Airline refusing to issue refunds

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rm
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Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by rm » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:53 pm

we had booked a spring break flight to nyc in feb early. united airlines

now we were ask for a refund. instead airline willing to only give credit. They re-routed the flights but said that's still a valid connection/flight.

Anyone have similar experience converting from credit to refund?

student
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by student » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:15 pm

If they are not cancelling or changed it "sufficiently" enough, I do not know there is much you can do. See viewtopic.php?f=11&t=309791 for a recent discussion.

e5116
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by e5116 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:23 pm

United is not refunding tickets even for flights they cancel, let alone changed flights. They are the only major carrier doing that and instead offering flight credit. It is possible that after the flight credit expires, they may refund at that time. I have the same issue, including for an award flight where they won’t redeposit the miles for free.

See flyer talk thread for more info: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united- ... ds-48.html

virginiabirdie
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by virginiabirdie » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:59 am

They also reserved the right to charge a change fee at a later date when you rebook, despite "waiving" any cancellation charges. I cannot stand them. Alas, they are the major carrier at our local airport.

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sperry8
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by sperry8 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:04 am

DOT rules require a refund:

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

"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."

If they are not doing it send a complaint to the DOT. https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm
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roadking2615
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by roadking2615 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:10 am

Some airlines are issuing refunds, and some are not. We had separate trips planned on both American Airlines and United this month. American issued us a refund (which I was pleasantly surprised about), and United issued us a credit.

spectec
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by spectec » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:14 am

Also worth remembering how the airlines treated their customers during this crisis when choosing a carrier in the future, once things return to a more normal state. My personal experience with both American Airlines and Emirates was completely positive.
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seawolf21
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:34 am

rm wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:53 pm
we had booked a spring break flight to nyc in feb early. united airlines

now we were ask for a refund. instead airline willing to only give credit. They re-routed the flights but said that's still a valid connection/flight.

Anyone have similar experience converting from credit to refund?
Current guidance on UA on when refunds are allowed. Getting an agent to understand these guidance is the tricky part.
  • If schedule change > 6 hours (or cancellation with no rebook) on wholly DOMESTIC reservations, a refund is allowed.
  • If schedule change > 6 hours (or cancellation with no rebook) on INTERNATIONAL reservations, refund is allowed only after expiration of original ticket validity (12 months from original ticket issue date).
  • For flights departing European Union, UA is required to provide a refund within 7 days upon passenger request for cancellation or schedule change in excess of 5 hours
The problem is front line agents have been instructed to push for the credit and have been mislead by leadership into misleading customers into that a refund is not an option.

You can also file a dispute with your credit card under "Services not received" if original flight is cancelled but if your itinerary matches one of the criteria above, I would try again to get a refund from UA first before calling your credit card issuer.

MikeG62
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:39 am

e5116 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:23 pm
United is not refunding tickets even for flights they cancel, let alone changed flights. They are the only major carrier doing that and instead offering flight credit. It is possible that after the flight credit expires, they may refund at that time. I have the same issue, including for an award flight where they won’t redeposit the miles for free.

See flyer talk thread for more info: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united- ... ds-48.html
In the same boat with United. Had an airfare for a trip to Aruba in April. Called to cancel that as soon as they announced they were waiving cancellation fees (this was around mid-march). They gave me a credit which I need to use to book a flight within one year from the date the original flight was booked (in my case by mid-July). Since voluntarily cancelling, it appears United has officially cancelled that flight. Have not bothered to call them back to ask for a refund because of what I have been reading online (i.e., even people with open reservations where flights are cancelled by United aren't getting refunds).

Yesterday got this e-mail on another flight I have with them.

"We look forward to welcoming you on board for your flight to Hamilton, Bermuda on May XX, 2020. However, we also understand that your plans may have changed, and we want to remind you that you have flexibility. You can change your flight to a date up to 12 months from your original ticket issue date or cancel your ticket and retain the credit for future use, both without a change fee. If you aren’t planning to fly, please change or cancel your flight now to avoid losing the value of your ticket."

For this one I am inclined to wait to see if they cancel it. Feel like I'd be in a somewhat stronger position to request a refund.

I am hopeful that if I can't use the voucher on the Aruba flight by mid-July and/or the one I might get if they cancel but won't refund my Bermuda flight (and can't use it either within one-year from the date I bought that one) United will ultimately issue me refunds. I'm not too bothered by their holding the funds until the one-year mark passes, as long as I don't lose the voucher because it expires unused. Who knows with United as they have apparently changed their cancellation policy four times in the last month (see here):

https://onemileatatime.com/united-airli ... -one-year/

Other airlines appear to be more customer friendly with regard to issuing refunds on cancelled flights. Sadly, United is the main player (by a wide margin) serving the airport closest to our house.
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8foot7
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:56 am

They are obligated by law to give you a refund if they cancel your previously booked flight.
If you proactively cancel, otherwise agree to a credit, or re-route, then you are not entitled by law to a refund (unless your re-routed/changed itinerary ends up being cancelled by the airline as well).
Very little reason to call in and do anything proactive if you aren't imminently traveling (which, let's be honest, you should not be). Wait until 72-96 hours out before you pull the cancel trigger to see if their constant schedule reductions impact your flights.
If they refuse a refund on an itinerary that involves flights they cancelled, open a dispute/chargeback with your card provider.

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8foot7
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:08 am

I'll note if UA is that hard up for cash, offering a substantial bonus (20%+) on a voucher as well as removing expiration dates on the vouchers during this period would probably help them quite a bit. As it is they are trying to keep your money at a 0% loan and then hope you forget about it and the "loan" will be forgiven via voucher expiration breakage. If I had a choice between a refund of my $400 flight I booked last December, or a $500 voucher that never expired, my decision might be different than the current choices of a dollar-for-dollar refund vs. a $400 voucher I have to use in the next seven months.

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sperry8
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by sperry8 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:19 am

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:56 am
They are obligated by law to give you a refund if they cancel your previously booked flight.
If you proactively cancel, otherwise agree to a credit, or re-route, then you are not entitled by law to a refund (unless your re-routed/changed itinerary ends up being cancelled by the airline as well).
Very little reason to call in and do anything proactive if you aren't imminently traveling (which, let's be honest, you should not be). Wait until 72-96 hours out before you pull the cancel trigger to see if their constant schedule reductions impact your flights.
If they refuse a refund on an itinerary that involves flights they cancelled, open a dispute/chargeback with your card provider.
AND put in a complaint with the DOT: https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm
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student
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by student » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:25 am

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:08 am
I'll note if UA is that hard up for cash, offering a substantial bonus (20%+) on a voucher as well as removing expiration dates on the vouchers during this period would probably help them quite a bit. As it is they are trying to keep your money at a 0% loan and then hope you forget about it and the "loan" will be forgiven via voucher expiration breakage. If I had a choice between a refund of my $400 flight I booked last December, or a $500 voucher that never expired, my decision might be different than the current choices of a dollar-for-dollar refund vs. a $400 voucher I have to use in the next seven months.
+1.

seawolf21
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:28 am

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:08 am
I'll note if UA is that hard up for cash, offering a substantial bonus (20%+) on a voucher as well as removing expiration dates on the vouchers during this period would probably help them quite a bit. As it is they are trying to keep your money at a 0% loan and then hope you forget about it and the "loan" will be forgiven via voucher expiration breakage. If I had a choice between a refund of my $400 flight I booked last December, or a $500 voucher that never expired, my decision might be different than the current choices of a dollar-for-dollar refund vs. a $400 voucher I have to use in the next seven months.
It's been reported that AA is now doing just that but still offering passenger a choice between refund on a voucher with a bonus.

seawolf21
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:29 am

US DOT position from 2011 concerning cancelled flights and refunds (page 23129)
We reject some carriers’ and carrier associations’ assertions that carriers are not required to refund a passenger’s fare when a flight is cancelled if the carrier can accommodate the passenger with other transportation options after the cancellation. We find it to be manifestly unfair for a carrier to fail to provide the transportation contracted for and then to refuse to provide a refund if the passenger finds the offered rerouting unacceptable (e.g., greatly delayed or otherwise inconvenient) and he or she no longer wishes to travel. Since at least the time of an Industry Letter of July 15, 1996 (see http://airconsumer.dot.gov/ rules/guidance) the Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office has advised carriers that refusing to refund a non-refundable fare when a flight is canceled and the passenger wishes to cancel is a violation of 49 U.S.C. 41712 (unfair or deceptive practices) and would subject a carrier to enforcement action.
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR- ... df#page=20

Bigt3142
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Bigt3142 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:36 am

My guess when I opened this was that it was United Airlines. My Delta cancellation to simple. That's why I fly Delta.

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8foot7
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:39 am

Bigt3142 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:36 am
My guess when I opened this was that it was United Airlines. My Delta cancellation to simple. That's why I fly Delta.
As I understand it if you don't take your Delta flight and don't cancel it before it takes off, they are just crediting the value of the flight to a voucher instead of you losing the money. That's customer-friendly.

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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Bigt3142 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:54 am

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:39 am
As I understand it if you don't take your Delta flight and don't cancel it before it takes off, they are just crediting the value of the flight to a voucher instead of you losing the money. That's customer-friendly.
They're very customer friendly. Their stocks are also on sale right now. :beer

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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by EddyB » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:16 am

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:56 am
They are obligated by law to give you a refund if they cancel your previously booked flight.
If you proactively cancel, otherwise agree to a credit, or re-route, then you are not entitled by law to a refund (unless your re-routed/changed itinerary ends up being cancelled by the airline as well).
Very little reason to call in and do anything proactive if you aren't imminently traveling (which, let's be honest, you should not be). Wait until 72-96 hours out before you pull the cancel trigger to see if their constant schedule reductions impact your flights.
If they refuse a refund on an itinerary that involves flights they cancelled, open a dispute/chargeback with your card provider.
At first, they seemed to be implementing a reasonable policy (although different than their own policy when most people bought tickets) in combination with honest, advance admission of cancellations. Are they now leaving the “schedule” unchanged until the last minute, notwithstanding that they know they’re not going to fly it? That’s what it looks like for some trips I have scheduled. So I could “voluntarily” cancel now if I want to reschedule the trip on the same airline (that has revealed its unreasonable policies) or wait until the last minute for the airline to cancel, if I want to schedule the trip on another airline without being double out of pocket.

seawolf21
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:23 am

EddyB wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:16 am
8foot7 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:56 am
They are obligated by law to give you a refund if they cancel your previously booked flight.
If you proactively cancel, otherwise agree to a credit, or re-route, then you are not entitled by law to a refund (unless your re-routed/changed itinerary ends up being cancelled by the airline as well).
Very little reason to call in and do anything proactive if you aren't imminently traveling (which, let's be honest, you should not be). Wait until 72-96 hours out before you pull the cancel trigger to see if their constant schedule reductions impact your flights.
If they refuse a refund on an itinerary that involves flights they cancelled, open a dispute/chargeback with your card provider.
At first, they seemed to be implementing a reasonable policy (although different than their own policy when most people bought tickets) in combination with honest, advance admission of cancellations. Are they now leaving the “schedule” unchanged until the last minute, notwithstanding that they know they’re not going to fly it? That’s what it looks like for some trips I have scheduled. So I could “voluntarily” cancel now if I want to reschedule the trip on the same airline (that has revealed its unreasonable policies) or wait until the last minute for the airline to cancel, if I want to schedule the trip on another airline without being double out of pocket.
They are not cancelling in advance because the situation is fluid between balancing passenger load, and scheduling aircrew/ground crew/equipment.

The complex forecasting models airlines have developed for decades is currently out the door. Certainty between the various factors in prior sentence is only being firmed up within a couple of days prior to departure. The most unpredictable piece is passenger load.

Example, airlines used to be able to predict with certainty they will fly 1,000 people a day between two cities and scheduled a 777 and aircrew qualified to operate the 777. Now, that same route only has 50 people booked but those 50 passengers is decreasing closer to departure. It would not make to fly a 777 for 50 people when a smaller jet will do. Switching to a smaller jet involves making sure the aircrew qualified to operate the smaller jet is going to be in place at the appropriate time to operate that flight

rich126
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by rich126 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:35 am

EddyB wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:16 am
8foot7 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:56 am
They are obligated by law to give you a refund if they cancel your previously booked flight.
If you proactively cancel, otherwise agree to a credit, or re-route, then you are not entitled by law to a refund (unless your re-routed/changed itinerary ends up being cancelled by the airline as well).
Very little reason to call in and do anything proactive if you aren't imminently traveling (which, let's be honest, you should not be). Wait until 72-96 hours out before you pull the cancel trigger to see if their constant schedule reductions impact your flights.
If they refuse a refund on an itinerary that involves flights they cancelled, open a dispute/chargeback with your card provider.
At first, they seemed to be implementing a reasonable policy (although different than their own policy when most people bought tickets) in combination with honest, advance admission of cancellations. Are they now leaving the “schedule” unchanged until the last minute, notwithstanding that they know they’re not going to fly it? That’s what it looks like for some trips I have scheduled. So I could “voluntarily” cancel now if I want to reschedule the trip on the same airline (that has revealed its unreasonable policies) or wait until the last minute for the airline to cancel, if I want to schedule the trip on another airline without being double out of pocket.
They may be obligated by law to refund flights they cancel but many are NOT refunding the money. There are numerous articles discussing this, for example -
https://crankyflier.com/2020/03/26/when ... sequences/
https://viewfromthewing.com/airlines-ar ... d-flights/

Or in Canada -
Air Canada, WestJet, and other Canadian airlines are facing a potential class-action lawsuit for not offering refunds to the thousands of people who are owed money for flights that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/epg9 ... cellations

When things go bad, people and companies often ignore rules, laws, etc. That is why you need to be careful. People buying all these gift cards from local business is a nice idea in thought but you should consider it a donation since more than a few won't be around to redeem the gift card.

And success on credit card chargebacks vary.

Lalamimi
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Lalamimi » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:41 am

I cancelled our United flight March 21, and promptly received the points back into my Mileage account, and the small fees for luggage and upgrade. Just discovered I was charged the $125 each Redeposit Fee on the points. This is going to be a fun day. Sent email first.

student
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by student » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:50 am

rich126 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:35 am
Or in Canada -
Air Canada, WestJet, and other Canadian airlines are facing a potential class-action lawsuit for not offering refunds to the thousands of people who are owed money for flights that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/epg9 ... cellations

When things go bad, people and companies often ignore rules, laws, etc. That is why you need to be careful. People buying all these gift cards from local business is a nice idea in thought but you should consider it a donation since more than a few won't be around to redeem the gift card.

And success on credit card chargebacks vary.
Canada has decided to side with the airlines. https://otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/statement-vouchers

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siamond
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by siamond » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:03 am

rich126 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:35 am
They may be obligated by law to refund flights they cancel but many are NOT refunding the money. There are numerous articles discussing this, for example -
https://crankyflier.com/2020/03/26/when ... sequences/
https://viewfromthewing.com/airlines-ar ... d-flights/

Or in Canada -
Air Canada, WestJet, and other Canadian airlines are facing a potential class-action lawsuit for not offering refunds to the thousands of people who are owed money for flights that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/epg9 ... cellations
Thank you for sharing. This was informative and eye-opening.

So far, my approach is to wait until 48hr before a scheduled flight (unfortunately, between all members of my family, we have a handful of flights that were scheduled way in advance) and re-assess between asking for credit (which is not terribly likely to be useful down the road) or trying to scream for refund. Things are so fluid that I'd rather not speculate beyond that. First one on Apr 16th... :?

TootsieWolf
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by TootsieWolf » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:09 am

Did you cancel online or on the phone?
Lalamimi wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:41 am
I cancelled our United flight March 21, and promptly received the points back into my Mileage account, and the small fees for luggage and upgrade. Just discovered I was charged the $125 each Redeposit Fee on the points. This is going to be a fun day. Sent email first.

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amp
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by amp » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:12 pm

sperry8 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:04 am
DOT rules require a refund:

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

"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."

If they are not doing it send a complaint to the DOT. https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm
May I suggest that in addition to filing a DOT complaint those affected also write to their senator and/or congressman? In light of the huge bailout that was just passed, it cannot have been Congress's intent for United and other airlines to turn around and stiff their customers in violation of the regulations.

I'm waiting to see how this plays out as I have an international flight coming up in mid-May that will almost certainly be canceled. I certainly don't want a credit that may become worthless if and when the airline goes bankrupt.

e5116
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by e5116 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:49 pm

United seems to be loosening some of its policies. They are now waiving redeposit fees for award tickets and I was actually able to get a refund on a domestic flight but it only qualified because the arrival time had changed by >6 hours. If the flight change is less than that or it's an international flight, would have only been able to get travel credit. Luckily it was a 10-hour direct domestic flight that got changed to a connection that would land 7 hours later than originally planned. :)

Still seems like United is being the strictest and perhaps are not following DOT guidelines. I would first submit a refund request through the United website though, and then if that gets rejected, you can submit a DOT complaint:
https://www.united.com/en/us/refunds

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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by aristotelian » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:10 pm

amp wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:12 pm
sperry8 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:04 am
DOT rules require a refund:

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

"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."

If they are not doing it send a complaint to the DOT. https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm
May I suggest that in addition to filing a DOT complaint those affected also write to their senator and/or congressman? In light of the huge bailout that was just passed, it cannot have been Congress's intent for United and other airlines to turn around and stiff their customers in violation of the regulations.

I'm waiting to see how this plays out as I have an international flight coming up in mid-May that will almost certainly be canceled. I certainly don't want a credit that may become worthless if and when the airline goes bankrupt.
Of course, customers demanding refunds for nonrefundable tickets may be what forces them to declare bankruptcy!

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amp
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by amp » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:15 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:10 pm

Of course, customers demanding refunds for nonrefundable tickets may be what forces them to declare bankruptcy!
These are tickets where the airline canceled the flight. They are obliged to return your money if they can't fulfill their side of the contract. Whether the tickets were bought as refundable or nonrefundable is irrelevant.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by tennisplyr » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:41 pm

Seems that some senators are putting pressure on airlines for cash refunds given they will be getting significant government support. It's awful that we've paid them a lot of money and are getting nothing in return. In my world that's called thievery.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

Golfalot
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Golfalot » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:03 pm

We’ve had to cancel a couple Delta flights lately and have had no luck getting cash refunds. The only exception was two of our tickets that were purchased using Delta sky miles. For those 2 tickets, the miles were re-deposited back to our sky miles account, which is all I was expecting.

For the other tickets, I tried my hardest to talk my way into a cash refund, but since the flights weren’t canceled nor were flight times changed by more than 90 minutes, the only thing their policy allows them to do is give you a credit voucher for a future Delta flight purchase.

The rub with the credit is the credits are not transferable to another person (so can’t give them to my kids) and have to be used within 12 months of the date off the ticket purchase/issuance. We purchased our tickets for a trip I cancelled today back on 10/1/2019. So the credit has to be used by 10/1/2020. I was able to get them to extend the credit until 12/31/2020 by speaking to a supervisor, but personally I felt it would be more fair if the 12 month timeline started the date that you cancelled the trip (would be a little more consumer friendly).

simas
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by simas » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:36 pm

e5116 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:49 pm
United seems to be loosening some of its policies. They are now waiving redeposit fees for award tickets and I was actually able to get a refund on a domestic flight but it only qualified because the arrival time had changed by >6 hours. If the flight change is less than that or it's an international flight, would have only been able to get travel credit. Luckily it was a 10-hour direct domestic flight that got changed to a connection that would land 7 hours later than originally planned. :)

Still seems like United is being the strictest and perhaps are not following DOT guidelines. I would first submit a refund request through the United website though, and then if that gets rejected, you can submit a DOT complaint:
https://www.united.com/en/us/refunds
where do you see the waving of the redeposit fees?? I had the redeposit fee charged and my request for refund denied.

seawolf21
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Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:59 pm

Golfalot wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:03 pm
We’ve had to cancel a couple Delta flights lately and have had no luck getting cash refunds. The only exception was two of our tickets that were purchased using Delta sky miles. For those 2 tickets, the miles were re-deposited back to our sky miles account, which is all I was expecting.

For the other tickets, I tried my hardest to talk my way into a cash refund, but since the flights weren’t canceled nor were flight times changed by more than 90 minutes, the only thing their policy allows them to do is give you a credit voucher for a future Delta flight purchase.

The rub with the credit is the credits are not transferable to another person (so can’t give them to my kids) and have to be used within 12 months of the date off the ticket purchase/issuance. We purchased our tickets for a trip I cancelled today back on 10/1/2019. So the credit has to be used by 10/1/2020. I was able to get them to extend the credit until 12/31/2020 by speaking to a supervisor, but personally I felt it would be more fair if the 12 month timeline started the date that you cancelled the trip (would be a little more consumer friendly).
Tried Twitter and post the following

https://pro.delta.com/content/agency/us ... olicy.html

Schedule changes in excess of 90 minutes qualify for refund.

TravelGeek
Posts: 3586
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:02 pm

simas wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:36 pm

where do you see the waving of the redeposit fees?? I had the redeposit fee charged and my request for refund denied.
I saw it on Twitter this morning. Don’t recall who posted it, but a google search found this:

https://thepointsguy.com/news/united-wa ... osit-fees/

e5116
Posts: 524
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:22 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by e5116 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:03 pm

simas wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:36 pm
e5116 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:49 pm
United seems to be loosening some of its policies. They are now waiving redeposit fees for award tickets and I was actually able to get a refund on a domestic flight but it only qualified because the arrival time had changed by >6 hours. If the flight change is less than that or it's an international flight, would have only been able to get travel credit. Luckily it was a 10-hour direct domestic flight that got changed to a connection that would land 7 hours later than originally planned. :)

Still seems like United is being the strictest and perhaps are not following DOT guidelines. I would first submit a refund request through the United website though, and then if that gets rejected, you can submit a DOT complaint:
https://www.united.com/en/us/refunds
where do you see the waving of the redeposit fees?? I had the redeposit fee charged and my request for refund denied.
It's anecdotal and not a written policy, but check the flyertalk United forum. There has definitely been a change in policy in the last day or so. Not sure when they rejected your refund but may have been processed before it OR once they charge it, they don't go back... Note that it does need to be for a reservation before end of May.

TravelGeek
Posts: 3586
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:14 pm

Golfalot wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:03 pm
We’ve had to cancel a couple Delta flights lately and have had no luck getting cash refunds. The only exception was two of our tickets that were purchased using Delta sky miles. For those 2 tickets, the miles were re-deposited back to our sky miles account, which is all I was expecting.

For the other tickets, I tried my hardest to talk my way into a cash refund, but since the flights weren’t canceled nor were flight times changed by more than 90 minutes, the only thing their policy allows them to do is give you a credit voucher for a future Delta flight purchase.

The rub with the credit is the credits are not transferable to another person (so can’t give them to my kids) and have to be used within 12 months of the date off the ticket purchase/issuance. We purchased our tickets for a trip I cancelled today back on 10/1/2019. So the credit has to be used by 10/1/2020. I was able to get them to extend the credit until 12/31/2020 by speaking to a supervisor, but personally I felt it would be more fair if the 12 month timeline started the date that you cancelled the trip (would be a little more consumer friendly).
Well, to be honest, while I think it isn’t fair if airlines don’t follow DOT rules for refunds for cancelled flights, I can understand that airlines may not want to offer cash refunds for flights that actually operate. Giving full future travel credit is already more than they are required to do based on the fare rules for non-refundable tickets. I received such credit for a booking I chose to cancel. In my case it was Alaska, and their wallet credit isn’t tied to a particular traveler (unlike Delta eCredits).

Delta was generous to refund my miles for an award flight without collecting the redeposit fee, which also was above and beyond the requirement at the time I cancelled (the flight was still scheduled to operate, but was later cancelled).

jackholloway
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by jackholloway » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:04 am

I had a flight in early April on AA. It vanished from their website a few days ago, but was not officially cancelled. I called 72 hours before, and then filed for a card refund. We will see in seven days whether they do credit my card, but I expect they will if they do not go under.

They did offer a voucher for 20% more than the refund, but I am not sure what travel will look like next year.

bitmouse
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:35 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by bitmouse » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:11 am

sperry8 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:04 am
DOT rules require a refund:

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

"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."

If they are not doing it send a complaint to the DOT. https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm
Does anyone know if DOT rules apply when the flight is with a foreign airline (Lufthansa) when the flight is from EU to US, paid with American CC (if that matters)?

student
Posts: 4809
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by student » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:28 am

bitmouse wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:11 am
sperry8 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:04 am
DOT rules require a refund:

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

"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."

If they are not doing it send a complaint to the DOT. https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm
Does anyone know if DOT rules apply when the flight is with a foreign airline (Lufthansa) when the flight is from EU to US, paid with American CC (if that matters)?
My understanding is that EU rules apply, which should be at least as good as US.

matt1882
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:24 pm

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by matt1882 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:52 am

Regardless of what the DOT guidelines/regulations provide, United is bound by contract to provide a refund in the event of a flight that United itself cancels. See Rule 27 of United's contract of carriage, which is available at https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/co ... cm:76-6646

If United refuses to honor the contract, you can sue them in small-claims court, and you can seek treble damages if your state's consumer protection statute provides for such damages.
e5116 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:03 pm
simas wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:36 pm
e5116 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:49 pm
United seems to be loosening some of its policies. They are now waiving redeposit fees for award tickets and I was actually able to get a refund on a domestic flight but it only qualified because the arrival time had changed by >6 hours. If the flight change is less than that or it's an international flight, would have only been able to get travel credit. Luckily it was a 10-hour direct domestic flight that got changed to a connection that would land 7 hours later than originally planned. :)

Still seems like United is being the strictest and perhaps are not following DOT guidelines. I would first submit a refund request through the United website though, and then if that gets rejected, you can submit a DOT complaint:
https://www.united.com/en/us/refunds
where do you see the waving of the redeposit fees?? I had the redeposit fee charged and my request for refund denied.
It's anecdotal and not a written policy, but check the flyertalk United forum. There has definitely been a change in policy in the last day or so. Not sure when they rejected your refund but may have been processed before it OR once they charge it, they don't go back... Note that it does need to be for a reservation before end of May.

seawolf21
Posts: 605
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:51 am

bitmouse wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:11 am
sperry8 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:04 am
DOT rules require a refund:

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

"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."

If they are not doing it send a complaint to the DOT. https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm
Does anyone know if DOT rules apply when the flight is with a foreign airline (Lufthansa) when the flight is from EU to US, paid with American CC (if that matters)?
Both US DoT and EC261/2004 applies. Refer to section B of passenger rights granted by EC261/2004 below.
https://media.united.com/images/Media%2 ... 18-ADA.pdf
matt1882 wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:52 am
Regardless of what the DOT guidelines/regulations provide, United is bound by contract to provide a refund in the event of a flight that United itself cancels. See Rule 27 of United's contract of carriage, which is available at https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/co ... cm:76-6646

If United refuses to honor the contract, you can sue them in small-claims court, and you can seek treble damages if your state's consumer protection statute provides for such damages.
e5116 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:03 pm
simas wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:36 pm
e5116 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:49 pm
United seems to be loosening some of its policies. They are now waiving redeposit fees for award tickets and I was actually able to get a refund on a domestic flight but it only qualified because the arrival time had changed by >6 hours. If the flight change is less than that or it's an international flight, would have only been able to get travel credit. Luckily it was a 10-hour direct domestic flight that got changed to a connection that would land 7 hours later than originally planned. :)

Still seems like United is being the strictest and perhaps are not following DOT guidelines. I would first submit a refund request through the United website though, and then if that gets rejected, you can submit a DOT complaint:
https://www.united.com/en/us/refunds
where do you see the waving of the redeposit fees?? I had the redeposit fee charged and my request for refund denied.
It's anecdotal and not a written policy, but check the flyertalk United forum. There has definitely been a change in policy in the last day or so. Not sure when they rejected your refund but may have been processed before it OR once they charge it, they don't go back... Note that it does need to be for a reservation before end of May.
Rule 27 does not govern when an involuntary refund is triggered. It covers how a refund amount is calculated. Rule 24 (C) is the what triggers Rule 27.

ShadowCat
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by ShadowCat » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:56 am

I had a purely intra-national non-refundable flight booked with Air France (Paris to Marseille and back again). The flight was cancelled by Air France but they refused to refund the cost of my ticket. Instead they offered only a voucher. I informed them this was in violation of EU rules but the agent said this was a company wide decision and his hands were bound; He was explicitly told to never give a refund even if Air France cancelled the flight.

Being American with a US based credit card, I was able to successfully do a chargeback with my card as "services not rendered". So if you have a US based VISA card at least, I think you can successfully challenge any airline that cancels and refuses to refund you by doing a chargeback. YMMV.

seawolf21
Posts: 605
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:23 pm

ShadowCat wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:56 am
I had a purely intra-national non-refundable flight booked with Air France (Paris to Marseille and back again). The flight was cancelled by Air France but they refused to refund the cost of my ticket. Instead they offered only a voucher. I informed them this was in violation of EU rules but the agent said this was a company wide decision and his hands were bound; He was explicitly told to never give a refund even if Air France cancelled the flight.

Being American with a US based credit card, I was able to successfully do a chargeback with my card as "services not rendered". So if you have a US based VISA card at least, I think you can successfully challenge any airline that cancels and refuses to refund you by doing a chargeback. YMMV.
Good to hear that.

FYI - credit card chargeback under services not rendered is not limited to US-issued cards. While there are some regional exceptions, "services not rendered" is generally available to cards regardless of where issued.

Lalamimi
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:22 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Lalamimi » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:21 pm

TootsieWolf wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:09 am
Did you cancel online or on the phone?
Lalamimi wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:41 am
I cancelled our United flight March 21, and promptly received the points back into my Mileage account, and the small fees for luggage and upgrade. Just discovered I was charged the $125 each Redeposit Fee on the points. This is going to be a fun day. Sent email first.
Online. Mileage rewards told me to call Reservations. Being issued travel vouchers. Better that losing the $250...

Paradise
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:15 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Paradise » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:02 pm

After not receiving any response after them cancelling the flight and no refund for my $4000 flight tickets, I went ahead and filed a dispute with the credit card company. Half has been credited back already. I can’t imagine what their argument will be. Sounds like everyone here should dispute the charge with their cardholder. That’s the #1 reason to be using a credit card in the first place.

Or you can wait for the inevitable class action lawsuit!

Btw anyone here who feels sorry for the airline companies situation, remember their absurd policies, fees and how no matter what you say they will never help YOU out.

rich126
Posts: 1457
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by rich126 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:16 pm

Paradise wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:02 pm
After not receiving any response after them cancelling the flight and no refund for my $4000 flight tickets, I went ahead and filed a dispute with the credit card company. Half has been credited back already. I can’t imagine what their argument will be. Sounds like everyone here should dispute the charge with their cardholder. That’s the #1 reason to be using a credit card in the first place.

Or you can wait for the inevitable class action lawsuit!

Btw anyone here who feels sorry for the airline companies situation, remember their absurd policies, fees and how no matter what you say they will never help YOU out.
That is at least partially good.

Any flight that an airline cancels, should require immediate credit back to your credit card and not a voucher.

What gets more confusing is non-refundable tickets for flights that were not canceled. To a normal person, nonrefundable is pretty clear. You pay and you don't get your money back but then airlines confuse things with policies like Southwest that does allow you to cancel and keep the money in the form of a credit (I guess technically that may fit non-refundable but not 100%).

In this case they were being more generous by allowing people with nonrefundable tickets to cancel plans even if the flight still occurred.

I've heard some hotels, maybe only foreign ones, that refused to refund money even when the person canceled within the written cancellation policy (e.g., cancel before 90 days and get a full refund and you do it well before the 90 days). They would only issue credits.

Thankfully I had nothing schedule.

Paradise
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:15 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Paradise » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:21 pm

Policies are crystal clear:

If you have a non refundable ticket and you cancel, you pay. If they cancel, they pay.

What they’re doing is illegal and they’re hoping that enough misinformed/nice people take the voucher while they raise their prices to make your flight credit worthless. Again, they are not being nice or customer friendly at all by giving you a voucher. It’s just another trick. Customer friendly is Airbnb who processed my refund request within 2 business days.

Demand your money back and I believe they have to do it if they want to fly in America or EU. If you’re flying elsewhere, will be a lot harder.

seawolf21
Posts: 605
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by seawolf21 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:55 pm

Paradise wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:02 pm
After not receiving any response after them cancelling the flight and no refund for my $4000 flight tickets, I went ahead and filed a dispute with the credit card company. Half has been credited back already. I can’t imagine what their argument will be. Sounds like everyone here should dispute the charge with their cardholder. That’s the #1 reason to be using a credit card in the first place.

Or you can wait for the inevitable class action lawsuit!

Btw anyone here who feels sorry for the airline companies situation, remember their absurd policies, fees and how no matter what you say they will never help YOU out.
Is is a temporary credit while the dispute is being worked out or is is a permanent credit? Charegbacks usually take at least 20 days to complete.

Paradise
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:15 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Paradise » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:58 pm

seawolf21 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:55 pm
Paradise wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:02 pm
After not receiving any response after them cancelling the flight and no refund for my $4000 flight tickets, I went ahead and filed a dispute with the credit card company. Half has been credited back already. I can’t imagine what their argument will be. Sounds like everyone here should dispute the charge with their cardholder. That’s the #1 reason to be using a credit card in the first place.

Or you can wait for the inevitable class action lawsuit!

Btw anyone here who feels sorry for the airline companies situation, remember their absurd policies, fees and how no matter what you say they will never help YOU out.
Is is a temporary credit while the dispute is being worked out or is is a permanent credit? Charegbacks usually take at least 20 days to complete.

It’s a temporary credit although as I haven’t received the service that I’ve paid for so I’m not sure what the airlines can come up with to fight. It at least gets the conversation started whereas I’ve been hung up several times already by customer service reps.

Golfalot
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:06 am

Re: Airline refusing to issue refunds

Post by Golfalot » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:53 pm

I received an email from Delta earlier today that they are extending the time period to use your eCredits until May 31,2022 vs previous policy of having to use it within 12 months of ticket issuance. This is excellent and seems more than fair.

From the email...

"We are extending your flight credits even further

We’ve listened, and we know that in these times of rapid change, you want the value of your ticket to be secure and redeemable for a longer period. As a result, we are now extending your eCredit for up to two years.

All applicable eCredits will be automatically extended for travel to be completed through May 31, 2022, so there’s no action needed on your part. Delta is working on a solution to display the new expiration dates on Delta.com, so even if your eCredit for canceled travel has not yet been processed or extended, rest assured that your flight value is secure...…"

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