Did You Buy Bonza Flights? Here's How to Get Your Money Back


Immanuel Debeer | 02/05/2024

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As we all know by now, Bonza is under administration with all flights grounded. Luckily, Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Jetstar have all jumped on the PR wagon and offered free flights to stranded passengers—smart marketing!

To add further insult to injury, the administrators today announced that ticket refunds would be out of the question for now. This essentially means that if you purchased a Bonza flight, you’re potentially “shit out of luck”, for lack of better words. Or are you?

What You Can Do to Get Your Money Back?

I’m no lawyer or legal expert, but from my perspective, if you buy something from a company and the goods/service doesn’t materialise, it should be considered theft, heck maybe even fraud or deception, as no doubt Bonza knew for some time that they were about to go belly up but continued to sell tickets.

In such a case, the first thing you should do is call your bank or credit card provider and issue a chargeback on the transaction. All credit and debit cards in Australia are capable of lodging a chargeback. Some other banks and card issuers might require you to call up and provide some sort of evidence to support your chargeback claim.

Since Bonza only accepted Visa/Mastercard and bank transfers, you would be completely out of luck if you paid them via bank transfer.

If That Doesn’t Work? Charge back!

If you were smart enough to pay via your credit card, you probably have some sort of travel insurance attached to it. Now is the perfect time to acquaint yourself with the PDS, aka Product Disclosure Statement (every insurance policy has one), to learn how and if you can get cover in this situation.

As per the Australian Financial Complaints Authority:

“The merchant is now insolvent – can I still raise a chargeback? 

You can contact your bank (or credit union) to request a chargeback if the merchant became insolvent after you purchased the goods or service and you have a valid chargeback right against the merchant. For example, they did not provide the goods or service you paid for.

When you make the chargeback request, you must identify which transactions you want to chargeback and why you believe you are entitled to a chargeback. You should also explain to your bank (or credit union) that the merchant is insolvent. Your bank (or credit union) will then make the chargeback request for you.”

Summing Up

While it’s sad to see yet another airline go under, I do think that refunding customers should be the number one priority for any business. Thankfully, we have a lot of protection in place to issue chargebacks and claim travel insurance.


Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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