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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My husband died in January this year, I cancelled flights booked

Resolved Question:

My husband died in January this year, I cancelled flights booked with Aegean Airlines who refunded the full cost of his flights. However they sent the money back to his closed bank account so his bank returned the money to Aegean Airlines. Aegean airlines have now sent it back to his bank stating that it is the banks role to find a way to refund the money to me, his sole benefactor (I am his widow). The bank says it is Aegeans responsibility, could you tell me who's responsibility it is to make sure I get the money, the bank or Aegean Airlinse?
thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Please accept my condolences for your loss.

Joshua :

Before I respond to your question, I note you state this relates to EU law. May I confirm which country you live in as I can only assist if this relates to UK law. Are you able to kindly confirm?

Customer:

I live in the UK, so it maybe UK law but I was unsure as Aegean Airlines are based in Greece

Joshua :

Many thanks.

Joshua :

Legally this is very straightforward but in practice this can be very quite difficult to resolve if it involves a payment to a foreign company. Do you know how your husband paid - was it by card?

Customer:

He paid it by Visa debit card linked to his current account

Joshua :

Thanks. Do you know if he booked online or through an agent?

Customer:

He booked it online

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

The legal position is that the airline must pay issue payment to the executor of your husbands estate. This is most likely you but the executor will be named in your husbands will or failing which will be the administrator under intestacy rules for which you would have first right

Joshua :

However pursuading certain foreign based companies of this fact can be less than straightforward.

Customer:

Yes I am the executor, do you think it would be good idea to write to Aegean Headquarters asking them to be a little compassionate?

Joshua :

*persuading

Joshua :

Have you obtained probate or have you gone ahead without this?

Customer:

I have been able to go ahead without probate as I was informed that it would not be needed as their is no property involved and his estate doesn't amount to a vast amount

Customer:

All his other financial matters have been settled now its just this that is outstanding

Joshua :

That is quite correct. Probate is not needed geenrally if assets do not exceed £10-15K in your husbands sole name. There are three approaches you can consider. The first is asking the bank to reopen the account but they don't have to and I assume you will have already asked. The second is to write to Aegean Head Office and enclose a copy of your husbands will and death certificate clearly stating that his account has been closed and that you are his spouse and entitled to his estate and as such the refund is due to you and ask them to forward you a cheque.

Joshua :

If they refuse the third approach is to consider using the European Small Claims Procedure to recover the money. As Greece is a memeber of the EU providing the amount owed is less than 2000 Euros you can use the streamline European Small Claims procedure to sue Aegean for the money.

Customer:

Yes, I have asked the bank who refuse to co-operate. I will ask them again tomorrow and if that fails I will contact their head office enclosing everything you have suggested and see what happens. If that fails then I may well try the European small Claims procedure.

Customer:

Sorry should have said Aegean Head Office

Joshua :

If you find this necessary - one would hope someone at Head Office will make a practical decision particularly if you threaten to do so as there are cost implications to them if you do - then you can obtain the claim forms you need at the following link:

Joshua :

https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_small_claims_forms-177-en.do

Joshua :

The process is relatively straightforward and providing you are successful, which there is no reasons to think you will not be, you can recover costs from Aegean providing you can show that you gave them reasonable opportunity to pay you giving them all reasonable evidence of your entitlement and they refused.

Customer:

Thank you this has been very helpful and given me a little hope.

Joshua :

A pleasure. You will get the money back providing you have the tenancity to see the process through. The legal position is not difficult it is simply the administrative process that is frustrating.

Joshua :

If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer:

Thank you

Joshua :

Best wishes

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