DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

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Angangang
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by Angangang » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 pm

All the airlines are standing on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot issue refunds to even 10% of those who want them. They just do not have the cash. They are laying off 80% of their employees and fighting for their lives. I cannot imagine in this situation that any airline would be willing to issue cash refunds if they don't have to. And under US law it is my understanding that they almost never have to issue you a cash refund, and now they most certainly won't.

Take your credit and hope they stay in business long enough for you to use it.

TravelGeek
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:18 pm

Angangang wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 pm
All the airlines are standing on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot issue refunds to even 10% of those who want them. They just do not have the cash. They are laying off 80% of their employees and fighting for their lives.
Got something to back up those claims?

The CARES act provides US passenger carriers with $50B in loans and grants, and one of the conditions for receiving money is no layoffs through September 30, 2020.
I cannot imagine in this situation that any airline would be willing to issue cash refunds if they don't have to. And under US law it is my understanding that they almost never have to issue you a cash refund, and now they most certainly won't.
Under US law as I understand it, airlines have to issue you a cash refund if they cancel your flight or make a significant schedule change.

https://www.transportation.gov/individu ... on/refunds

seawolf21
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:31 pm

Angangang wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 pm
All the airlines are standing on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot issue refunds to even 10% of those who want them. They just do not have the cash. They are laying off 80% of their employees and fighting for their lives. I cannot imagine in this situation that any airline would be willing to issue cash refunds if they don't have to. And under US law it is my understanding that they almost never have to issue you a cash refund, and now they most certainly won't.

Take your credit and hope they stay in business long enough for you to use it.
American and DL are refunding.

Airlines actually do have the cash to refund for passengers with cancelled flights; they just won’t have cash for future obligations.

SEC EDGAR filings show UA/DL/UA each have at least $6 billion in cash and all three have obtained new loans in March ranging from $500 million to $2.5 billion by pledging aircraft as collateral. Advanced ticket sales for the year for each is under $5 billion. Cancellations are really affecting next 60 days at this point so $2.5-$3 billion could be subject to refund.

$6-$8 billion > $3 billion (10% is $300 million) so yes airlines have the cash to refund those with cancelled flights and both AA and DL have been doing while UA is dragging it’s feet.
Last edited by seawolf21 on Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

student
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by student » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:34 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:18 pm
Under US law as I understand it, airlines have to issue you a cash refund if they cancel your flight or make a significant schedule change.

https://www.transportation.gov/individu ... on/refunds
This is also my understanding.

Starfish
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by Starfish » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:22 pm

I've got full refund from Delta. 3 tickets, 1 cash, 2 for miles.

chuckb84
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by chuckb84 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:32 pm

seawolf21 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:31 pm
Angangang wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 pm
All the airlines are standing on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot issue refunds to even 10% of those who want them. They just do not have the cash. They are laying off 80% of their employees and fighting for their lives. I cannot imagine in this situation that any airline would be willing to issue cash refunds if they don't have to. And under US law it is my understanding that they almost never have to issue you a cash refund, and now they most certainly won't.

Take your credit and hope they stay in business long enough for you to use it.
American and DL are refunding.

Airlines actually do have the cash to refund for passengers with cancelled flights; they just won’t have cash for future obligations.
What's the process with American? I just got a runaround on the phone, and the web page wants a ticket number; I have only a record locator.

The person I spoke to said change fees are being waived but refunds are not being given.

seawolf21
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:43 pm

chuckb84 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:32 pm
seawolf21 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:31 pm
Angangang wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 pm
All the airlines are standing on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot issue refunds to even 10% of those who want them. They just do not have the cash. They are laying off 80% of their employees and fighting for their lives. I cannot imagine in this situation that any airline would be willing to issue cash refunds if they don't have to. And under US law it is my understanding that they almost never have to issue you a cash refund, and now they most certainly won't.

Take your credit and hope they stay in business long enough for you to use it.
American and DL are refunding.

Airlines actually do have the cash to refund for passengers with cancelled flights; they just won’t have cash for future obligations.
What's the process with American? I just got a runaround on the phone, and the web page wants a ticket number; I have only a record locator.

The person I spoke to said change fees are being waived but refunds are not being given.
Depends on what happened to your itinerary.

Did AA perform a change such that the flight arrival/departure time shifted by more than 60 minutes? Did it go from non-stop to a connection? Did AA cancelled the flight outright?

If none of the above, no refund is warranted on a non-refundable fare.

GeraniumLover
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by GeraniumLover » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:50 pm

Delta cancelled my family's return flight from overseas with less than 24 hours notice, with no stated reason. We had used SkyMiles and paid the taxes/fees by credit card. I contacted them later that day about a refund since they never attempted to rebook us. They have since rebanked the SkyMiles but have not refunded the taxes/fees. Originally they said that would be done within 7 days. Now they say to allow up to 21 business days and that it could take 2 billing cycles to appear on my credit card statement, blaming "extremely high volume related to coronavirus and government-issued travel guidance". I don't understand why issuing the credit card refund would need to take so long.

eugenem
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by eugenem » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:59 pm

Just went through the process with American yesterday. Family of 5 was originally flying to Hawaii for Spring Break on April 5. Plans have obviously changed and AA cancelled one of our flights. Went to their website and officially cancelled the reservation. Then went to the prefunds.aa.com website to request refunds for each of the tickets.

I went back to the original reservation confirmation e-mail for ticket #s, but the ticket #s can also be found on:
1) Credit card statement for the charge
2) The e-mail confirmation that was sent when the reservation was canceled

The status page confirms that the refund will be issued. Waiting on the refund to post to my credit card, but it was a relatively painless process.
chuckb84 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:32 pm
What's the process with American? I just got a runaround on the phone, and the web page wants a ticket number; I have only a record locator.
The person I spoke to said change fees are being waived but refunds are not being given.

Corsair
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by Corsair » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:37 pm

I'm still holding off hoping I get a cash refund for a May flight. I think its a huge scam they're not issuing cash refunds.

Happy to see this :beer
CNBC wrote:4:45 pm: Senators to airlines CEOs: Give travelers cash refunds

Several U.S. senators urged airline CEOs on Tuesday to ensure customers are given full cash refunds of trips they cancel because of COVID-19.

Many U.S. airlines including United, Delta and American, are allowing travelers to cancel their tickets but they will receive a credit with the airline, instead of a refund. Congress last week approved $58 billion in aid, including payroll grants, for U.S. airlines in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. “The ongoing pandemic is placing enormous financial strain on millions of Americans, and families need cash to pay for essentials such as food, housing, and medical care,” wrote Senators Edward Markey, Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Robert Casey, and Christopher Murphy to 11 U.S. airline CEOs. —Leslie Josephs
All posts are my own opinions and are not financial advice.

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Stinky
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by Stinky » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:14 pm

Corsair wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:37 pm
I'm still holding off hoping I get a cash refund for a May flight. I think its a huge scam they're not issuing cash refunds.

Happy to see this :beer
CNBC wrote:4:45 pm: Senators to airlines CEOs: Give travelers cash refunds

Several U.S. senators urged airline CEOs on Tuesday to ensure customers are given full cash refunds of trips they cancel because of COVID-19.

Many U.S. airlines including United, Delta and American, are allowing travelers to cancel their tickets but they will receive a credit with the airline, instead of a refund. Congress last week approved $58 billion in aid, including payroll grants, for U.S. airlines in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. “The ongoing pandemic is placing enormous financial strain on millions of Americans, and families need cash to pay for essentials such as food, housing, and medical care,” wrote Senators Edward Markey, Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Robert Casey, and Christopher Murphy to 11 U.S. airline CEOs. —Leslie Josephs
I’ve got several reservations for late April for a (now postponed) family wedding.

I’m holding off on canceling for now because I expect that my options on canceling will improve as time goes on.
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GeraniumLover
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by GeraniumLover » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:41 am

GeraniumLover wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:06 pm
I cancelled an international roundtrip on Southwest paid for by points. They restored the points but only issued a travel voucher for the taxes. That doesn't seem right to me since they shouldn't have had to pay the taxes so why should they be able to keep them if I don't use the voucher before it expires? Any thoughts?
Southwest agreed to refund the taxes.

SandysDad
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by SandysDad » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:19 pm

Folks, if the AIRLINE cancelled the flight and won't refund. Just dispute it on the credit card. Have backup doc showing they cancelled the flight.

Your bank should get you your money. If they can't you will still have a credit.

Carson
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by Carson » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:01 am

received a credit card refund from American Airlines today for a domestic flight next week.

Our original flight was nonstop both ways, they changed the return flight to have a stop.
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rich126
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by rich126 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:54 pm

Some updates on refunds:

Lufthansa
https://onemileatatime.com/lufthansa-refund-policy/
Therefore the German government has asked the European Commission to allow Lufthansa to issue vouchers rather than cash for flight cancellations.
The German government is asking the European Commission to adjust rules so that Lufthansa doesn’t have to issue flight refunds for cancellations. The German government will likely provide aid to Lufthansa, and if the airline does have to issue cash refunds, that money will essentially be coming out of taxpayers’ pockets.
US
https://onemileatatime.com/dot-flight-refund-rules/
The US Department of Transportation has today issued an enforcement notice, reminding airlines that they need to refund passengers in the event that their flights are cancelled, or there are significant schedule changes. As the enforcement notice states:

The DOT has seen an increase in consumer complaints related to flight refunds
Customers are entitled to a cash refund when the airline cancels a scheduled flight or makes a significant schedule change and the passenger chooses not to accept the alternative offered
This applies for flights operated by US and foreign airlines to, within, or from the United States
Because this is an unprecedented situation, the DOT will exercise enforcement discretion, and will give airlines the opportunity to become compliant before taking further action
The link above also has the full DOT statement.

seawolf21
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:21 pm


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ResearchMed
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DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:50 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]
.
DOT has apparently decreed that airlines must offer refunds if they cancel flights, and not just offer vouchers/credits/etc.:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/03/coronav ... -axed.html

Note: I have not yet seen any DOT decree itself.

So... what about people who settled already for credits, but wanted refunds instead?

RM
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aerofreaky11
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by aerofreaky11 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:57 pm

I sure hope so. I'm sitting on over 2k in Singapore Airline tickets that at this point are "vouchers" expiring in 2021. That was better than their first offer which was vouchers expiring 10/31/20. I haven't called, this was in an email they sent.

7eight9
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by 7eight9 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:58 pm

The Department of Transportation issued a stark message to airlines that serve the U.S. Friday, reminding carriers that they must provide cash refunds to travelers whose flights are canceled by the airline.

Even the title of the missive was weighty. In its “enforcement notice,” the DOT said “carriers have a longstanding obligation to provide a prompt refund to a ticketed passenger when the carrier cancels the passenger’s flight or makes a significant change in the flight schedule and the passenger chooses not to accept the alternative offered by the carrier.”
https://thepointsguy.com/news/dot-to-ai ... d-flights/


Cancelled Flight – A passenger is entitled to a refund if the airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the passenger chooses not to be rebooked on a new flight on that airline.

https://www.transportation.gov/individu ... on/refunds
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:51 pm

I merged ResearchMed's thread into the on-going discussion. I also retitled the thread and pointed to rich126's update (the first to post the DOT info).
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FRT15
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by FRT15 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:32 pm

Does anyone know if American is extending their rebook policy beyond a one year expiration? I Know Delta has but I can't find it on American. Thanks

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willthrill81
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:03 pm

aerofreaky11 wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:57 pm
I sure hope so. I'm sitting on over 2k in Singapore Airline tickets that at this point are "vouchers" expiring in 2021. That was better than their first offer which was vouchers expiring 10/31/20. I haven't called, this was in an email they sent.
My understanding is that if either end of the trip is in the U.S. and the airline cancelled the flight, they must give you a refund, not a voucher.
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seawolf21
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by seawolf21 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:32 pm

FRT15 wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:32 pm
Does anyone know if American is extending their rebook policy beyond a one year expiration? I Know Delta has but I can't find it on American. Thanks
AA just updated policy.
https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/cor ... pdates.jsp

Tickets with an expiration between March 1 and September 30, 2020 (would have had an original issue date 364 days before), are having expiration extended to December 31, 2021.

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Cobra Commander
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by Cobra Commander » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:34 pm

Frontier honored my request for a refund which really surprised me. My flight was changed from an 11:00 a.m. flight to one at 6:45 that landed at 10:00 p.m. I submitted my request online and in the explanation box I cited the section of the contract of carriage that entitled me to a refund and briefly stated the facts underlying my request for a refund (i.e. that my flight was departure time was changed by over 7 hours and I considered that a significant deviation. I also added that I have two young children ages 1 and 3 and I cannot take a flight that lands at 10:00 p.m. with them.

FRT15
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by FRT15 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:47 pm

I just had a flight cancelled on s7 airlines. For this particular airline I dont see any way to refunded to my credit card. They issue certificates with the value of your travel, good for 1 year. Wont do me much agree unless I recreate this entire trip within a year. Just thought I would share what a different airline is doing.

TN_Boy
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by TN_Boy » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:13 pm

chuckb84 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:32 pm
seawolf21 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:31 pm
Angangang wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 pm
All the airlines are standing on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot issue refunds to even 10% of those who want them. They just do not have the cash. They are laying off 80% of their employees and fighting for their lives. I cannot imagine in this situation that any airline would be willing to issue cash refunds if they don't have to. And under US law it is my understanding that they almost never have to issue you a cash refund, and now they most certainly won't.

Take your credit and hope they stay in business long enough for you to use it.
American and DL are refunding.

Airlines actually do have the cash to refund for passengers with cancelled flights; they just won’t have cash for future obligations.
What's the process with American? I just got a runaround on the phone, and the web page wants a ticket number; I have only a record locator.

The person I spoke to said change fees are being waived but refunds are not being given.
When you booked the flight, you should have gotten a confirmation email. That email should include the ticket number(s) (it's after the itinerary, towards the end)

American's process for the refunds for flights cancelled by American seems to be:

1) You the ticket buyer cancels the entire trip using the record locator.
2) You request a refund for each ticket (e.g. you and your spouse both had tickets; they must be cancelled separately)

You will probably be given the option of taking a refund or getting a voucher for more than the value of the ticket. Personally, I'd take the refund.

The process seems to be straightforward. And again, this assumes American cancelled one or more of the flights on your trip.

tomd37
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by tomd37 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:32 pm

TN Boy - Do you know if any American Airlines refund might include the cost for seat selections? We have a trip from Nashville to Wilmington, NC paid for in December coming up next week. Most of AA flights out of Nashville to Charlotte and on to Wilmington are now being cancelled. I have been watching the flight numbers each day. Probably will not book again as we are in our low to mid 80's and traveling is getting harder for us.
Tom D.

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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by TN_Boy » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:16 pm

tomd37 wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:32 pm
TN Boy - Do you know if any American Airlines refund might include the cost for seat selections? We have a trip from Nashville to Wilmington, NC paid for in December coming up next week. Most of AA flights out of Nashville to Charlotte and on to Wilmington are now being cancelled. I have been watching the flight numbers each day. Probably will not book again as we are in our low to mid 80's and traveling is getting harder for us.
All I know is that they accepted the refund request for the full ticket price (it is under "review" but I believe that is a standard disclaimer). The refund will go back on the CC used to buy the ticket.

The ticket class we bought included seat selections, and we didn't upgrade the seats. I'm guessing if you paid for a seat upgrade they'd cover that as well -- but it is a guess.

We got an email saying there was a flight cancellation, which is when I fired up the refund stuff.

GeraniumLover
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by GeraniumLover » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:29 pm

tomd37 wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:32 pm
TN Boy - Do you know if any American Airlines refund might include the cost for seat selections? We have a trip from Nashville to Wilmington, NC paid for in December coming up next week. Most of AA flights out of Nashville to Charlotte and on to Wilmington are now being cancelled. I have been watching the flight numbers each day. Probably will not book again as we are in our low to mid 80's and traveling is getting harder for us.
The DOT regulation requires the airline to refund seat selection fees too. Also baggage fees.

chuckb84
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by chuckb84 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:52 pm

seawolf21 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:43 pm
chuckb84 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:32 pm
seawolf21 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:31 pm
Angangang wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 pm
All the airlines are standing on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot issue refunds to even 10% of those who want them. They just do not have the cash. They are laying off 80% of their employees and fighting for their lives. I cannot imagine in this situation that any airline would be willing to issue cash refunds if they don't have to. And under US law it is my understanding that they almost never have to issue you a cash refund, and now they most certainly won't.

Take your credit and hope they stay in business long enough for you to use it.
American and DL are refunding.

Airlines actually do have the cash to refund for passengers with cancelled flights; they just won’t have cash for future obligations.
What's the process with American? I just got a runaround on the phone, and the web page wants a ticket number; I have only a record locator.

The person I spoke to said change fees are being waived but refunds are not being given.
Depends on what happened to your itinerary.

Did AA perform a change such that the flight arrival/departure time shifted by more than 60 minutes? Did it go from non-stop to a connection? Did AA cancelled the flight outright?

If none of the above, no refund is warranted on a non-refundable fare.
They changed the departure time by almost 4 hours and the return by more than 2 hours, so perhaps that is enough.

seawolf21
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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 4:44 pm

chuckb84 wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:52 pm
seawolf21 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:43 pm
chuckb84 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:32 pm
seawolf21 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:31 pm
Angangang wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 pm
All the airlines are standing on the brink of bankruptcy and cannot issue refunds to even 10% of those who want them. They just do not have the cash. They are laying off 80% of their employees and fighting for their lives. I cannot imagine in this situation that any airline would be willing to issue cash refunds if they don't have to. And under US law it is my understanding that they almost never have to issue you a cash refund, and now they most certainly won't.

Take your credit and hope they stay in business long enough for you to use it.
American and DL are refunding.

Airlines actually do have the cash to refund for passengers with cancelled flights; they just won’t have cash for future obligations.
What's the process with American? I just got a runaround on the phone, and the web page wants a ticket number; I have only a record locator.

The person I spoke to said change fees are being waived but refunds are not being given.
Depends on what happened to your itinerary.

Did AA perform a change such that the flight arrival/departure time shifted by more than 60 minutes? Did it go from non-stop to a connection? Did AA cancelled the flight outright?

If none of the above, no refund is warranted on a non-refundable fare.
They changed the departure time by almost 4 hours and the return by more than 2 hours, so perhaps that is enough.
That would qualify for a refund with AA.

TravelGeek
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:34 pm

FRT15 wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:47 pm
I just had a flight cancelled on s7 airlines. For this particular airline I dont see any way to refunded to my credit card. They issue certificates with the value of your travel, good for 1 year. Wont do me much agree unless I recreate this entire trip within a year. Just thought I would share what a different airline is doing.
Does the flight touch the US (and thus DoT jurisdiction)?

If not I would probably still pursue a chargeback through my US credit card company using the “service paid for was not delivered” category.

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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by jriding » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:44 am

This thread has been very helpful and wanted to share my experience:

Booked American tickets through Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal to Barcelona for late May using a combination of points and cash
American cancelled the itinerary last week.
The cancellation note stated that I would receive American credit, not a refund.
I contacted Chase via their Chat function. The agent initially told me that Chase was bound by American Airlines policy to issue credit. I cited Federal law requiring airlines to refund cancelled flights. I also cited American Airlines Conditions of Carriage which also say refunds are provided for cancelled flights.
The Chase agent offered to contact American while I waited.
Ten minutes later the Chase agent had received authorization from American to issue a refund.
The refund will be cash and points back to my Chase UR account.

TravelGeek
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:49 am

jriding wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:44 am
This thread has been very helpful and wanted to share my experience:

Booked American tickets through Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal to Barcelona for late May using a combination of points and cash
American cancelled the itinerary last week.
The cancellation note stated that I would receive American credit, not a refund.
I know you received your money back, but this is a blatant violation of DoT regulations and as a taxpayer who just wrote a big fat check to AA I would make sure the DoT is aware of this. So I would file a complaint here:

https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm

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Re: Any Airlines Issuing Actual Refunds

Post by DarkHelmetII » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:00 pm

seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:21 pm
Actual notice from DoT
https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 2020_0.pdf
Note "A passenger is entitled to a refund if the airline made a significant schedule change and/or significantly delays a flight and the passenger chooses not to travel."

Case in point: United's "policy" now says they will only refund you if the schedule has changed by 6 or more hours. I put the word policy in quotes because DOT's whole point is that regardless of what airline policy is and / or Contract of Carriage (CoC) says, the DOT is essentially saying the airlines policies / CoC don't hold water if they are unreasonable. The DOT does not mention a specific threshold for what constitutes "significant." But if your original 3 hour non-stop flight becomes 5 hours with a layover, hold your ground against the airline and cite the DOT enforcement notice, creating a DOT complaint if necessary.

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VictoriaF
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:32 pm

Please advise:

I have a one-way domestic-travel ticket on United for July 5, for which I paid $280 with a credit card. The ticket is in Basic economy. UA recently sent out an offer: if passengers cancel near-term travel they'll get a travel credit with UA for 18 months from the date of cancellation. The offer is valid until April 30.

Travel bloggers do NOT recommend using this UA offer, because:
(1) UA is likely to cancel a flight
(2) UA is likely to extend this offer beyond April.

I am inclined TO USE this offer, because:
(1) UA may change the flight by less than 6 hours which would remove any recourse on my part
(2) my ticket is in Basic economy meaning that I don't have any rights (unless UA cancels it)
(3) $280 is a relatively small amount and I am likely to use the credit in the next 18 months.

Please let me know if I am missing or misunderstanding relevant factors in my analysis.

Thank you,
Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

quantAndHold
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:34 pm

British Airways website says they will refund if they cancel the flight, but you need to call, and hold times are extreme, so I haven’t done it yet. They appear to be canceling flights exactly one month ahead of time. I have 3 different reservations, so I’m trying to wait until they cancel the 3rd flight and do the refunds all at once.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

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Leesbro63
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by Leesbro63 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:35 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:34 pm
British Airways website says they will refund if they cancel the flight, but you need to call, and hold times are extreme, so I haven’t done it yet. They appear to be canceling flights exactly one month ahead of time. I have 3 different reservations, so I’m trying to wait until they cancel the 3rd flight and do the refunds all at once.
So contest the credit card charge under the true issue that you can't get through in a reasonable manner to claim the refund.

TravelGeek
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:50 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:32 pm
(3) $280 is a relatively small amount and I am likely to use the credit in the next 18 months.
I think that would be the deciding factor for me. If it turned out that I cannot spend $280 of credit in 18 months, I would have other bigger problems to worry about.

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VictoriaF
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:54 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:50 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:32 pm
(3) $280 is a relatively small amount and I am likely to use the credit in the next 18 months.
I think that would be the deciding factor for me. If it turned out that I cannot spend $280 of credit in 18 months, I would have other bigger problems to worry about.
Great logic. Thanks!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Leesbro63
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by Leesbro63 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:11 pm

A family member waited until an American Airlines flight was cancelled. He got an email today asking him to reply to accept a credit. There was no other option. It didn't say what would happen if he didn't accept. My advice was to NOT reply and contest the credit card charge, showing that they cancelled his flight but didn't offer a refund. Obviously another attempt by the airlines to trick people into accepting a credit versus having to pay back hard cash now.

DarkHelmetII
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by DarkHelmetII » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:15 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:32 pm
Please advise:

I have a one-way domestic-travel ticket on United for July 5, for which I paid $280 with a credit card. The ticket is in Basic economy. UA recently sent out an offer: if passengers cancel near-term travel they'll get a travel credit with UA for 18 months from the date of cancellation. The offer is valid until April 30.

Travel bloggers do NOT recommend using this UA offer, because:
(1) UA is likely to cancel a flight
(2) UA is likely to extend this offer beyond April.

I am inclined TO USE this offer, because:
(1) UA may change the flight by less than 6 hours which would remove any recourse on my part
(2) my ticket is in Basic economy meaning that I don't have any rights (unless UA cancels it)
(3) $280 is a relatively small amount and I am likely to use the credit in the next 18 months.

Please let me know if I am missing or misunderstanding relevant factors in my analysis.

Thank you,
Victoria
Personally I would wait to see if UA cancels the flight. However also noted that this is relatively small at $280 so ultimately depends on how much you value your time in checking for flight cancellations etc....

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anon_investor
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by anon_investor » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:17 pm

My friend just had his Delta flight cancelled, and in their email they only gave him a flight credit valid for 2 years. He called to complain, and they immediately gave him a full refund.

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Leesbro63
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by Leesbro63 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:26 pm

anon_investor wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:17 pm
My friend just had his Delta flight cancelled, and in their email they only gave him a flight credit valid for 2 years. He called to complain, and they immediately gave him a full refund.
The issue is getting through. Good for him for getting through.

DiploInvestor
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by DiploInvestor » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:31 pm

Last week I called United to request a refund after Lufthansa canceled the first leg of an international code share flight to the US. I couldn't use the rest if the itinerary even if I had wanted, since there are currently no flights out of the country I'm in right now. I got through to United without a wait on the general number. The rep offered me a credit good for two years. I said thanks, but I prefer a refund ($2500 for a business class ticket). He put me on hold for 5 minutes, then came back and said no problem. The refund hit my credit card in less than a week. I was ready for a fight, but it turned out not to be an issue = impressed.
"History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes." -- Mark Twain // "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." — Cicero

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anon_investor
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by anon_investor » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:41 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:26 pm
anon_investor wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:17 pm
My friend just had his Delta flight cancelled, and in their email they only gave him a flight credit valid for 2 years. He called to complain, and they immediately gave him a full refund.
The issue is getting through. Good for him for getting through.
Funny you should say that. He called and did the whole they will call you back later. And he told me when they called him back, they put him on hold. Good thing he is working from home now a days, he had all the time in the world to be on hold.

Hanksmoney
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by Hanksmoney » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:44 pm

I canceled my flights first without waiting for Delta and American Airlines. The AA flight ended up being canceled by them but I canceled first. Both have given me credits. Is there any hope I can get a refund?

I have an active flight to Spain/Portugal in May with united/Air Canada through Cheapo. I do not plan to travel. Do I just hold out to see if the flight gets canceled?

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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by seawolf21 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:03 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:11 pm
A family member waited until an American Airlines flight was cancelled. He got an email today asking him to reply to accept a credit. There was no other option. It didn't say what would happen if he didn't accept. My advice was to NOT reply and contest the credit card charge, showing that they cancelled his flight but didn't offer a refund. Obviously another attempt by the airlines to trick people into accepting a credit versus having to pay back hard cash now.
If a refund is desired and AA cancelled the flight (as opposed to passenger cancelling the booking) or AA changed booking by >=60 minutes if booking was originally made before April 8, 2020, follow the steps laid out below to obtain a refund. This would be the quickest way to get a refund. A credit card chargeback will take longer to be 100% resolved (you should get a temporary credit but the entire process will take several weeks to play out). Processing time is about 14 calendar days.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=312198&p=5191863&h ... t#p5191863
anon_investor wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:17 pm
My friend just had his Delta flight cancelled, and in their email they only gave him a flight credit valid for 2 years. He called to complain, and they immediately gave him a full refund.
No need to call. Just send a DM to Delta Twitter.
Hanksmoney wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:44 pm
I canceled my flights first without waiting for Delta and American Airlines. The AA flight ended up being canceled by them but I canceled first. Both have given me credits. Is there any hope I can get a refund?

I have an active flight to Spain/Portugal in May with united/Air Canada through Cheapo. I do not plan to travel. Do I just hold out to see if the flight gets canceled?
Not eligible for AA refund as passenger cancelled the booking prior to AA canceling the fight.

Let the airline cancel the flight if you want a refund. Proactively cancelling the booking will hinder your ability to obtain a refund. Cancel within 24 hours prior to departure if airline is not cancelling the flight.

SCb&b
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by SCb&b » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:15 pm

I cancelled a flight with Delta for this weekend and there had been a schedule change in the meantime (maybe by an 30-60 min, nothing major). When I called they initially offered a credit but when I asked what my options were they offered a refund. No such luck on international flight I proactively cancelled that then was cancelled by them.

TravelGeek
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Re: DOT: Airlines must offer refunds for cancelled flights (not just credits)

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:35 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:11 pm
A family member waited until an American Airlines flight was cancelled. He got an email today asking him to reply to accept a credit. There was no other option. It didn't say what would happen if he didn't accept. My advice was to NOT reply and contest the credit card charge, showing that they cancelled his flight but didn't offer a refund. Obviously another attempt by the airlines to trick people into accepting a credit versus having to pay back hard cash now.
A chargeback typically requires that you have made an attempt at resolving the situation with the merchant. I would send AA’s Twitter team a direct (private) message requesting per DoT regulations a refund instead of credit for the cancelled flight. It will take five minutes max to compose a short message that includes all the relevant data. If you don’t have a Twitter account, add five more to create one.

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