It may be just a matter of days.
At least he hopes so.
Monday April 5, Philippe finally received a message from the Lastminute.com site telling him that his reimbursement was "ready".
And if this Sunday, he still has nothing on his account, he hopes it will be soon.
"Hope gives life," he said, weary but above all exasperated.
Because it has been a year now that he and his wife have been waiting to receive their 1400 euros.
How to get a refund for a canceled trip?
On March 28, 2020, when the couple had embarked on a world tour, they should have returned home, in the region of Angers (Maine-et-Loire), after a stay in the Philippines, which itself succeeded the discovery of Tasmania (Australia).
Their Air France flight Manila-Nantes had been booked on the Lastminute.com site.
However, “the day before or the day before departure, we were warned that it was canceled, the traveler remembers.
We took a month before being repatriated by the French government.
A pretty epic episode.
But the French did not know that his reimbursement would be just as much.
"Everyone returns the ball"
“On April 17, I was offered a credit, which I accepted, recalls Philippe.
The amount was slightly more than the price of my ticket, it wasn't a bad deal and I didn't want to put the agency in trouble.
Philippe wishes to use this credit in July, while he and his wife are planning a new departure for the West Indies.
"But Lastminute told me that I could not use it, because they had not received the money from Air France", laments the 60-year-old entrepreneur.
Forced to buy two tickets out of his pocket at Corsair, he then demands reimbursement, from the airline, as from the website.
“But everyone is passing the buck!
When I call Air France, they tell me that they have no trace of my file since Lastminute is my agency.
When I call Lastminute, they tell me that the company has not reimbursed, ”protests the Angevin, which has multiplied the reports on the government platform specializing in consumer disputes Signal Conso.
And he is not the only one in this case: several hundred people in Philippe's case have come together in a Facebook group called “Collective against Last Minute”.
25,000 reports of disputes with airlines
“It's the difficulty when you go through an intermediary site to buy tickets, points out Raphaël Bartlomé, legal director of the UFC-Que Choisir.
The company, which has a legal obligation to reimburse if the plane has not taken off, does not have access to the customer's contact or bank details.
The consumer association has received more than 25,000 reports of litigation with airlines in connection with Covid-related cancellations, including 1,200 problems still persisting at the start of the year.
“The European Commission has opened an investigation into 18 airlines asking them to justify their reimbursements,” recalls Raphaël Bartlomé.
But Air France, Emirates and British Airways are among those who put in the best will.
For two months, Air France has even decided to reimburse all the credits that have been issued.
Asked by our newspaper on the specific case of Philippe, the French airline claims to have "reimbursed his ticket on January 29, 2021 and that of his wife on March 24, 2021".
"It is now up to Lastminute's customer service to do what is necessary", underlines Air France.
So what the platform did by contacting Philippe.
But he does not want to rejoice too quickly, while "the beautiful promises" have lasted for a year.