and how long it takes.
Does anyone know if refunds will be issued (full or partial) and how long? I have to purchase new tickets and want to know how the refund goes so i can put it towards the new tickets?

02.05.12

Unfortunately, I think that’ll be up to the bankruptcy court. I probably wouldn’t count on seeing a refund anytime soon. You could always get lucky, but it’ll probably take time to get everything untangled.

02.05.12

Hi ,

I would like to know how to proceed to get our money back for the flight tickets.
1.We bought the ticket in December bp-london-bp for three person, to 23 march 2012.
2. We purchase it with MasterCard .
3.What do we need to send or who to be contact in order to get our money back?

waiting for your reply,
thank you
szilvi

02.05.12

I’d suggest you contact the bank which issued your mastercard and dispute it for services not rendered.

02.05.12

I bought the tickets in July. It was a round trip. Cluj-Budapest-NY. The departure was on oct 23rd. And I still have to travel back in may. So I still have one way to go. What do you suggest. Is there any way they can reroute me on a different airline company ?!
Thank you

02.05.12

Any chance your JFK to Budapest leg was booked as a codeshare – or is it booked as an MA flight #?

If it’s booked as MA (Malev) I would contact your credit card company or travel insurance company for a charge-back for services not rendered or make a claim with your travel insurance. Worst case scenario would be submitting a claim directly with what is left of Malev.

Did you book the ticket directly with Malev, a travel agency, or another airline? Any additional segments on the ticket or was it just to JFK?

If it is coded as a codeshare with another carrier, contact them. If it is booked as MA (Malev), unfortunately, it appears you will probably have to purchase a new ticket.

Look at both one-way tickets and return tickets. Sometimes it is cheaper to purchase a return ticket and throw away the other half.

Best of Luck!

02.05.12

I bought my tickets from airtickets24.com They told me today that my only chance is to call the bank for a refund. But the bank asked me what amount of money I want to refund. Because I already made a trip. It’s so annoying cuz nobody can really answer your questions. Malev it’s operated by AA but since Malev bankrupt they have nothing to do. Oh well…
Thank you so much Steve for your time

02.05.12

If the flights are operated by AA but coded as MA, they should be able to assist you.

I do not see a JFK-BUD non-stop in AA’s schedule – perhaps I’m overlooking it – but what I do see are connections via Heathrow on AA to British Airways with the AA code via a codeshare on all segments.

For travel to Budapest in the past, I would typically buy a ticket on Northwest, who is now Delta, or KLM and fly on Northwest, Delta, or KLM aircraft as far as Amsterdam. From Amsterdam to Budapest, it would often be a codeshare with a NW flight number, but the flight operated by Malev.

In most cases my tickets were on DL, NW, or KL ticket stock.

Do you have access to your ticket receipt to see who’s ticket stock it is on? Typically the first three digits of the ticket number indicate the airline who issued the ticket and who’s ticket stock it is on.

On a final note – with respect to a “charge-back” for services not rendered, I would indicate at least half of the ticket value. There is nothing wrong with doing such.

02.05.12

Hi,
I bought 2 tickets on 12th January directly on Malev website. I PAY WITH MY CREDIT CARD
AND I have sent to the malev the claim attached all the documents , my statement and the purchase invoice and they sent me back this

:Dear Sir/Madam,

Your message has been received by our system.
Please be informed that your request is being processed.
We appreciate your understanding and patience.
Yours sincerely,
Malév Hungarian Airlines Ltd.

But today i was reading the new rules that they has published to the website and my questions is
I have already submitted my claim. Should I re-submit it with the 1% payment? to the bank transfer

02.05.12

Melis,

Thanks for posting about the new update. It appears the 1% payment to the bankruptcy court (minimum 5000 HUF) would not be applicable to you, as that appears to be for claims of cash payments.

For those who paid by bank card, the statement is still advising passengers to contact their bank for refunds.

If you paid by Visa, Mastercard (Maestro), or American Express, disputing the transaction with your credit card issuer is likely be the best way to obtain a refund. Both Visa and MasterCard international (as well as American Express) have policies & regulations their issuer banks must follow in such cases. I’ve heard reports of banks initiating disputes, but I have also heard of cases where the customer is being brushed off by the bank.

Have you contacted the bank that issued your credit card yet? If not, I would contact them immediately.

Best of Luck.

02.05.12

On January the 9th, I booked two tickets from Amsterdam to Budapest and back. Those tickets are for July and August. I bought those tickets at the Malev Airlines’ site itself and I have not paid it by credit card.
Now my question is, if it is possible that I get the total amouth of money back? Or do we get an other optional flight offered?

I allready send 3 mails, but I have not received any back. So I hope hearing soon from you Steve.

02.05.12

Mijke,

Just for the record, I’m only an editor here, but will do my best to provide advice.

How did you make payment?

If you used a credit card or a bank card on the Malev site for payment, you then need to contact the bank who issued the card. When you talk to the bank, dispute the charges for services not provided; also look at your credit/bank card statement and look for a correspondence address, often on the back. Write to the correspondence address disputing the charge and request a charge back.

If you didn’t buy the tickets using a credit card, how did you pay for them? Did you use PayPal or did you use a bank transfer?

Unfortunately, Malev is bankrupt and is permanantly winding down. Trying to get a refund will depend on how you paid Malev.

Also – Do you have any type of travel insurance?

02.05.12

Hallo I have bought my 3 tickets for flying in May (only return ticket are by Malev, one way is operated by wizzar) trought Lastminute.com (italy)
I have payed by credit card (CartaSi services, VISA)
Details: date 12/01/12, to www. Lastminute.com 7 milano, €547,65 (but only one part of this payment need to be refund by Malev of course)
Lastminute phoned me at the beginning of February to inform that I should book new return tickets because of Malev winding-up and they assure me that they were working on refund request but they did not know that much at the moment and possibly they should have news only in april.
The problem is that everything has been done by phone and I do not have anything in my hand abot this request of refund between Lastminute and Malev.
At the same time I haven’t called CartaSi services asking for a Charge back procedure.

Any suggestions or way out?
Thanks in advance
Robbie

02.05.12

Hi Robbie,

I would try to get something in writing from lastminute, even if it is just an email. Short of that, I would at minimum take notes during telephone calls of who you spoke to, when, what was said.

From your receipt, is there an easy way to determine how much of the airfare was Wizz Air and how much went to Malev?

If you can’t get anything in writing and lastminute is the merchant who did the billing on your credit card statement, I would then contact the bank who issued your Visa card and initiate the dispute process for services not provided, which should result in a charge-back. I would also dispute in writing to the correspondence address on the back of your credit card statement.

Do you know if the Malev ticket was a published fare or was it a discounted consolidator type ticket? If latter, all the more reason to initiate a dispute.

While it’s possible lastminute may come through with a refund, it sounds like they don’t even know. If they sold Spanair tickets (Spanair ceased a week or so prior to Malev), they’re likely dealing with a lot of people at the moment.

Hopefully your bank will be able to sort it out. Since it was an online sale, in theory it should make things easier with no card swipe or signature. Best of Luck!

I’ve had some “success” in getting my money back, which I’d like to share.

I paid for my tickets via PayPal. After Malev went bankrupt, I contacted PayPal only to learn that flight tickets were not covered by their Buyer Protection Program. I was advised to contact Malev directly. I phoned the hotline of Malev, but they directed me back to PayPal, because supposedly PayPal had been informed about the bankruptcy and knew what to do.

At this point, I contacted my bank, in which I have an account connected to my PayPal account via direct debit. I asked them if they could help me out in this situation, and they told they could revert the payment if I file an official request. They also warned me that in that case the legal department of PayPal would probably contact me. I filed the request and the very next day the money was back to my account.

I took PayPal’s system several days to notice that. They started to send me auto-generated emails saying that my account is suspended until they hear from me the reason for calling back the payment. The emails also contained instructions on how to resolve this case and unlock the account. I tried to follow the instructions, but eventually reached the screen telling me that flight tickets are not disputable and that I should contact the airline directly. I tried to send emails to PayPal, but they ignore them and keep sending me auto-generated messages. I’m not sure how this is going to end.

02.05.12

Thank you for sharing your “success”.

Personal Hat On

The above actually sounds like something my father went through a couple years ago buying audio/speaker equipment where the merchant was a con-artist. The auto-generated emails were normal. It took my father reversing funds to PayPal to get their attention, at which point he was finally able to contact them my telephone and reach a resolution.

It appears to me your dispute somehow needs to be re-catagorized as the dispute isn’t really “airline tickets” under their “buyer protection program” per se — someone at PayPal needs to step in to reclassify it as “merchant bankrupt” or “merchant belly up – no goods or services provided.”

This is something that’ll take human intervention on PayPal’s side in my opinion. I know you can call them here in the US, but they have a system installed that makes it difficult to contact them.

It’s quite possible PayPal is aware of the situation as you explain, but the right hand isn’t talking to the left hand. This wouldn’t surprise me the least.

–Putting my Editor’s Hat On —

I will have another go at contacting PayPal with hopes of getting a response. I initially went via their public relations channel with hopes of a written statement, at minimum, being released.

It is my belief they’re aware of Malev’s bankruptcy and it would help if PayPal could issue at least a statement. Nearly all major airlines offer PayPal as a payment option in North America and Europe. This helps airlines accept payments for those who may not have a credit card and it helps individuals from other nations make payments when the airline will only accept a US or Canadian card online — and PayPal is aware of this.

Let’s see if I can at least obtain a statement. – Steve

02.05.12

Hi Steve

I sorta read most of the comments and none of them i can relate to my case. I booked my ticket on a french website (govoyage.fr) using my polish roommate’s visa card. I do not know to which category I belong to when the visiting the website.

I booked a ticket on the 5th of jan ( which I used) and an outbound ticket on the 6th of of February. I have no idea on who to contact to resolve this issue. I live in Germany doing an erasmus semester and I asked my roommate to pay my ticket and I think it would be strange if my roommate contacted his bank (in Poland) asking for a refund for the MY ticket.

Please let me know what should I do, as I have very few options that (to me) are pointless. thanks

02.05.12

Hi Omar,

Let me get this straight – you purchased a return ticket, used the outbound journey and had a return on 6th of February. If that was the case, it is my understanding Malev was supposed to re-route passengers from the 3rd of February to the 6th of February on other carriers.

I take it Malev didn’t accomodate you on another airline on the 6th of February and you had to buy a new ticket.

If you haven’t, I would first contact the French website / travel agency and request a refund for the unused portion of your journey. Do you know if govoyage.fr is what appeared on your friend’s credit card statement or did it appear as a charge from Malev?

At any rate – contact the travel agency first. They will likely pass blame to another party, but if they charged the credit card and the charge is in their name (and not Malev), I’d keep on them.

You can always ask your roommate to dispute the charge for services not rendered and see if they’ll do a charge-back. I don’t see anything wrong with it, unless your roommate is uncomfortable doing so.

People buy tickets for other people all the time. I’ve purchased tickets for others and I’ve had others purchase tickets for me. I don’t think it is strange – but it’s ultimately up to your roommate. All he has to say is Malev went under – which the bank should know – and that services were not rendered – there shouldn’t be any need to go into detail as to the name on the ticket.

BTW – Had a quick look at your blog, it looks great.

Best of Luck,

Steve

02.05.12

Hello!

Hopefully somebofy can help me. I had a ticket from Malev that was combined with Finnair but the ticket was written on Malev’s name. I’ll make it more clear.

3th of february
Tallinn-Helsinki (Finnair)
Helsinki- Budapest (Malev) after landing I was told that Malev went bancruptcy
Budapest- Pristina (Malev) cancelled

10th of february
Pristina-Budapest (Malev) cancelled
Budapest-Helsinki (Malev) cancelled
Helsinki-Tallinn (Finnair) cancelled

So I was on the last historic flight from Helsinki to Budapest and from there I got to Pristina on my own and bought new tickets from Pristina to Tallinn.

The problem is that I know how much the whole ticket cost (422 euros) but the travel agent can’t tell me how much the tickets separatly cost. So I don’t know how much refund can I ask from Malev. Can anyone help me?

02.05.12

I would request half the ticket plus your out of pocket cost for a new flight on the cancelled Budapest- Pristina (Malev) flight.

Too bad the ticket is on Malev ticket stock; would be much easier if it was on Finnair stock.

I don’t see anything unreasonable with unused half plus cost of your new Budapest- Pristina considering you were left hanging in Budapest. This is also assuming the return half was in the same fare bucket – but lacking the info, I’d just go with the 50% plus last sector from the 3rd.

If you have the full receipt, there might be a full breakdown in small print. Short of having a full breakdown of information, that is likely the easiest way to go.

Best of Luck!

02.05.12

Please, i bought ticket last year over internet with american express, i caled bank , they say malev need to give me refund not bank, i am in croatia, what to do?

02.05.12

I would call American Express back and tell them you want to initiate a dispute for services not rendered.

Look at the back of your American Express statement – there should be an address for correspondence. Send a letter to that address disputing the charge.

I have an American Express card, which I use for all my travel and many larger purchases, and have never had a problem with disputing a charge — but I’ve had problems when calls get routed to call centers in other nations.

For example, I recently had a hotel overcharge me. I tried to work it out with the hotel, couldn’t get the manager to return my call, at which point I called American Express and asked them to dispute the overcharge.

Do you know if the call went through to a local call center? You’d think the person would know Malev went bankrupt and could not refund your card.

Do call again and write the letter; in the letter tell them you dispute the charge for “service/product not rendered” because company no longer exists.

02.05.12

Thanks Steve. I just contacted my booking website and I will let you know what happens.

02.05.12

Omar –

I wouldn’t have high hopes with the agency (booking website), but you won’t know until you try. Malev’s going under has hit a lot of people in the pocketbook – some worse than others. Since payment was ultimately via credit card, they may tell you to dispute the charge.

The deadline for claims directly with Malev has passed, but that more or less applied strictly to those who made cash payments / bank transfers.

Ultimately, the best option is likely a dispute via the credit card used – but see what the web booking agent says first. As to what they can do will depend on the type of ticket purchased (i.e. consolidator ticket vs published fare).

If they do suggest a credit card dispute, I could understand you not wanting to bother your roomate with it. As far as the ticket being in your name and your roomates credit card being in another, that should not be a problem if your roomate were to initiate a dispute.

Worst case scenario I hope the ticket didn’t cost too much.

Good Luck!

02.05.12

Thank you! I wrote a letter to correspondence address to CitiBank in early February. My CitiBank Visa card is US issued. I logged into my credit card account this morning to find a full reversal of the unused airfare.

Trying to re-book trip to Budapest for May but am finding the trans-Atlantic airfares have gone up. New tickets are like $400 more per person. :( mad!

02.05.12

Hi Steve,

On January 23rd, I also booked 3 round trip tickets Toronto to Cluj-Napoca (departure in May, return in June)
The booking was made through Vayama but all 3 charges showed up as directly payments to Malev on my AMEX credit card. Vayama notified me on Feb 03,2012 about Malev going bankrupt (they also refunded me 30$ which was I guess their fee) and same day I opened a dispute with AMEX and faxed them all the required documentation.AMEX “suspended” all these ammounts right away.
Today (March 13,2012) I received a letter from them in regards to one of the cases (they created a separate case for each transaction) saying that they haven’t received anything yet from Malev, they credited the whole amount but it seems to be temporarly….as they stated at the end of the letter that as soon as they receive something from Malev will update my account accordingly.
Would it be possible for AMEX to charge me back later on if they cannot get their money back from Malev? Will I receive a final letter from Amex? I have never filed a dispute……

Sincerely,
Adrian

02.05.12

Adrian,

That is exactly how the dispute system works. They did not respond as they’ve gone under and your account will be credited as indicated on the letter.

Theoretically they could respond, but I doubt they will considering they’re bankrupt. Even if they did respond, they would have no defense.

This is typical when it comes to the dispute process and credit cards with a company that has gone under.

Others who initiated disputes, as you immediately did, should also be getting their credits now as well.

Congratulations, it seems to me you’ve successfully received credit (refund).

Steve

02.05.12

Hi Steve

I have booked 2x return Malev flights for April 2012 via lastminute.com. I paid online with my Visa debit card. Tickets were purchased in January 2012. My debit card issued in UK.
I have contacted lastminute.com first for information.I was advised to contact Malev as lastminute.com acted as an agent therefore they were not able to give me a refund.
I have then contacted Malev where I got the answer from that I should contact my card issuer bank. I have walked in Lloyds Tsb (UK) and spoken to a lady who gave me a telephone number to ATOL. What a surprise, ATOL has provided me with an other number to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) because they do not deal with this problem. I have not phoned CAA yet though.
In between communications with lastminute.com, Malev and Lloyds I sent a written request to Lloyds to initiate a chargeback to my account. Now I have their respond, too explaining they are unable to help me to recover the money paid to the travel agent as I am bound by their terms and conditions.
I am pretty much hopeless at this stage as neither lastminute.com, nor Malev and my bank are unable (or not willing to?) help to get my money back.
Would it worth to call CAA or try and contact lastminute.com again?

Regards,
Nora

02.05.12

Nora –

I am not completely familiar with consumer protection laws in the UK, but if the transaction was conducted as a “Visa” (i.e. you used your Visa Card # starting with a 4xxx xxxx xxxx xxxx), you should have some protection from Merchants taking your money and not delivering.

I would keep on the bank, disputing the charge as “Services not Rendered” or “Goods/Services Not Received”

On your debit card statement, who does it say the transaction was with? Does it list lastminute.uk or Malev as the merchant?

I would look further into consumer protection laws in the UK, but it’s the bank you need to go after if it was Malev who charged your account. Try going to:
http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=2211&pageid=12969

On this page there is a link to a negative response letter:
http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=2211&pageid=12999

You may want to print this out and write back to your bank with the attached letter (warning – PDF).

If lastminute.uk is the merchant on your bank statement, you may have additional options.

Sadly, it seems a number of people are receiving the runaround. I have a colleague with a background in aviation law who used to reside in the UK; his advise for those in the UK with UK issued cards was to contest the charge in writing as “goods/services not rendered” with their banks.

Will see if he could provide any additional insight.

02.05.12

We are in exactly the same position, having purchased Malev flights through lastminute.co.uk with a Lloyds TSB (UK) debit card. We ended up writing to Lloyds to claim under the visa chargeback scheme using the letter temple from moneysavingexpert.com. Lloyds wrote back to say that we are not covered so it looks like it’s not going to be easy.

02.05.12

Hey Steve,

I purchased a return ticket from Malev back in December, in the value of circa EUR 200. When Malev went bust, I followed their instructions and went straight to the bank and made my reimbursement claim. The card I used was Mastercard, in case it matters. This was well over a month ago and I have not heard anything back. I have now revisited Malev’s website and saw that there is a new information that calls for all creditors to re-file their claim and pay a 1% charge to stipulated Malev’s account, and, even then, the chance of reimbursement is slim.

I will go back to the bank tomorrow, but wondered if you knew anything about this re-filing order? I am beyond annoyed at this point!

Thanks.

02.05.12

JJ –

To the best of my understanding, the claim process is specifically for those who paid by cash or bank transfer to Malev. It also appears to be a process that could take several years and still doesn’t guarantee recovery of funds.

If you look at the first point under further passenger information, it reads, “if you paid by bank card or through PayPal (online, travel agency, Malév ticketing office), contact your bank to ask about the refund”

If you look at the Q&A section on malev.com:

Q: “If the payment was made by bank card (credit, debit, charge) in a foreign bank can I request a refund?”

A: “Yes, each bank is liable to refund the price of the non-accomplished services.”

As the services were not provided, you should be able to initiate a dispute, which will lead to an eventual chargeback and credit to your MasterCard account.

I would keep on the bank which issued your MasterCard. You may be required to write a letter of dispute to their correspondence address, which is typically located on the back of your monthly mastercard bill.

Your best bet at recovery is the dispute process. Providing your bank follows Mastercard international protocol, typically you make the dispute in writing with your card issuer. The bank that issued your card will then send the dispute via mastercard’s network to Malev’s merchant bank and Malev.

If there is no response from Malev after 30-45 days, typically the entire amount will be credited back to you. That is how the dispute process typically works with credit cards.

Some people seem to be getting refunds while others are receiving the run-around from their bank. Spanair also failed just prior to Malev, so the banks should be familiar with the dispute process. Depending on the law’s in your nation, there could be an additional step in the process, as there is in the UK where you must include a letter from their CAA that Malev isn’t a member of the UK protection scheme.

Sometimes the bank has to eat the cost, if it can’t recover from Malev’s merchant account, but the bank eating the cost is part of their risk doing business by issuing mastercard branded cards via a license with mastercard and it’s figured into their costs.

Keep on your bank, but you may need to do a dispute for “services not rendered” in writing; send it via post with signature required to your bank’s mastercard correspondence address.

I know of people who are just starting to get refunds via the dispute process – as such, you may need to keep on the bank which issued your mastercard.

Best of Luck! -Steve

02.05.12

Hi Steve
We only found out today that Malev went bankrupt on February 6. We have two return tickets to Budapest (Athens-Budapest) for April 27 (Ticket number: ……….)
We have already paid for our hotel in Budapest and we really want to go. Has Malev made an arrangement with another airlines for us, ticket-holders? At present we don’t want a refund. We just don’t want to lose our tickets. In Greece nobody can tell us anything until Friday so please tell us: can we still travel to Budapest using our tickets?
We are really sorry for what happened to your company and you have our deepest sympathy.
We are counting on you for a prompt reply.
Thank you very much
Hara

02.05.12

Hi Hara –

Just so there’s no confusion, I don’t work for Malev, or any other commercial air carrier. I only operate FlyersPulse.com as a news and information source for commercial aviation.

Unfortunately Malev has completely ceased operations and are in bankruptcy proceedings. Sadly, no arrangements are in place with other carriers for transport.

For a time, carriers like WizzAir were offering “rescue fares” for those who were standed with the collapse of Malev.

Did you buy just tickets only from Malev, or did you buy a package with flights + hotel from a travel agent? If you bought flights + hotel, the travel agency may be able to assist.

In most cases, where flights only were purchased by credit card, you should be able to dispute the charge with the bank that issued the card for “services not provided” – the process is working for some while others are getting the run-around from their bank.

If you have travel insurance, you could also try with them. If it’s a “package deal” with flights plus hotel booked at once, the travel agency should have additional information on how to proceed.

As for transportation to Budapest, unfortunately it’ll be necessary to obtain tickets on another airline. Spanair failed a week prior to Malev and there’s a couple other carriers with severe financial problems at the moment – Hopefully you can find a good deal with respect to new tickets

I last flew Malev about 6 years ago from Amsterdam Schiphol to Budapest as part of a ticket that routed me Louisville, KY (US) – Boston – Amsterdam – Budapest. They were quite good at the time with respect to service.

I hope this information helps and should you wish to get a refund or re-accomodated, it’ll depend on how the tickets were purchased.

Wish you the best of luck! — Steve

02.05.12

Hi Steve,

I just wanted to share my “Paypal experience” with the rest of you.
I have booked a return flight from Budapest to Paris with Malev. Unfortunately, I had money on my Paypal account, so that Paypal didn’t have to retrieve anything from my bank account (otherwise my bank could have helped me). I tried to talk to Paypal via email and on the phone and at one point they were even willing to help me and opened the reclamation. As I discovered about 10 days later though, the reclamation had automatically been closed by Paypal’s system, as they don’t secure virtual goods. So I called them again and they told me that if they received several reclamations concerning the same company, they would refund everyone. But they claimed they couldn’t tell me how many of these “several” reclamations they needed and how many they already had… I’m very disappointed with this unwillingness to help!
Today, I’m going to file a direct claim to Malév (or rather the company processing the claims), but I’m afraid they won’t refund me either. As they state on Malév’s website: People having paid via Paypal should ask Paypal for a refund.
I feel kind of trapped…

Barbara

02.05.12

Barbara,

Sorry to hear you’re getting the PayPal run-around. It seems too many people are in the same catch-22 scenario. While I’ve had good experiences with PayPal, I’ve heard others have had trouble just attempting to obtain a refund with defective goods purchased on eBay.

You can try a written letter to PayPal if you haven’t already and include a copy of the print-out on malev.com where they instruct individuals to contact PayPal. Keep the letter short, to the point – you may also want to note it is “generally illegal” and in bad faith for companies like PayPal which facilitate payments to collect payment for services not rendered or provided.

At some point, PayPal should have been aware of Malev’s financial problems and would have a duty of care to protect their customers. If they were not aware of Malev’s financial problems and continued to collect payments for Malev, they’ve breached their duty of care, in my general opinion. They may attempt to use the terms and conditions as an excuse, but in that case you could point out it is an adhesive, one-sided agreement. Please note, the above is just my personal opinion.

Many credit card processors will hold back funds when a company is facing financial problems and only release the held funds after services are rendered. I’m not sure if PayPal does something similar for larger companies in distress.

We’ve requested an official statement from PayPal regarding those who purchased Malev tickets twice. PayPal has not responded to our two requests with Media Relations. As a result of the impact to many, we will make a 3rd attempt this upcoming week.

On the bright side, I’ve been getting reports that individuals who paid by credit card and disputed have been getting permanant credits as what is left of Malev is not responding to disputes. However, I understand some credit card issuers (banks) are giving people the run-around and not initiating the dispute process, depending on the bank.

Spanair also ceased a week prior to Malev and many are also in similar circumstances attempting to obtain refunds from Spanair.

Best of Luck – Steve

02.05.12

So who will return my money back to me? We have sent all the documents and nothing still! We have paid by bank transfer (laser card) into their AIB Bank Account (Ireland)

02.05.12

Where did you send your claim to, the bankruptcy administrator or to your bank which issued the laser card, or another party? If the bankruptcy administrator, be aware they have a 1% of ticket cost or 5000 HUF minimum processing fee (roughly $25 USD or €20 EUR). It appears the bankruptcy process may take a couple years, at minimum, to sort-out with no guarantee of payment unless the Hungarian Govt makes good on claims. See the latest notice at malev.com concerning the submission of claims with the bankruptcy administrator.

I encourage you to print or make a copy of it, such as a PDF.

With Laser, I understand some of the cards are co-branded via MasterCard, and a couple with Visa. The bankruptcy administrator is requesting consumers who paid by “bank card” to contact their bank for refund. The best thing you could probably do is submit a written dispute to the bank which issued your laser card claiming “Services Not Rendered” — if the payment went through as a Mastercard or Visa because of co-branded cards, you may want to include the phrase, “I am disputing for services not rendered, as the transaction was processed by Mastercard, I request you follow the dispute process as laid out by Mastercard International” — if it was processed as a laser transaction, you may want to attempt a similar dispute. You could attempt adding a copy of the Malev statement directing you to your bank (for “bank card” payments) in a written dispute.

If you purchased the tickets via a travel agent, it may change things slightly, depending on who actually charged your card.

I sincerely hope you’re able to obtain a refund; as I previously wrote, I am just hearing of some sucessful disputes for those who paid by credit card and some who used Mastercard/Visa branded debit cards. However, the level of cooperation the banks are providing tends to come down to the specific bank and country. Some card issuers (banks) are properly acting on disputes while others are sending consumers on a goose chase.

Unfortunately, in the end I suspect a number of consumers will get the raw end of the stick. If anyone with a laser card is in a similar circumstance, please post your experiences. It would be helpful to see what other consumers are doing or have decided to do.

You could also investigate consumer protection laws either in Ireland or within the EU which may be applicable to payments made by laser card / bank cards to a company that is unable to render or provide such goods/services.

To close, I want to note I’m an editor on FlyersPulse.com and have no connection to Malev.

I hope things work out for you, one way or another. –Steve

02.05.12

Hi Steve, I checked malev website and they need attachements for other tickets bought from other air carriers. I bought mine from Airfrance and I cannot find any documents supporting my travel. Is there a way I can get my ticket info back?

Thank you

02.05.12

Everything is pretty much electronic these days – I suppose they’re looking for a print out of a ticket receipt.

Do you still have your luggage tags by chance? Boarding Pass? PNR (Record Locator) or a ticket #?

You might be able to work backwards from one of these points. Luggage Tags will have your PNR and flight details. Boarding Pass should be a document supporting travel, but if you could locate your PNR or ticket #, you should be able to work back. Was flight credited to any Frequent Flyer account?

Was a receipt send to one of your email accounts, that might still be there or any type of transaction receipt?

02.05.12

Thanks for the reply. I found the ticket information but unfortunately I purchased the ticket from a travel agency and I paid everything by cash for the first time

Do you think if I contact the travel agency or if I call airfrance they can support me with a billing receipt ?

02.05.12

I would approach the travel agency and kindly explain why you need a cash receipt. The agency, assuming their record keeping is good, should be able to provide you an additional receipt.

It’ll be more hit or miss with Air France, unless there is a sector on the ticket which has not been used yet. If it’s still an open ticket, that’ll make it easy.

If the entire ticket is used, they should still be able to access your ticket details, but it may not be as easy. You’d likely need to make the request by mail if the entire ticket is used. The travel agent should have better records, as they would have to pass your cash payment onto Air France via an IATA clearing house.

02.05.12

I paid for Malev tickets by a Visa debit card issued by a UK building society. I started a dispute and request for charge back when Malev went under. The bank reversed the payment immediately but warned me that Malev would probably simply reclaim it. Malev did this the following day. My bank approached Visa for a ‘pre arbitration’. A month later Visa sent the disputed money to my bank, who re-credited my account. As this was not officially a chargeback I believe that Malev cannot grab it back again. Because of the speed of the resolution I can only assume Malev or its bankers did not meet Visa’s deadlines to argue they were entitled to my money.

02.05.12

Hi,
I received a letter from Malev’s liquidator, Hitelintézeti Felszámoló Nonprofit Kft, that they accepted my claim for the tickets purchased and categorized my claim in category D.
Any idea what does this mean? How quick will they refund, and to what extent (100% or less)? Any other experience with the claims?

Note: I paid for the tickets via bank transfer, so no credit card refund option :-(

Thanks in advance for any input!

02.05.12

To be honest, I am not sure what that means. I have heard the Malev bankruptcy process may drag out for a few years. Some rumors have indicated the Hungarian Govt may pay the bankruptcy claims, but I don’t know if that is true or not.

Sadly, some people with credit cards are running into problems too – but some have also made process as well. If we hear anything, will let you know.

02.05.12

Hello Steve,

I have noticed that you have lots of information regarding the refunds that should be operated by Malev so I am raising my problem to you, maybe you can provide some helpful information. I have bought a Malev ticket from Romania, via a travel agency, paying cash. They informed me when Malev has ceased their operations and I have sent my claim via them. Still, nothing has been done since then. I have contacted IATA Romania to get an update directly from the source and I was told that the money were with them, but because there was no agreement with the liquidator of Malev, the money have been put to a neutral bank account. Apparently, the liquidator, doesn`t recognize the money for the tickets as appartaining to the passengers who paid the respective amounts…However, IATA Romania informed me that they will provide further instructions and that it might be needed to make complaints via court and so. That is why I`m thinking that the costs of a trial could be close to the costs of my ticket-aprox 560 EUR. Do you know what else I can do by myself or I just need to wait for the touristic company to act? Thank you so much in advance.

02.05.12

Diana,

Apologies your comment did not immediately post, it went into a moderation queue.

Unfortunately there’s a lot of people who had tickets booked on Malev and are having problems getting their money back. I know many who paid by credit/bank card have had sucess — but many have also had problems depending on the country they’re in and the bank that issued the card.

As you paid by cash, I presume you made a claim with the agent handling Malev’s liquidation from what I’m reading above. Unfortunately, it appears it’ll be a waiting game and it’s my understanding it could take a couple of years.

I’m not an attorney and I’m not familiar with Romanian law, but in general you can’t file suit or civil action against a party that is under bankruptcy protection.

When did you purchase your tickets and do you know if you purchased a published fare or an unpublished fare, typically known as consolidator ticket? Any chance you may have a claim against the travel agency under Romanian law?

As your legal cost to file would be close to the cost of the airline ticket, I probably would not go that route, especially with Malev under bankruptcy protection.

I would keep in contact with IATA for further instruction. If we hear anything new, we’ll post an update but its been quiet as of late.

Wish you the best of luck!

Steve

02.05.12

My husband purchased a ticket (in CASH) BUD-JFK-BUD thru a travel agency in Belgrade. He used the outbound portion, so the travel agency submitted the unused return to Malev for a refund (about E220).
I took the initiative and also wrote them a letter demanding to know when we will see a refund. Then Malev Ltd (under liquidation) sent me a standard letter with a claim number requesting the 1% fee of the claim.
I don’t know now if I should send it to them? The girl at the travel agency said that the process went to Malev for all their clients, but
all clients paid with various forms of payment. I just don’t know if I should send the 1%, as the girl at the travel agency claims this is probably for people who booked online etc.
HELP!!

02.05.12

RR –

The procedure for claims directly with the bankruptcy administator does request 1% of the claim.

As the ticket was paid for in cash, unfortunately this is likely the path you would have to take if you wanted to submit a claim. Do keep in mind even if you pay the 1% fee, there is still no gaurantee the claim will be paid, and even then the process could take a couple of years.

You could always try, but not sure if passenger claims would be prioritised or just how Hungarian bankruptcy law works.

02.05.12

Your Comments
Hello,
I saw al the comments and I want to ask you about my chances to get a refund of my ticket. Here is my story: I bought my ticket on 4th of November 2011, I made the payment with my Mastercard- issued by FirstMerit Bank- Ohio. I was supposed to turn back to my country on 9th of June, the American Airlines operator did not gave me any option free of charge instead and I had to pay 1050 usd for another ticket.
Back home, I contacted the Bank and they replied that is too late for a refuse of payment (should be made within 60 days!)
Have you any suggestion, what should I do, to whom should I address? I have the email confirmation from Malev, the payment provider confirmation number. I’m aware that is late but I want to try to recover at least a part of my ticket cost, if possible
Thanks in advance, Calin

02.05.12

Calin,

The 60 days your bank is talking about is the Fair Credit Billing Act — unfortunately, I think you’re a bit late. You can still attempt to submit a dispute, but do so in writing via certified mail to the address on the back of your billing statement. Also, is it Malev or another Airline that billed your MasterCard? It never hurts to try and indicate services not rendered.

Did you just have one ticket or did you have a series of tickets? i.e. one ticket to get to/from NYC for the Budapest flight – or did you have one ticket from say Cleveland to New York to Budapest, etc. ?

If it was all booked on one ticket, do you know who’s ticket stock it was issued on? The first two or three numbers from your ticket should be able to tell you what carrier issued the ticket.

Since you did pay an additional $1050 USD, who was that to and what carrier did you ultimately return home on? Also – was the return flight coded as a “MA” (Malev) or “AA” (American) or another carrier on your ititial ticket?

Would really need to know more about the ticket you bought to direct you to the right place.

02.05.12

Your Comments
Dear Steve,
Thank you for your prompt reply. I’ll try to answer to your questions:
Malev Hungarian Airlines billed my MasterCard.
I had one ticket, booking reservation number: Y7RXL8, document:182-2477065315-16/04.11.2011
The flights were like this:
1) Bucharest, Romania – Dallas, USA:
flight 1=Bucharest -Romania to Budapest, flight2=Budapest to Frankfurt (these 2 operated by Malev) and flight 3=Frankfurt -Dallas (operated by AA- American Airlines) – on 24th of January 2012 – was OK!
2) Dallas, USA – Bucharest, Romania
flight 1=Dallas to New York, flight2=New York to Budapest (these 2 operated by AA- American Airlines), flight3=Budapest to Bucharest, Romania ( operated by Malev) on 19th of June 2012 – THIS WAS LOST/CANCELLED !
It was all booked on one ticket, I have mentioned the e-ticket number above.

and instead I had to pay 1050 usd for another ticket for return (bought from AA-American Airlines):
Dallas, USA to London (AA-American Airlines), and London – Bucharest, Romania (operated by British Airlines) on 19-20th of June 2012.
thanks a lot fot your time,
Calin

02.05.12

Calin –

Unfortunately 182 is Malev Ticket Stock. With the American Airlines flights involved, I was hoping it would be a 001-xxxxxx, as that would reflect American Airlines ticket stock. If it was 001 ticket stock, you’d have other options of recourse.

I would still attempt to make a written dispute to the address on the back of the credit card statement. If the same credit card was used for the second purchase, also refer them to that charge. You want to iniate a dispute for services not rendered. Send it via certified mail, but it must go to the correspondence address, typically located on the back of the statement. Despite the FCBA 60 day allowance, you don’t know how they’ll respond until you make an official, written, dispute.

Next avenue is the US DOT. If your flights from DFW to JFK to BUD — getting you across the pond were AA coded while the last flight was MA coded to Bucharest, you may have a valid complaint for denied boarding on the AA coded flights in the US – assuming you wanted to fly as far as Budapest and buy an add on ticket there — but instead you were told the ticket was lost/cancelled.

I presume you have connections in the US or dual residency with a FirstMerit Bank of Ohio credit card. If so, what is your normal state of residency in the US or what state was your last drivers license issued in or registered to vote.

I would also look to the Attorney General’s office of Consumer Protection in that state. Write to them, explain AA said your ticket was canceled/lost.

They will try to resolve your dispute with American Airlines.

Unfortunately no guarantees in any of this as you had waited too long to dispute with credit card issuer. With the DOT consumer protection office and State AG office of consumer protection, no guarantees but you’re at least giving it a shot. You will never know unless you try – plus it’s always possible they may have another suggestion.

02.05.12

Your Comments
Thanks a lot for your suggestions Steve!
regards, Calin

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