Money mensch: Don’t book flights for friends. You’re not covered

By Martin Lewis, August 13, 2009

It has now become common knowledge that if you pay for something costing over £100 on a credit card, the card company is equally liable with the retailer if anything goes wrong.

This is especially valuable protection when buying flight tickets, as it means that if the airline goes bust you can claim your money back from the card company.

However, after discussions with the financial ombudsman, I have learned that unless the payment is for your partner and/or children, you may not be eligible for a refund of their holiday costs.

This is because friends, adult siblings and grandparents are arguably not part of the “contract” established. Therefore, as a rule, only book for immediate family and let others make the payment themselves — even if you are treating them, give them the money. And of course, always pay the card off in full so there is no interest.

If you are not able to do this, and the credit card company won’t budge, always take your complaint to the ombudsman, as it may rule in your favour. While this is not guaranteed, you have nothing to lose.

For free template letters and a full guide to making a claim, see

Last updated: 9:50am, August 13 2009