Vered Cohen and Ra'anan Bar-On
Vered Cohen and Ra'anan Bar-OnPR

Attorneys Ra'anan Bar-On and Vered Cohen explained how in certain situations, travelers who need to cancel their flights, justifiably or for no reason, can receive a refund.

According to Israeli law, a customer can cancel a transaction up to 14 days after it is conducted. In this case, that means up to 14 days after purchasing the ticket, as long as the cancellation happens more than seven business days prior to the flight.

In other words, you cannot cancel a flight seven business days or less before it is scheduled to depart, and you cannot cancel a flight if more than two weeks have passed since the ticket was purchased.

If a transaction is canceled, the airline or travel agency must return the customer's money within 14 days of the cancellation. The amount of the refund is the amount the customer paid, minus 5% in cancellation fees or 100 NIS, whichever is lower.

All of these laws apply on condition that the travel agency or airline is subject to Israel's consumer protection law.

If more than 14 days have passed since the ticket was purchased, or the airline or travel agent in question does not have representation in Israel, you will not be eligible to cancel the tickets under Israeli law. In such a case, it is advised to read the company's cancellation policy and terms.

Even in a case where the company is not governed by Israeli law, in many cases the airlines will allow a cancellation or change of dates at no cost, as part of the service offered to customers. Therefore, regardless of who the airline or agent is, it is always worth examining the possibility of cancelling the flight.

El Al, Israel's national airline, announced last week that travelers who have purchased tickets to China will be allowed to reschedule their flights at no extra cost.

The decision affects those passengers scheduled to travel within the next two weeks, and follows the spread of the mysterious new coronavirus which can cause severe pneumonia and has claimed over 150 lives in China.