Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

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sophie1
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Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by sophie1 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:31 am

I've been struggling with getting reimbursement for an invalid ticket sold by Expedia. There is an ongoing investigation but so far all that's happened is the usual finger pointing: A says it's B's fault, B says it's C's fault, C says it's A's fault etc. I'm looking for advice from forum members on how to proceed.

Several months back I bought a round trip ticket through Expedia, with an outbound flight from the US to London on Airline #1, and return from Paris back to US on Airline #2. Both are major airlines and the flights were nonstop. The ticket had Airline #1's number on it. I generally prefer to buy direct from airlines, but in this one case Expedia had a better deal and was more convenient. Or so I thought!

I confirmed the return flight with Airline #2 but could not check in online. That's not unusual with combo tickets especially in Europe. To be safe, I called Airline #2 to ask if there was any specific problem, and was told no issue, just check in at the airport tomorrow. I arrived at the airport 4 hours in advance, and was only then told that the ticket was invalid and they wouldn't allow me to fly on it. It turns out that Expedia paid the fare to Airline #1 but no money got to Airline #2. They tried to resolve the situation with Airline #1, but I finally ended up having to buy a one-way ticket back home, which cost about $3000 USD.

That was a month ago. Right after I got home I contacted all three parties to request reimbursement of the $3000 extra ticket. I guess it's no surprise that the replies were all variations on the theme of "gee we're sorry about this, but no." I discovered that Expedia (who is probably the most at-fault party) has a "Tier 3" customer service that you can only access by emailing their executives directly (!). Tier 3 started an investigation, and so far they say that yes, something bad happened, it's not my fault, I deserve to be reimbursed, but they think Airline #1 should be the one to pay up. That's the last I heard, about 2 weeks ago. Airline #1, meanwhile, says Expedia should pay. I also filed a DOT complaint against Airline #2, who simply washed their hands of me at the airport. They referred me to Airline #1, who of course hasn't responded (and I don't expect them to).

I can see this is going to drag on forever and it's not likely anything will come of it. If it were $100 or so, I'd give up now and move on. But for $3,000, I'm willing to push some more. Among other issues, this sort of thing is deadly to Expedia's business model, if it becomes known that buying a ticket through them can leave you stranded in a foreign country. I would like to give them a bit more time to get back to me, but I'd say a month from initial contact and 3 weeks since I got through to Tier 3 is getting to be enough.

Rupert
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Rupert » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:38 am

You need a lawyer to draft a sternly-worded letter to the legal departments of all three entities. If the letter doesn't work, sue all three of them. Ask for attorney fees in addition to the cost of the ticket and any miscellaneous expenses you incurred as a result of this mess. I suspect you'll keep getting the runaround until you do this, unfortunately.

An alternative (and perhaps better) proposal: Contact the person who writes the Haggler column for the New York Times. This is right up the Haggler's alley.

soupcxan
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by soupcxan » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:39 am

[deleted]
Last edited by soupcxan on Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:40 am

Review away. Start on Expedia since you paid them. Facetube and twitface and flyertalk. I see no reason to wait. I would also put a claim in with the credit card since paid services were not rendered.
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Pajamas
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Pajamas » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:43 am

You generally only have 120 days to do a credit card chargeback. I would call my credit card company immediately.

Jags4186
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:49 am

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:43 am
You generally only have 120 days to do a credit card chargeback. I would call my credit card company immediately.
Visa gives you 540 days to dispute a charge... but within 120 days of service. So for example you book a flight on Expedia 200 days from now you have 320 days from the time of charge to dispute it.

Not sure about the rest.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by OnTrack2020 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:51 am

As they were two different airlines, why did Expedia pay only A#1? They should have paid A#1 and A#2 separately. I view this as Expedia's problem. Yes, agree with others, file with your credit card company as soon as possible.

I have never bought a ticket using this route (no pun intended), and, after hearing this, would be reluctant to try. I typically always go through our travel agent.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:56 am

Easy Peachy, just tell your credit card what happened and do not pay the credit charges, that you paid to Expedia.
You may have paiD your CC, but still can refute.

Somewhat not clear, not all the money used, was not unsed, you used portions of it.
Also $3000, you paid may be more than you paid for the original ticket.

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Watty
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Watty » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:59 am

This would be a good question to ask on the flyer talk forum. I would give the names of the airlines to get more attention.

https://www.flyertalk.com/

Since you were flying from the EU this would also fall under the EU rules which tend to be much better than US rules so you should look into their process for handling problems.
Last edited by Watty on Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ResearchMed
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:00 pm

Are the two airlines USA-based?

Either way, how about small claims court, if $3k isn't above the limit.
And include Expedia!

They'll need to have someone show up to represent them, and in some jurisdictions, it can NOT be an attorney. If you happen to live in one of those areas, then they'd need to send an actual company rep, not just some cheap local legal eagle.

But this does seem rather clear cut, or at least, none of them (2 airlines plus Expedia) has given any reasonable explanation why this should be your cost.

Good luck.
And yes, The Haggler would be good.
Plus... what's the name of the Travel version of this?

Also, social media... *broadcast*this out there... they do NOT want this type of reputation causing worry for others (any of them, but probably especially Expedia).

And absolutely challenge with card company.
You aren't running out of the time limit, as the disputed charge would be that $3k return, not the original tickets.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

WL2034
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by WL2034 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:02 pm

Was the $3k one-way ticket purchased through Airline #1 or #2, or a third airline? If it was one of the first 2, I would consider just contesting the $3k charge on your credit card, not paying it, and explain that you were double billed for the flight when you had already paid for it. If it was a third airline for the $3k one-way ticket, contest the charge to expedia, whichever makes more sense. Hard to say what I would do without knowing that and how much was the charge by expedia for the original ticket.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:04 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:43 am
You generally only have 120 days to do a credit card chargeback. I would call my credit card company immediately.
The problem is he isn't looking for a credit card chargeback. He is looking for someone to reimburse him for the $3000 additional ticket he had to buy last minute - this purchase was legitimate and can't be disputed.

ResearchMed
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:07 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:04 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:43 am
You generally only have 120 days to do a credit card chargeback. I would call my credit card company immediately.
The problem is he isn't looking for a credit card chargeback. He is looking for someone to reimburse him for the $3000 additional ticket he had to buy last minute - this purchase was legitimate and can't be disputed.
IF the charge was to one of the airlines for whom OP already had a ticket, then I'd dispute it.

If to a third airline, then... yes, that would be tricky, as Airline #3 was an innocent party to all of this.

But if it was airline #2, then let them fight with Expedia or Airline #1 to get the money that should be theirs.

IANAL, as should be obvious...

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

WL2034
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by WL2034 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:16 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:07 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:04 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:43 am
You generally only have 120 days to do a credit card chargeback. I would call my credit card company immediately.
The problem is he isn't looking for a credit card chargeback. He is looking for someone to reimburse him for the $3000 additional ticket he had to buy last minute - this purchase was legitimate and can't be disputed.
IF the charge was to one of the airlines for whom OP already had a ticket, then I'd dispute it.

If to a third airline, then... yes, that would be tricky, as Airline #3 was an innocent party to all of this.

But if it was airline #2, then let them fight with Expedia or Airline #1 to get the money that should be theirs.
This is what I think as well. Looking for clarification from OP regarding with which airline was the $3k one-way purchased.

Basically, if purchased ticket from Airline #3, I can't see a reason to contest that charge with airline #3. If that is the case:
1. Contest expedia charge if it is of higher or similar value.
2. If $3k >> initial expedia charge, essentially have to decide if it is worth trouble of threatening lawsuit / trying to recoup that money vs. contesting expedia charge and/or possibly getting some reimbursement or future travel vouchers from expedia. This is the most complicated, and likely the worst expected outcome situation, clearly.

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Pajamas
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Pajamas » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:18 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:04 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:43 am
You generally only have 120 days to do a credit card chargeback. I would call my credit card company immediately.
The problem is he isn't looking for a credit card chargeback. He is looking for someone to reimburse him for the $3000 additional ticket he had to buy last minute - this purchase was legitimate and can't be disputed.
There are two problems, a ticket paid for that wasn't accepted plus another ticket purchased to replace that one.

Is there any reason not to dispute the charge for the ticket that wasn't accepted before the deadline? I think he SHOULD be looking for a chargeback on that one.

It's going to be much more difficult to be reimbursed for the replacement ticket. It might even require filing in small claims court.

Nate79
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Nate79 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:29 pm

I would suggest to contact Clark Howard. He loves to go after these types of issues.

Angangang
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Angangang » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:30 pm

Something similar happened to me on Expedia. I bought my tickets through Expedia but smaller Airline #2 refused to give me a boarding pass on their partner Airline #1 because the code in their system did not indicate that Airline #1 would pay them for the flight. Calling Expedia yielded nothing but frustration. I had to buy tickets to get back to the US (over $3000) and then sort it out when I got home. I had Airline#2 employees give me documentation on the nature of the problem (including screen print outs)

I did eventually get the money from Expedia, and here is what I did:

1. I immediately filed a protest of the original charge with the credit card company as others have suggested. This will take a long time to sort out.

2. I did a little homework on Expedia, and I emailed the CEO. I knew his name and could figure out the naming conventions used by the company (jsmith @expedia.com vs. johnsmith@expedia.com). I was very polite and asked him to look into the issue. He emailed me back within two hours and assigned it to one of his assistants. She sorted it out over the next week or so, and I received a full refund.

Calling Expedia just lands you with a powerless customer service rep in India, I think. I got the impression that only something unconventional would get me my money back.

Good luck.

clemrick
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by clemrick » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:58 pm

sophie1 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:31 am
Among other issues, this sort of thing is deadly to Expedia's business model, if it becomes known that buying a ticket through them can leave you stranded in a foreign country. I would like to give them a bit more time to get back to me, but I'd say a month from initial contact and 3 weeks since I got through to Tier 3 is getting to be enough.
It hasn't hurt their business so far. If you go to the Air Travel forum at TripAdvisor you will find a lot of complaints against Expedia. They truly DO NOT care. No sense in giving them more time since they are waiting for you to just go away.

Cruise
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Cruise » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:40 pm

+1 re flyertalk.com. They have fora on chargebacks, Expedia, and every airline. Some have company reps who monitor.

TravelGeek
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:57 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:07 pm

IF the charge was to one of the airlines for whom OP already had a ticket, then I'd dispute it.

If to a third airline, then... yes, that would be tricky, as Airline #3 was an innocent party to all of this.

But if it was airline #2, then let them fight with Expedia or Airline #1 to get the money that should be theirs.

IANAL, as should be obvious...

RM
It may seem obvious and perhaps fair, but your are looking at two independent credit card transactions (potentially even made with two different cards/banks) with two different merchants. I doubt that the bank will do a chargeback on the second transaction, because there was nothing wrong with it (it wasn’t fraudulent, it wasn’t a duplicate, the product purchased was delivered).

Now, I know that the OP was effectively forced to buy that ticket due to a mistake made by what appears to be Expedia. They are the ones that need to fix this. They need to own this and make the OP whole.

I have had similar experiences with Travelocity (a subsidiary of Expedia). That was a long time ago and I no longer buy tickets from any of these OTAs. In my case I also learned that calling the airline directly to inquire about a problem often leads to an agent who is trained enough. Like the OP, I got the “nothing wrong with your ticket” reply from three different agents on the phone. The much more experienced ticketing agent at the airport knew immediately what was wrong.

basspond
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by basspond » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:15 pm

It sounds like all 4 parties were negligent. Expedia for the billing error, Airline 1 for not noticing payment for a fare they weren't providing, Airline 2 for not telling you there was an issue with your booking when you called, and you for not checking with Airline 2 after you made the arrangements to see that you were in their system.

I have been "stiffed" before on a trip and I have learned to check directly and weekly wth the airline to ensure I have a valid reservation/ticket and nothing on the flight has changed. Good luck with getting your money back.

sophie1
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by sophie1 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:30 pm

Some details to respond to the myriad excellent posts above:

- The airlines in question are Virgin Atlantic (#1) and Air France (#2).

- The original ticket was FAR lower in price than the ticket I had to buy in Paris to get home. I didn't want to contest the charge in Paris because in fact I bought the ticket of my own volition and flew on it, so the credit card company would probably see it as a valid charge. I have hesitated to charge the Expedia fare because I was afraid they'd tell me that this satisfied my claim. This is something I might go ahead and do though, so I can at least get that teeny bit of reimbursement & satisfaction.

- I did confirm the ticket and even called when I discovered I couldn't check in online (see original email). The airline didn't tell me about the problem when I called the day before. Luckily, all parties agree I wasn't negligent in any way.

- The latest from Tier 3 customer service at Expedia (what you get to when you email executives e.g. the CEO) is that they are pinning the blame on Virgin Atlantic, or trying to, and have filed a refund request with them. Which is going to go absolutely nowhere.

- Flyertalk.com is an excellent idea, I'll try there. So is the Haggler, except that the guy retired this past June. I am contemplating calling my lawyer, but not sure if $3K is enough for them to take it on and I'm not sure if a lawsuit can cover attorney fees.

- If you read the fine print on Expedia's contract, you'll see that you waive your right to small claims court and instead have to use arbitration, with the arbiter to be selected by Expedia. Needless to say, Expedia wins pretty much every time (or so I've heard).

- The person who said they're just waiting for me to go away: I'm afraid you're right.

TravelGeek
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:42 pm

sophie1 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:30 pm
- I did confirm the ticket and even called when I discovered I couldn't check in online (see original email). The airline didn't tell me about the problem when I called the day before. Luckily, all parties agree I wasn't negligent in any way.
You absolutely didn’t do anything wrong. You bought a ticket from a travel agent. You should expect that it gets issued properly. You even reconfirmed with the airline when you perceived that there might be a problem. You should expect that the airline’s representatives are able to determine if a ticket is issued correctly (alas, as I have learned, they don’t, and they are probably measured based on productivity - number of calls “handled” per hour - so there is no incentive for them to dive deep).

What you could have tried (and perhaps you did) is to call the travel agent who sold you the ticket from the airport in Paris when they weren’t let you check in. My gut feel is that they wouldn’t have resolved the issue in time for the flight. In any case, that’s not going to help now.

If the Haggler is out, perhaps try Christopher Elliot - http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/

You could also reach out to your local TV consumer reporters; in most markets they love to air stories like yours and contact “big evil companies” on your behalf.

mbres60
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by mbres60 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:34 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:42 pm
sophie1 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:30 pm
- I did confirm the ticket and even called when I discovered I couldn't check in online (see original email). The airline didn't tell me about the problem when I called the day before. Luckily, all parties agree I wasn't negligent in any way.
You absolutely didn’t do anything wrong. You bought a ticket from a travel agent. You should expect that it gets issued properly. You even reconfirmed with the airline when you perceived that there might be a problem. You should expect that the airline’s representatives are able to determine if a ticket is issued correctly (alas, as I have learned, they don’t, and they are probably measured based on productivity - number of calls “handled” per hour - so there is no incentive for them to dive deep).

What you could have tried (and perhaps you did) is to call the travel agent who sold you the ticket from the airport in Paris when they weren’t let you check in. My gut feel is that they wouldn’t have resolved the issue in time for the flight. In any case, that’s not going to help now.

If the Haggler is out, perhaps try Christopher Elliot - http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/

You could also reach out to your local TV consumer reporters; in most markets they love to air stories like yours and contact “big evil companies” on your behalf.
I too was going to suggest Christoper Elliot. His travel troubleshooter column always deals with things like this and he always states that you can go to his website and get contact info for higher ups in the company. I looked at the link and you would click on Travel Agency.

sophie1
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by sophie1 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:11 am

I tried to post on flyertalk, but my post is still being "moderated". The forum looks like it mostly deals with travel tips, how to get frequent flier miles etc. Not sure this is their cup of tea which is probably why my post is being blocked.

Christopher Elliott's website looks hopeful - I've written to them. I also found a local (WABC-TV NY) station with a consumer advocate, so I'll send something there. Meanwhile, I'm liking the idea of disputing the credit card charges, despite my earlier concerns. It seems the best possibility for getting at least some of my money back. Any reason why I shouldn't try this? I figured I'll just contest everything and see what happens.

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Pajamas
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by Pajamas » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:21 am

sophie1 wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:11 am
I tried to post on flyertalk, but my post is still being "moderated". The forum looks like it mostly deals with travel tips, how to get frequent flier miles etc. Not sure this is their cup of tea which is probably why my post is being blocked.
Your post there is being likely being held for review to prevent spam because you are newly-registered on the site and your post had certain keywords or other triggers:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/technic ... ssing.html

sophie1
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by sophie1 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:46 am

There were no links in my post on flyertalk. I can only assume it's not spam they're concerned about, but potential legal implications and also the implied criticism of two major airlines and a popular online travel agency.

If it appears great, if not, nothing lost but I guess flyertalk won't be one of my forum habits.

TravelGeek
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:56 am

Which forum did you post it to? They have so many, it can sometimes be difficult to pick the right one. The moderators there don’t mind or hesitate to move it to another forum; what they generally dislike is if people post the same thing to multiple forums (so don’t be tempted to do that).

I don’t think the are concerned about liability in a case like this. It is pretty common to see these types of problems discussed there.

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lthenderson
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by lthenderson » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:18 am

sophie1 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:31 am
If it were $100 or so, I'd give up now and move on. But for $3,000, I'm willing to push some more.
I'm assuming you were reimbursed by Expedia for the flight on airline 2 that never happened. So this isn't about $3000. This is about the difference in the refund and the $3000 which is probably a much smaller number. I would try pursuing some of the suggestions above until it became too much of an emotional burden and then just chalk it up as a life lesson and move on.

DVMResident
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by DVMResident » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:38 am

soupcxan wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:39 am
File complaint with DOT and dispute the original charges with your CC.
+1 the only way I've had any success. Happened to me twice. Have spent hours on the phone with "customer service" while screen shots of the purchase, e-mail confirmation, and they didn't care. CC dispute is the way to go.

sophie1
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by sophie1 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:38 am

OK, I've disputed the original charge, which may get me a bit of compensation. I'd already filed the DOT complaint twice, because you can only tag one entity at a time. It'll be nice if the consumer advocates can work a miracle but we'll see.

So, lessons learned:

#1: NEVER buy an air ticket through a third party. It adds a layer of complication to an already complicated system, thus increasing the chances of something bad happening. It also allows a situation where the agent + airline can toss the blame back and forth forever, since there is no clearly delineated responsibility that can be assigned to one party. Sorry Expedia, but you simply should not exist.

#2: if something bad does happen: Forget about calling customer service once the expense has been incurred. The job of phone reps is to say no, and they are very, very good at their job. Also, you need a paper trail for a consumer advocate to follow. Use written communications only and make sure you get written responses.

Now if I can only get my $300 back from the cat sitter who lost my (labeled) keys, after I had to change the locks. Honestly, I feel like it would be easier to just fill a bucket with $20's and toss it out the window.

maroon
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by maroon » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:51 am

Sorry to hear of your troubles and I hope this is resolved soon. Yes, I agree it's a risk to use 3rd party booking sites. I've always booked flights directly from the airlines, but I've booked hotel rooms via Hotwire and once ended up with no room (hotel was fully booked and had no record of my reservation, even though I had the Hotwire confirmation #).

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flossy21
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by flossy21 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:57 am

I'd get the press involved. Try something like The New York Times, USA Today or The Wall Street Journal.

As you said the bad press from this is worth much more than the cost to reimburse you for the ticket.

Use that lever on them.

seawolf21
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by seawolf21 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:49 pm

sophie1 wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:38 am
OK, I've disputed the original charge, which may get me a bit of compensation. I'd already filed the DOT complaint twice, because you can only tag one entity at a time. It'll be nice if the consumer advocates can work a miracle but we'll see.

So, lessons learned:

#1: NEVER buy an air ticket through a third party. It adds a layer of complication to an already complicated system, thus increasing the chances of something bad happening. It also allows a situation where the agent + airline can toss the blame back and forth forever, since there is no clearly delineated responsibility that can be assigned to one party. Sorry Expedia, but you simply should not exist.

#2: if something bad does happen: Forget about calling customer service once the expense has been incurred. The job of phone reps is to say no, and they are very, very good at their job. Also, you need a paper trail for a consumer advocate to follow. Use written communications only and make sure you get written responses.

Now if I can only get my $300 back from the cat sitter who lost my (labeled) keys, after I had to change the locks. Honestly, I feel like it would be easier to just fill a bucket with $20's and toss it out the window.
Based on your prior posts, my understanding is you purchased a ticket on Expedia for Virgin Atlantic (VS) to London and Air France (AF) from Paris.

I would gather up the following:
EXPEDIA - There should have been an email with subject "Expedia travel confirmation - MONTH DATE - (Itinerary # XXXXXXXXXXXXX)". The contents of the email should list the Confirmation number(s), ticket number(s), itinerary, and Price Summary.

Does this email list both flights? How many confirmation number(s) were there? How many ticket number(s) were there? The ticket number is 13 digits in length. What are the first 3 digits?

CREDIT CARD STATEMENT - How many credit card charges were there? What was the merchant name? Was credit card AMEX, MC, VISA, or something else?

The point of this to confirm how many tickets Expedia issued per passenger. I'm expecting only one ticket per passenger and the first 3 digit of the ticket number begins with 932.

basspond wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:15 pm
It sounds like all 4 parties were negligent. Expedia for the billing error, Airline 1 for not noticing payment for a fare they weren't providing, Airline 2 for not telling you there was an issue with your booking when you called, and you for not checking with Airline 2 after you made the arrangements to see that you were in their system.

I have been "stiffed" before on a trip and I have learned to check directly and weekly wth the airline to ensure I have a valid reservation/ticket and nothing on the flight has changed. Good luck with getting your money back.
A bit premature making such statements without knowing what went down or how interline settlement system works (self-evident from your post).

Airline 1 can not be negligent the way you describe because that is not how airline interline settlement works. OP also stated she checked with Airline 2 and confirmed she was in “the system” which was also confirmed by the blame you place on Airline 2 when they were able to find “the booking.”

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whodidntante
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by whodidntante » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:44 pm

I bought a ticket to Europe through a travel agent on multiple airlines. The same thing happened to me. I went to check in and they had no record of my ticket. I called the travel agent and handed my phone to the airline employee. They talked for 30 minutes and then she handed me a boarding pass. I didn't care what the explanation was.

In your spot I would have tried the same. Once you reach for your credit card you have a new problem. I would even stay an extra day if needed. Europe isn't that bad.

sophie1
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by sophie1 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:19 am

Update: I was surprised to get an email from Virgin Atlantic stating that my return ticket had been cancelled due to a "system glitch" and that they would reimburse me for the extra one-way ticket I bought at Paris Orly. It pairs nicely with the earlier email from them saying it's Expedia's problem. This explanation is likely oversimplified as it doesn't explain why I was able to confirm the invalid ticket online and by phone, but that's not really my concern.

What is concerning is the effort that was required to get the airline (and/or Expedia) to do the right thing. I pulled out all the stops as far as the free/easy options: phone calls, complaints submitted via web forms and by direct email to company executives, DOT complaints, and contacting a consumer advocate (Elliott.org) who went two rounds with Expedia and the airlines. Of these, the DOT complaint and consumer advocate were the most effective measures, as both of those were mentioned in the email.

The direct email to company executives at Expedia may have helped, because they filed the initial refund request with the airline. However, they were always careful to communicate important information only by phone. The web form complaints served to document the incident and create a paper trail, since those get email responses with case numbers. The phone calls to low level reps and supervisors were a complete waste of time, as you not only get brushed off but you have nothing in writing to show for the hours spent.

Interestingly, I expected them to throw in a little extra, like frequent flier miles or something. If they're annoyed about the DOT filing and the fact that the case will appear on the Elliot.org website, well, they only have themselves to blame. I wouldn't have had to punish them like that if they'd been more responsive in the first place.

ResearchMed
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Re: Invalid airline ticket, seeking reimbursement

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:30 am

sophie1 wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:19 am
Update: I was surprised to get an email from Virgin Atlantic stating that my return ticket had been cancelled due to a "system glitch" and that they would reimburse me for the extra one-way ticket I bought at Paris Orly. It pairs nicely with the earlier email from them saying it's Expedia's problem. This explanation is likely oversimplified as it doesn't explain why I was able to confirm the invalid ticket online and by phone, but that's not really my concern.

What is concerning is the effort that was required to get the airline (and/or Expedia) to do the right thing. I pulled out all the stops as far as the free/easy options: phone calls, complaints submitted via web forms and by direct email to company executives, DOT complaints, and contacting a consumer advocate (Elliott.org) who went two rounds with Expedia and the airlines. Of these, the DOT complaint and consumer advocate were the most effective measures, as both of those were mentioned in the email.

The direct email to company executives at Expedia may have helped, because they filed the initial refund request with the airline. However, they were always careful to communicate important information only by phone. The web form complaints served to document the incident and create a paper trail, since those get email responses with case numbers. The phone calls to low level reps and supervisors were a complete waste of time, as you not only get brushed off but you have nothing in writing to show for the hours spent.

Interestingly, I expected them to throw in a little extra, like frequent flier miles or something. If they're annoyed about the DOT filing and the fact that the case will appear on the Elliot.org website, well, they only have themselves to blame. I wouldn't have had to punish them like that if they'd been more responsive in the first place.
Thank you for the update.
And also for including the specific "assistance sources" that they cited, in terms of trying to figure out what in the world can help in situations like this.

At least you *did* get your money back.
Given the amount, that's a relief.

About the phone calls vs. email/written documentation... I *always* try my best to avoid phone calls these days, with vendors, although it isn't always easy to do that. I want those email trails, although "just because" a rep writes that they will "do something" (even if only to contact a supervisor or different department)... that doesn't necessarily mean what one might hope. At least, not without some arguing :annoyed
But that's a lot easier with written communication than, "I spoke with a woman on <date/time> who refused to give me her name, rep number, location, etc."...

Good news!

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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