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COVID Getting the "run around"...

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Our round trip flight from Chicago to Madrid to leave tomorrow on Iberia was cancelled a few weeks ago. I then called Expedia and the recording said to wait three days before the flight as the volume of calls was so high. I did that and did finally talk to two humans, requesting refunds, not vouchers. I literally spent 2+ hours on the phone, mostly holding. They themselves in turn were holding with Iberia to get a special code for my refund, but they could not get through to Iberia, so assured me they will be "working on it". I should get refunds in 6-8 weeks "they say". Next was calling Orbitz for our Iberia leg from Madrid to Oviedo. Same exact run around, plus both Expedia and Orbitz were using the same phone number and appear to be somehow connected to each other. Another 1+ hour on the phone again with them, saying the same thing, only now they can not assure a refund as the flight is not officially canceled, only changed to leave three days later! I still have two other calls to Iberia Express to deal with. Since those flights are not canceled (yet), no refund is allowed even though I cannot get to Spain. All these flights are with Iberia.
I fully understand the issues due to the virus and have sympathy, but am left hanging for who knows how long and I wonder how many calls later I will be making....grrr!
Maybe I learned my lesson to book direct with the carrier. 🤔
BTW, this is the "short" version of all I dealt with.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Our round trip flight from Chicago to Madrid to leave tomorrow on Iberia was cancelled a few weeks ago. I then called Expedia and the recording said to wait three days before the flight as the volume of calls was so high. I did that and did finally talk to two humans, requesting refunds, not vouchers. I literally spent 2+ hours on the phone, mostly holding. They themselves in turn were holding with Iberia to get a special code for my refund, but they could not get through to Iberia, so assured me they will be "working on it". I should get refunds in 6-8 weeks "they say". Next was calling Orbitz for our Iberia leg from Madrid to Oviedo. Same exact run around, plus both Expedia and Orbitz were using the same phone number and appear to be somehow connected to each other. Another 1+ hour on the phone again with them, saying the same thing, only now they can not assure a refund as the flight is not officially canceled, only changed to leave three days later! I still have two other calls to Iberia Express to deal with. Since those flights are not canceled (yet), no refund is allowed even though I cannot get to Spain. All these flights are with Iberia.
I fully understand the issues due to the virus and have sympathy, but am left hanging for who knows how long and I wonder how many calls later I will be making....grrr!
Maybe I learned my lesson to book direct with the carrier. 🤔
BTW, this is the "short" version of all I dealt with.
ARRRRrrrrrrrgggghhhhh! It does take a tremendous amount of patience to deal with all this stuff. . .Hang in there. :)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
ARRRRrrrrrrrgggghhhhh! It does take a tremendous amount of patience to deal with all this stuff. . .Hang in there. :)
Yes, it does take patience. I am retired, but pity those who are still employed and are having to waste their precious free time on all of this nonsense.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Do you suffer from Repetitive On-Hold Ear Syndrome (ROES), or do you put the call on speaker phone as the method to get driven slowly nutz with the repeated music or announcements? :)
Dave, I am old fashioned and usually hold it to my ear the whole time...a dork, I know, so yep, ROES! I did put one of the calls on speaker phone, but still held it and did nothing but sit there waiting. I am always afraid when I multitask while I am on hold that my mind will go blank by the time they come back to the phone...it's happened.:rolleyes:
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Dave, I am old fashioned and usually hold it to my ear the whole time...a dork, I know, so yep, ROES! I did put one of the calls on speaker phone, but still held it and did nothing but sit there waiting. I am always afraid when I multitask while I am on hold that my mind will go blank by the time they come back to the phone...it's happened.:rolleyes:
Me, too :D
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Our round trip flight from Chicago to Madrid to leave tomorrow on Iberia was cancelled a few weeks ago. I then called Expedia and the recording said to wait three days before the flight as the volume of calls was so high. I did that and did finally talk to two humans, requesting refunds, not vouchers. I literally spent 2+ hours on the phone, mostly holding. They themselves in turn were holding with Iberia to get a special code for my refund, but they could not get through to Iberia, so assured me they will be "working on it". I should get refunds in 6-8 weeks "they say". Next was calling Orbitz for our Iberia leg from Madrid to Oviedo. Same exact run around, plus both Expedia and Orbitz were using the same phone number and appear to be somehow connected to each other. Another 1+ hour on the phone again with them, saying the same thing, only now they can not assure a refund as the flight is not officially canceled, only changed to leave three days later! I still have two other calls to Iberia Express to deal with. Since those flights are not canceled (yet), no refund is allowed even though I cannot get to Spain. All these flights are with Iberia.
I fully understand the issues due to the virus and have sympathy, but am left hanging for who knows how long and I wonder how many calls later I will be making....grrr!
Maybe I learned my lesson to book direct with the carrier. 🤔
BTW, this is the "short" version of all I dealt with.
Oh dear...I feel your frustration @Camino Chrissy..it comes through all too clearly! A circumstance with which many members can relate.
Yes..although an unparalleled situation & of no comfort...lesson learnt. I've been fortunate; my airline of choice is always Qatar & I book directly with them. They have been very proactive with the situation & offered full refunds through an online link...no phone calls, no 'negotiating'...done. They even apologise the refund may take several days to process!
With 8 flight legs in total on 3 different airlines, I'm so relieved the biggest outlay has been the least hassle.
Please keep us updated with how you go...your plight will unfortunately be echoed many times on the Forum alone.
Best wishes for a positive outcome. 🤗
👣 🌏
 

Cayou

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Villafranca to SdC 2016 St Jean to LosArcos 2018 Leon to SdC 2019 Le Puy to Conques
Two of my flights next month are/were with South African Air ... who are now liquidating! Gone, bye bye. Don't think any request will fly, unless CC company does? However, if your carrier flys to the US, which I think Iberia does, the DOT says they MUST issue refunds if they cancel or change your flights. As you know, that may mean a lot of waiting.
In the meantime .... Stay Healthy!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Two of my flights next month are/were with South African Air ... who are now liquidating! Gone, bye bye. Don't think any request will fly, unless CC company does? However, if your carrier flys to the US, which I think Iberia does, the DOT says they MUST issue refunds if they cancel or change your flights. As you know, that may mean a lot of waiting.
In the meantime .... Stay Healthy!
Sorry to hear of your losses. I may be joining that club eventually...who knows! I have gotten quite a few emails to just "click here" to receive vouchers, but it's not what I/we prefer.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Our round trip flight from Chicago to Madrid to leave tomorrow on Iberia was cancelled a few weeks ago. I then called Expedia and the recording said to wait three days before the flight as the volume of calls was so high. I did that and did finally talk to two humans, requesting refunds, not vouchers. I literally spent 2+ hours on the phone, mostly holding. They themselves in turn were holding with Iberia to get a special code for my refund, but they could not get through to Iberia, so assured me they will be "working on it". I should get refunds in 6-8 weeks "they say". Next was calling Orbitz for our Iberia leg from Madrid to Oviedo. Same exact run around, plus both Expedia and Orbitz were using the same phone number and appear to be somehow connected to each other. Another 1+ hour on the phone again with them, saying the same thing, only now they can not assure a refund as the flight is not officially canceled, only changed to leave three days later! I still have two other calls to Iberia Express to deal with. Since those flights are not canceled (yet), no refund is allowed even though I cannot get to Spain. All these flights are with Iberia.
I fully understand the issues due to the virus and have sympathy, but am left hanging for who knows how long and I wonder how many calls later I will be making....grrr!
Maybe I learned my lesson to book direct with the carrier. 🤔
BTW, this is the "short" version of all I dealt with.
While going through a middleman like Expedia is an extra layer, it sounds like they are going to bat for you. I booked directly with American Airlines and they just keep whittling away parts of my trip in May (without telling me), so I can't get to my final destination, yet they still have my return flight listed in My Trips coming from the destination to which they won't fly me! I am not yet at 72 hours from my flight so have not called the airline, but I expect to go through much the same you have, Camino Chrissy. One thing a friend suggested (he works for one of the major credit card companies) is to call my bank that supplies my credit card and have them go to bat for me, in that the airline didn't fulfill its part of the purchase contract.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
If you do not receive a refund due, even if the carrier has gone out of business, then contact your credit card issuer if you paid by credit card. We are waiting to see if our refund arrives onto our credit card from our cancelled ferry booking (minus deposit as we cancelled). If it does not after 14 days then we were told to contact the card issuer again and move forward from there.
Time spent waiting for adviser but worth it.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
If you do not receive a refund due, even if the carrier has gone out of business, then contact your credit card issuer if you paid by credit card. We are waiting to see if our refund arrives onto our credit card from our cancelled ferry booking (minus deposit as we cancelled). If it does not after 14 days then we were told to contact the card issuer again and move forward from there.
Time spent waiting for adviser but worth it.
Does that apply around the world or is it just an EU regulation?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Dave, I am old fashioned and usually hold it to my ear the whole time...a dork, I know, so yep, ROES! I did put one of the calls on speaker phone, but still held it and did nothing but sit there waiting. I am always afraid when I multitask while I am on hold that my mind will go blank by the time they come back to the phone...it's happened.:rolleyes:
Hi Chris,
Hope you get the refund sooner rather than later.
Your mention of "the mind wandering" brought back some memories for me.

Some years ago when I was working, I had some phone calls to make ...
Dialled the number........person answered but by then I'd completely forgotten who I was calling!
I was so embarrassed, I just put the phone down.
Had to redial later, this time with mind focused on what I was doing!

A few weeks later the same thing happened but this time I decided to brazen it out..."I'm ever so sorry says I but I've completely forgotten who I'm calling"
The lady just burst out laughing and all was well.

One job at the time......mindfulness.....easier said than done at times!!
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Does that apply around the world or is it just an EU regulation?
I don’t believe it is a general EU regulation. I could be wrong, but as I understand it there may or may not be an out-of-business insurance attached to an international credit/debit card. You will have to check with the rules and regulations of the specific card issuer/bank.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Does that apply around the world or is it just an EU regulation?
Like @Turga, I don't think it is a general EU regulation.

I would go as far as to say that I'd caution against believing that this whole situation is covered by the EU's generous consumer protection laws. I've not looked much into this but have just come across this: Communication from the Commission - Interpretative Guidelines on EU passenger rights regulations in the context of the developing situation with Covid-19, dated 18 March 2020.

As far as I understand it, the Commission has declared the current situation to be a situation of "extraordinary circumstances" and again, as far as I understand it, this frees the airlines from some of their usual obligations towards their customers as far as reimbursement etc is concerned.

Again: Just a word of caution, I've not looked into it much deeper. But these are not normal circumstances so don't expect the normal rules to apply.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Here's a link to what looks like a good up to date UK site: https://www.ukecc.net/consumer-topics/travelrefunds.cfm . EU consumer law still applies. Sorry for this bit of a thread drift, @Camino Chris, but sometimes it can even help to hear how this stuff is dealt with elsewhere.

Note this remark on UKecc.net: A number of governments across the European Union are currently implementing emergency laws to protect businesses and consumers during the pandemic, by requesting that consumers work with businesses in order to reach a mutually suitable outcome to cancellations etc as some business may hit financial difficulties if refunding all cancelled services and monetary refunds may take a long time to be processed.

The ones who got reimbursed for flight cancellations in March 2020 may be the lucky ones. Others may possibly have to wait a long time (like six months to a year) when they insist on reimbursement instead of vouchers.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I have decided to accept the credit vouchers from Air Portugal and Iberia, I don't want to fight with them. At least I'm not out any money and I have a year to use their credits. The total I am looking at is over $700USD, but I can live without it. For all I know when this year rolls around we may still be in the same situation and I will find myself with another voucher good until sometime in 2023.
I think having a coordinated vaccination program will be the key to getting things rolling again.
I will be waiting to see Ryanair's policy one it is 2 or 3 weeks before my planned trips.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Don, it's really nice to read you have positive thinking and hope all works out for you. My fear is the possibility of the airlines going under, thus making vouchers useless or I would be eilling to accept them readily. They only offered the voucher good until March 31st, 2021, not even a full year from my current travel date of today. I suppose I/we could go that early to Spain.
I had booked the flights for 3 of us and feel somewhat responsible to get everyone's money reimbursed as they may not be able to go on the Camino at a different time.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
These kind of stories are good cautionary tales about why it's best to book directly with the airlines, so that you don't have to deal with a middleman when things go awry!
I agree! I just spent my first winter in the Algarve (wonderful) then drove to Slovakia to visit friends. I’m now stranded in Slovakia as my flight on March 21st from Vienna to Toronto was cancelled March 19th (the airport closed to international Flights). I almost always have multiple tickets that I mix and match to get the cheapest prices directly from airlines booking online. My return ticket was in September from Ottawa to Lyon to walk the Le Puy. Air Canada refunded me the full fare, my credit card credited two days later......I’m still stranded until maybe July or August but at least it’s spring and 25C here vs at times still snowing in Ottawa 🤦‍♀️
 

Suka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese (2020)
These kind of stories are good cautionary tales about why it's best to book directly with the airlines, so that you don't have to deal with a middleman when things go awry!
Usually I would agree, but I booked directly, and am getting the same run-around. EU rules say an airline owes you a refund if the airline cancels the flight -- so the airline doesn't cancel until the last minute. One website said some airlines force you to check-in and wait until the flight is cancelled before offering a refund instead of a voucher. The so-called voucher system is a scam, because the airlines know many people will not be able to use the voucher within the timelines provided.
 

Dfehr

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal Coastal June 2020
I have come to the painful conclusion that my trip is toast too. I was to leave June 2 from Canada to Barcelona. I've nothing at all, of course it's still too far out, but I fully expect this is the way it will go. I had 4 flights and 4 different destinations within the umbrella flight. I assume I have to wait until the flights are cancelled before claiming refunds..which means I have to start working on it soon..I've heard nothing at all from a single destination except the camino, who I am working with now. I am sad to say the least. My bucket list trip of a lifetime. Here's to hoping I'm in a similar position to attempt this next year.
 

RRat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2017
Our round trip flight from Chicago to Madrid to leave tomorrow on Iberia was cancelled a few weeks ago. I then called Expedia and the recording said to wait three days before the flight as the volume of calls was so high. I did that and did finally talk to two humans, requesting refunds, not vouchers. I literally spent 2+ hours on the phone, mostly holding. They themselves in turn were holding with Iberia to get a special code for my refund, but they could not get through to Iberia, so assured me they will be "working on it". I should get refunds in 6-8 weeks "they say". Next was calling Orbitz for our Iberia leg from Madrid to Oviedo. Same exact run around, plus both Expedia and Orbitz were using the same phone number and appear to be somehow connected to each other. Another 1+ hour on the phone again with them, saying the same thing, only now they can not assure a refund as the flight is not officially canceled, only changed to leave three days later! I still have two other calls to Iberia Express to deal with. Since those flights are not canceled (yet), no refund is allowed even though I cannot get to Spain. All these flights are with Iberia.
I fully understand the issues due to the virus and have sympathy, but am left hanging for who knows how long and I wonder how many calls later I will be making....grrr!
Maybe I learned my lesson to book direct with the carrier. 🤔
BTW, this is the "short" version of all I dealt with.
I remember when we all had neighborhood travel agents that would take care of this for us.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Does that apply around the world or is it just an EU regulation?
I am sorry but I do not know. However the good news, for us, is that I have the refund from Brittany Ferries, paid back onto the credit card as promised. They have been good to deal with, taking the cancellation by email with hard copy posted as back-up. They had 'flexi' ferry only bookings and holiday bookings so that might have helped us. We had read the small-print terms and conditions very carefully before booking.
Hope those of you working with airlines etc have similar good outcomes.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Usually I would agree, but I booked directly, and am getting the same run-around. EU rules say an airline owes you a refund if the airline cancels the flight -- so the airline doesn't cancel until the last minute. One website said some airlines force you to check-in and wait until the flight is cancelled before offering a refund instead of a voucher. The so-called voucher system is a scam, because the airlines know many people will not be able to use the voucher within the timelines provided.
But better to get the run around directly from the airline than to get it from the airline and the "agent".
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Do you suffer from Repetitive On-Hold Ear Syndrome (ROES), or do you put the call on speaker phone as the method to get driven slowly nutz with the repeated music or announcements? :)
Is there an appropriate Acronyme for the fatique you get when you hear the samme section of music ( any piece of music!) over and over again, the kind of occurence that makes you hate even very good music, and that gets scarred by this repetition !!??
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have never had to deal with the "no refund given when the airline cancels" issue, as I always book with the airline with which I am flying (and have not needed to cancel). But two of my brothers have booked return flights (to China and to the Philippines) with CheapOAir and both found it impossible, and very frustrating, to contact them when a flight change was necessary. One is currently stranded in the Philippines. The Canadian government arranged two flights from the Philippines to Canada for a day or two ago, both leaving from Manila. As my brother is on another island and all travel within the Philippines has apparently been cancelled (no flights or boats), he must stay until things change. Fortunately, he seems to be safe. But another issue for return flights is how to pay for them when it is impossible to contact the ticket issuer to make necessary changes before the original date of the return flight. I am assuming that a ticket issued by an airline would be easier to make changes than one made with a booking agent. This is an issue that is worth considering when booking long distance flights.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
While going through a middleman like Expedia is an extra layer, it sounds like they are going to bat for you. I booked directly with American Airlines and they just keep whittling away parts of my trip in May (without telling me), so I can't get to my final destination, yet they still have my return flight listed in My Trips coming from the destination to which they won't fly me! I am not yet at 72 hours from my flight so have not called the airline, but I expect to go through much the same you have, Camino Chrissy. One thing a friend suggested (he works for one of the major credit card companies) is to call my bank that supplies my credit card and have them go to bat for me, in that the airline didn't fulfill its part of the purchase contract.
I have had several experiences with cancelled flights on American, and there was absolutely no problem getting the refund credited back to my account. I did have a similar curious trip posted — the computer had removed the Philadelphia to Lisbon portion of the trip, but left the round trip from my house to Philadelphia in tact. But when I called, there was no problem getting a refund for the whole trip. They will give you the ticket number, and then you go to a special site, where they once again ask you if you want a voucher, but you can easily get a refund.

Good luck! Buen camino, Laurie


4212979C-DA18-4157-B00D-5B11D83A6117.png
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2019) SJPP to Logrono
CF May/June (2020) Logrono to ? (Delayed).
Fortunately, being in the UK I can book at very short notice and had no Camino bookings to cancel for my planned May/June trip.

But, I had booked my 60th birthday bash through Expedia and I also have to wait 3 days before my booked dates before I can speak to a person. It looks like I will have a lot of music to listen to.......

1st world problems, to be kept in perspective I suppose.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
Although I may be living in a pink cloud of rosy optimism that a September-October Camino may prove an option, there is "a cloud no bigger than a man's hand" of a renewed outbreak in Autumn. After a nail biting read of online, hours-on-hold and confusing travails in the above cautionoary posts, I shall source online reviews for a local -- High Point/Greensboro, North Carolina -- travel agent. For years, I booked all my in-country travel, including hotels and car rentals, with Expedia: stellar, inexpensive and reliable service. However, for my 2012 and 2019 Caminos, I chose booking with a travel agent in Columbia, Missouri and following their lead on travel insurance. Never needed travel insurance but, clearly, ya' never know! Of course, i want to feel in emergencies of travel or health arise, I have a recourse; I also have my son, who lives nearby, to consider if anything untowards occurs to his Camino-loving (obsessed...) Mother; a local person with whom he is able to connect. By the by, all my American Airlines flights have been partnered through Iberia Airlines and no issues with either of them. So, final answer, for me: a local travel agent.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I remember when we all had neighborhood travel agents that would take care of this for us.
We still have them!

I usually book flights online direct with the airline, but five of us are travelling together in June, and the other four weren’t confident about doing their own online bookings.

So I dug up the contact details of an excellent friendly neighbourhood travel agent that I had used 9 years ago, and they are still in business.

So I got them to book our flights for us . . . . we are now in their hands . . . and soon to find out how good they are!
 

drvnsmiln

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC '14
SdC - Fin-Muxia. '14
Sarria - SdC '14
VdlP '17
Levante '19
Portugues '19
Here is a repost of my comments on this subject:
Jan 13, 2018

For my first Camino (2014) I booked through one of these sites 9 months in advance. My walking partner booked directly through the airline for the same flight. The tickets cost the same. Three months before we were to depart, a situation at home caused us to need to change our departure date by two weeks later. We both were aware that there would be a $300 change fee. She was able to change her flight with one phone call. I contacted the "middleman" site and was given the run around, speaking with at least 3 different "agents"; one of whom told me that you could not fly into one country and depart from another. The kicker was when another asked if Switzerland was in Europe! Incredible!! Finally after a week I was able to speak with woman in Seattle who did change my ticket, but after a week of stress (first Camino) and 10-12 hours on the phone. THEN three days before we were to depart, my friend got a phone call from her airline warning her of an impending strike in France and offering to change the ticket to an earlier departure. I never heard a word from the airline - I think they weren't involved - nor the middleman company. I called back to the airline and we left the next afternoon.
Had it not been for traveling with my companion, I would have been caught up in the strike and would have in all probability lost several camino days.
I will NEVER use one of these sites again!
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
Like @Turga, I don't think it is a general EU regulation.

I would go as far as to say that I'd caution against believing that this whole situation is covered by the EU's generous consumer protection laws. I've not looked much into this but have just come across this: Communication from the Commission - Interpretative Guidelines on EU passenger rights regulations in the context of the developing situation with Covid-19, dated 18 March 2020.

As far as I understand it, the Commission has declared the current situation to be a situation of "extraordinary circumstances" and again, as far as I understand it, this frees the airlines from some of their usual obligations towards their customers as far as reimbursement etc is concerned.

Again: Just a word of caution, I've not looked into it much deeper. But these are not normal circumstances so don't expect the normal rules to apply.
Australian credit cards come with a "refund if the service or goods are not delivered" guarantee - the credit card providers want the customer to have made reasonable efforts to reach agreement with the service or goods provider (bit difficult if they wont answer the phone) but if that fails, the credit card company will investigate and if you are entitled to a refund under their procedure, they will cancel the debit to your credit card and endeavor to recover the funds from the service/goods provider.

As far as I know, this is a benefit attached to the credit card under its T&C and not a statutory requirement.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have had several experiences with cancelled flights on American, and there was absolutely no problem getting the refund credited back to my account. I did have a similar curious trip posted — the computer had removed the Philadelphia to Lisbon portion of the trip, but left the round trip from my house to Philadelphia in tact. But when I called, there was no problem getting a refund for the whole trip. They will give you the ticket number, and then you go to a special site, where they once again ask you if you want a voucher, but you can easily get a refund.

Good luck! Buen camino, Laurie


View attachment 73419
Laurie, were your good experiences with American Airlines before Covid19 or after all craziness has broken loose?
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
BTW, we did purchase flight insurance for the international portion of the flights. I called them (AIG) immediately when the flight was canceled. They said to fill out and submit an online form if we are denied refunds, but that they review each case individually to make a decision if they will reimburse...sounds like it will be another run around, and possibly a dead end.
 

La Barre

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances, Roncesvalles to SdC 2010
C. Frances, SJPDP to Sdc 2012
C.Frances,SJPDP to Finisterre 2014
C.Portuguese, Lisbon to SdC(hopscotch) Sept. 2015
C. Frances SJPDP to Muxia 2017
I was booked on American Airlines for April13th to Barcelona. I was surprised when the airline called me at home on April 8th and offered to re-instate my frequent flyer miles and all taxes and fees, which they did.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Laurie, were your good experiences with American Airlines before Covid19 or after all craziness has broken loose?
This was last week — my trip to Lisbon for April 11 was cancelled, and I already have had the money deposited in my account. Another trip to Austin was cancelled in late March, and the money was deposited within three days. I cancelled a trip to DC in mid March, but the flight was not cancelled so I have vouchers for that flight.

My camino trip in May is still showing as scheduled, but it is surely going to be cancelled. I know that airlines are asking for relief from the rule that requires them to refund money when flights are cancelled, and that may well happen before my May flight is cancelled, so I may have to take a voucher in that case, if the rules are changed. But as of today, I think the rule still is that they have to refund the money if they cancel the flight.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
This was last week — my trip to Lisbon for April 11 was cancelled, and I already have had the money deposited in my account. Another trip to Austin was cancelled in late March, and the money was deposited within three days. I cancelled a trip to DC in mid March, but the flight was not cancelled so I have vouchers for that flight.

My camino trip in May is still showing as scheduled, but it is surely going to be cancelled. I know that airlines are asking for relief from the rule that requires them to refund money when flights are cancelled, and that may well happen before my May flight is cancelled, so I may have to take a voucher in that case, if the rules are changed. But as of today, I think the rule still is that they have to refund the money if they cancel the flight.
Wow, Laurie, your experience sounds like "a piece of cake"! Good for you! There definately is something to be said for booking directly with the airline. I've used Kayak for years and this is my first mishap, but I have learned a lesson.
 

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
Our round trip flight from Chicago to Madrid to leave tomorrow on Iberia was cancelled a few weeks ago. I then called Expedia and the recording said to wait three days before the flight as the volume of calls was so high. I did that and did finally talk to two humans, requesting refunds, not vouchers. I literally spent 2+ hours on the phone, mostly holding. They themselves in turn were holding with Iberia to get a special code for my refund, but they could not get through to Iberia, so assured me they will be "working on it". I should get refunds in 6-8 weeks "they say". Next was calling Orbitz for our Iberia leg from Madrid to Oviedo. Same exact run around, plus both Expedia and Orbitz were using the same phone number and appear to be somehow connected to each other. Another 1+ hour on the phone again with them, saying the same thing, only now they can not assure a refund as the flight is not officially canceled, only changed to leave three days later! I still have two other calls to Iberia Express to deal with. Since those flights are not canceled (yet), no refund is allowed even though I cannot get to Spain. All these flights are with Iberia.
I fully understand the issues due to the virus and have sympathy, but am left hanging for who knows how long and I wonder how many calls later I will be making....grrr!
Maybe I learned my lesson to book direct with the carrier. 🤔
BTW, this is the "short" version of all I dealt with.
For similar reasons, I’ve stopped using 3rd parties like Expedia, sorry for your struggles.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Wow, Laurie, your experience sounds like "a piece of cake"! Good for you! There definately is something to be said for booking directly with the airline. I've used Kayak for years and this is my first mishap, but I have learned a lesson.
I have used Kayak for years to show me my options and comparative costs for flights, then have compared the details of the flights on the airlines websites before booking directly with the airlines. This works for me.
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
I have used Kayak for years to show me my options and comparative costs for flights, then have compared the details of the flights on the airlines websites before booking directly with the airlines. This works for me.
Me too...
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
This afternoon I also called Expedia and got the same standardized message telling me if my flight was not in the next 72 hours to call back later. I then called United Airlines direct and spoke to a service representative. (a 2 minute wait on HOLD). He told me he was not sure why Expedia sent me an email directing me to make a decision by April 30 since my flight does not leave until September 1, 2020. The rep told me I can, due to the virus, have a 2 year travel voucher to use to anywhere in the world United flys. He explained the voucher activation date will be from the date I call back to cancel my flights.
I feel "fairly" confident we should be able to start living again within that period of time so I will later probably cancel and accept the voucher.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
For similar reasons, I’ve stopped using 3rd parties like Expedia,
If I had to use a third party site it would be a well known and regarded one like Expedia or Travelocity, but I still don't like inserting a middleman in the transaction. These companies are not like your local travel agent in the old days, who would work for you to make things right. These third party ticket sellers work on very slim margins and don't have the time to be your agent.
I have used Kayak for years to show me my options and comparative costs for flights, then have compared the details of the flights on the airlines websites before booking directly with the airlines. This works for me.
Same here, but now I use Google Flights more, but still check with Kayak before booking directly with the airlines.
Many people don't realize that the third parties selling tickets on Kayak, Skyscanner and the like are not "partners" if those sites, but paid advertisers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
el Norte June 2020
I have come to the painful conclusion that my trip is toast too. I was to leave June 2.......

Hello Dfehr. I booked tickets to fly into Barcelona on 2 June also and my flights on Etihad were cancelled
on April Fools day (not funny though) and I have been offered a voucher that I can use up through 31 July
2021 plus a kicker of 5000 reward points. I sincerely hope that's enough time for things to open up. I
suspect they will extend the dates on that voucher if Spain still isn't allowing us Ausies in. A friend of mine
was booked to fly out today and her flight was cancelled about three weeks before mine and she was
given a complete refund by Etihad so there policy has changed somewhere along the line.
Hang in there and stay safe.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Update...
My round trip flight was purchased as "one" price with "one" booking number, so when I originally received an email that my flight was canceled, I assumed it meant both parts...the going to Spain and the return flight home. Today I received a new email that I have a "flight change" on my return flight for May 19th. That's interesting since I will not even be in Spain...let the craziness continue.😐
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Update...
My round trip flight was purchased as "one" price with "one" booking number, so when I originally received an email that my flight was canceled, I assumed it meant both parts...the going to Spain and the return flight home. Today I received a new email that I have a "flight change" on my return flight for May 19th. That's interesting since I will not even be in Spain...let the craziness continue.😐
There is one plus , no jetlag 😉
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
My round trip flight was purchased as "one" price with "one" booking number, so when I originally received an email that my flight was canceled, I assumed it meant both parts.
Last year I had an Expedia booking and noticed on the confirmation that it said something about this ticket being composed of two one-way fares. I think there was some warning about this potential situation. You might look at the original confirmation to find similar wording.

Edited to add:
I just found the exact wording on my confirmation...
Capture.JPG
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
I am always afraid when I multitask while I am on hold that my mind will go blank by the time they come back to the phone...it's happened.:rolleyes:
Some years ago when I was working, I had some phone calls to make ...
Dialled the number........person answered but by then I'd completely forgotten who I was calling!
I was so embarrassed, I just put the phone down.
Had to redial later, this time with mind focused on what I was doing!

A few weeks later the same thing happened but this time I decided to brazen it out..."I'm ever so sorry says I but I've completely forgotten who I'm calling"
The lady just burst out laughing and all was well.
I had a chuckle at both these anecdotes so I thought you might relate to this...I certainly do! 😄

20190303_161232.jpg

Keep smiling & don't lose the ability to laugh at ourselves...it will get us through all manner of situations!
👣 🌏
PS. I would have PM'd you both with this but can't add attachments so I hope no-one objects... 😯 🤔 😏
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I had a chuckle at both these anecdotes so I thought you might relate to this...I certainly do! 😄

View attachment 73702

Keep smiling & don't lose the ability to laugh at ourselves...it will get us through all manner of situations!
👣 🌏
PS. I would have PM'd you both with this but can't add attachments so I hope no-one objects... 😯 🤔 😏
Brilliant
I've taken a picture of this and will be sending it on to a few people!!
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
In all of this, patience is an important strength, but first with yourself, then with everyone else. Treat everyone as if you are infected. It is amazing how the respect for other can rise.

Your story will be longer than most. Patience and the understanding that it is like this everywhere on this entire planet, may not give any comfort, but, we are all in the same boat.

I have been retired now for a couple of years. I never had any idea that the rest of the World would be placed in my position.

So, when you begin complaining about sitting around and not able to go anywhere, after this lockdown is over, remember that this is what you have to look forward to when retirement becomes your future.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
So, when you begin complaining about sitting around and not able to go anywhere, after this lockdown is over, remember that this is what you have to look forward to when retirement becomes your future.
This looks very odd to me. I have always been moderately active, but the opportunities of retirement gave me wonderful chances to be more active. Now, I do not normally have to wait for summer holidays to go walking in my mountains. I can go to Spain when I feel called to pilgrimage, and walk in a much longer walking season. From the 800 km of the Frances in my first pilgrimage year to the 1,000 km of the VdlP, I have become more and more active in my retirement. I have some physical challenges to manage, but I still hope, and plan, to go back to walking longer distances in Spain, and for longer periods of time, when this pandemic is over. Next on my list is the Camino de Levante (1,400 km). I am preparing by stocking up on food during this period of compulsory lockdown (most of it on my middle). But all that will be fading away slowly when I get on the trail again. And a "Buen camino" soon to all of you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
Our round trip flight from Chicago to Madrid to leave tomorrow on Iberia was cancelled a few weeks ago. I then called Expedia and the recording said to wait three days before the flight as the volume of calls was so high. I did that and did finally talk to two humans, requesting refunds, not vouchers. I literally spent 2+ hours on the phone, mostly holding. They themselves in turn were holding with Iberia to get a special code for my refund, but they could not get through to Iberia, so assured me they will be "working on it".. 🤔
BTW, this is the "short" version of all I dealt with.
I was due to be on the VdlP this month. All my flights were booked direct with Iberia. All my flights had at least one leg cancelled except for one feeder flight from SdC to Madrid. I used the Iberia Help desk to request refunds rather than vouchers. This resulted in waiting in telephone queues for a long long time. Much to my surprise two of my flights were refunded within 3 days, however the two most expensive flights still have not been refunded.
I have been checking my last flight still booked in the hope that it would show up as cancelled, but it has always shown up as confirmed. Today I got an email requesting I either confirm my last flight or request a voucher. I checked my booking on Iberia web site and found that the flight had changed from SdC to Madrid to A Coruna to Madrid😳 This is classed as a major change and means that I can cancel with no penalty and obtain a refund. Much to my surprise I got through to the Iberia help desk promptly and a helpful young man processed a refund request for me. He did warn me that it would take up to 15 days for the refund desk to process the request and up to two months before the refund was actually in my account. I will be waiting two weeks for the two months delay to be exceeded and checking my account for the missing two refunds. Hopefully it will be there!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
Australian credit cards come with a "refund if the service or goods are not delivered" guarantee - the credit card providers want the customer to have made reasonable efforts to reach agreement with the service or goods provider (bit difficult if they wont answer the phone) but if that fails, the credit card company will investigate and if you are entitled to a refund under their procedure, they will cancel the debit to your credit card and endeavor to recover the funds from the service/goods provider.

As far as I know, this is a benefit attached to the credit card under its T&C and not a statutory requirement.
The UK has a similar consumer law. If the goods or service is over 100 GB Pounds, then the credit card company is jointly liable. If the supplier goes bust or is fraudulent then the credit card company picks up the bill. I have used this service a couple of times and been repaid by the Credit card company.
 

smp

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
spain (2017)
It seems I am not alone in this quest for a flight refund. Vueling offered me the option of voucher or refund for a flight from Vienna to San Sebastion via Barcelona. I chose "refund" as who knows what the future will bring!
I then received an email saying they were offering me a "voucher" and to do this online as phones were plugged. I tried on line and was told that because I didn't do the booking, I had to go through my travel agent. I made the booking myself, it was not through a travel agent!!! Dead end. I tried calling the number in Spain, message said to call during business hours. I set my alarm for 4:30 AM because of the time difference, called and they are open Monday to Friday. It was Saturday morning that I called 🙃
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
Some companies are better than others. I had a villa rented near Naples for two weeks starting 10th May. The villa had to be paid up front with a no refund on cancellation policy.
When it became increasingly obvious the trip wasn't going to happen we contacted the owner and we agreed we'd watch and wait to see how things panned out but he suggested a voucher valid for a year if we couldn't make it.

Our flights and car hire were organised through EasyJet. Again paid up front.

Cancelling the car was no problem and though they offered a voucher with a 25% increase in value they bowed to pressure and the refund should be with me next weekend, a 20 day wait.

The flights are a different story. EasyJet are waiting until the week of the flight before cancelling. This week they offered a voucher plus a £10 voucher valid until next summer. One thing to note is that if the new fight is cheaper than the old they won't refund the difference and that their magnanimous offer runs out on 1st May. I tunneled through their website and found this:

Hold onto your flight

We review our flying program every seven days and we advise customers to wait until that time frame to be able to choose all available options given to them. If your flight is not cancelled we are unable to process any refund requests.


The inference being that you can claim a refund if they cancel so don't grab that voucher until you have to.

Then, out of the blue, the villa owner contacted us and reminded us of the voucher offer, still valid until summer 2021. I went on to the booking agency website (Holiday Lettings, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor) to answer him and found that they had torn up their no-refund clauses and were offering a full refund. That was on 22nd April. On the 23rd I was told the amount had been paid and would be with me in 7 to 10 days. It appeared in my bank credit card account on the 24th!

I'm guessing if we'd accepted the voucher without checking that would have been that.

Sorry for the long winded post but some companies are playing it straight.
 

BruceS

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF late 2020 or April 2021
kazrobbo Tassie Kaz
I too am waiting for Qatar Airways to Refund my 16 April Sydney to Barcelona + Return (3 June 2020) flights.
As you stated one cannot phone them. Thankfully I avoided Expedia.
 

mike mcbroom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis June 17, 2015 ,Portagusee from Porto to Santiago August 2016, Francis may 2018 this year wil
These kind of stories are good cautionary tales about why it's best to book directly with the airlines, so that you don't have to deal with a middleman when things go awry!
I agree, might cost a bit more but worth it
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
It usually doesn't cost more to book directly with the airline, sometimes less.
I have found that for the same flight, the costs are virtually the same, so generally I book all travel directly with my preferred airline. I have occasionally used Expedia because I have been able to get slightly different routing options (which may or may not result in a lower price) when combining airlines. These are combinations that a travel agent could probably do, as well, but the airlines are understandingly reluctant to show options of coming home on a non-partner airline!

As I posted in post #52 above, it was clearly stated that these were two one-way fares that were subject to their own rules and restrictions.

I would not have combined such fares in a journey where one flight was dependent on timely arrival of the previous flight, for example.
 

mike mcbroom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis June 17, 2015 ,Portagusee from Porto to Santiago August 2016, Francis may 2018 this year wil
I have found that for the same flight, the costs are virtually the same, so generally I book all travel directly with my preferred airline. I have occasionally used Expedia because I have been able to get slightly different routing options (which may or may not result in a lower price) when combining airlines. These are combinations that a travel agent could probably do, as well, but the airlines are understandingly reluctant to show options of coming home on a non-partner airline!

As I posted in post #52 above, it was clearly stated that these were two one-way fares that were subject to their own rules and restrictions.

I would not have combined such fares in a journey where one flight was dependent on timely arrival of the previous flight, for example.
I do the same thing. However, I booked Aerlingus back in January for a June flight and they willnot refund
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Is there an appropriate Acronyme for the fatique you get when you hear the samme section of music ( any piece of music!) over and over again, the kind of occurence that makes you hate even very good music, and that gets scarred by this repetition !!??
Not for that condition. But for the condition where you hear a song or tune and your mind keeps repeating it, I've hear it called an "Ear Worm". So, maybe for your purposes, we can name it an "Ear Blight"?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I do the same thing. However, I booked Aerlingus back in January for a June flight and they willnot refund
Have they canceled the flight yet? If not, you need to wait for Aerlingus to cancel it.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
So far I must keep playing the "violin"...nothin' good happening yet!
 

jfairclough

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo planned for 2020
I had to deal with this when I had a trip in the US this month....I went on the Orbitz "chat" function and was in touch with someone within minutes. Of course I have not received confirmation about getting my money back via an email (yet) but I took a photo of the chat box where I was promised a refund. I am waiting for my trip to Spain to be cancelled before I deal with the airlines...Has anyone else had success with the chat funciton?
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
I had my flights to & from Peru (Machu Picchu hike) cancelled by United. They gave me an option to use a voucher anywhere in the world until 2023. I took it.
Then, it was on to Orbitz to get my LATAM flights refunded...zzzzzzzzz
same run around as the others: wait until 3 days before.
So, I called LATAM direct. They answered immediately and had no problem refunding my flight as Peru is essentially closed. B U T...they didn't know what I paid for the flight. "Only Orbitz knows that. So, sorry, but they have to do the refund."
On to the BBB and FTC for resolution help! No response yet...
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
2nd update...
I just spent 2 hours 10 minutes on the phone again with Expedia after a ten day waiting period that was supposed to take five days for a special "waiver code" by email, which never happened. The huge majority of the call today was me being on hold...then the call dropped out completely. Don't know if I can deal with this again...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
I had no problem dealing with American Airlines or Delta and was able to get a refund as my flight times had changed significantly.
I also wrote Orisson and told them to consider my deposit as a donation. They were very grateful. If we want the Camino "to provide" when all this is over then we should help them when we have the means to do so. Losing a "season" of income is essentially a whole year of income on the Camino that is basically only open for 6 months. Not many people could survive this. If you have the means, then consider not asking for a refund and also making donations to albergues along the way.
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2021"
I was booked with Emerates for return flights from Auckland, New Zealand to Lisbon leaving on 13th of June. Emerates contacted me last week and said that they had cancelled the flights in both directions. They gave me the choice of holding on to my tickets for up to two years and then just re-booking, to the same destination, whenever it was convenient for me to travel again with no extra costs. Taking a full refund now, or taking a voucher for the value of my flights which I can use for taking flights anywhere in the world within one year, at the end of which they would refund me any outstanding balance. I don't think you can do better than that in these times.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
@Old Kiwi, sounds like a sucessful outcome on your canceled flight. It's good to hear of a few positive stories on this thread.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
@Camino Chrissy
just a thought... Iberia should be governed by the EU rules, no?
is there any way to try and make sure what their rules\regulations are and (if hopefully favorable) try to talk to Iberia (perhaps again...dont recall if you already tried it) direct?
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
@Camino Chrissy
just a thought... Iberia should be governed by the EU rules, no?
is there any way to try and make sure what their rules\regulations are and (if hopefully favorable) try to talk to Iberia (perhaps again...dont recall if you already tried it) direct?
@CWBuff (Buffy), yes, I have already talked to someone from Iberia, but that was two weeks ago. At that time, they emphatically said I had to deal with Expedia. I may try again soon though, or check out our flight insurance or our credit card used...
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
such a shame.....
these things just should not be....

at the same time and along the same lines - my Time Share exchange wold is pretty much on the same boat
I think if one exchanged into another resort (not what TS consider to be your home base) they say that if you want to exchange to another place (within 2 weeks window) then no charge, else either lose the week (& exchange fee) or bank the week but when ready to exhange - pay another fee (i.e. lose current exchange fee)
Of course the problem is - where can i exchange on a short notice taking into consideration that travel is quite limited and places are closed
Those who bought Getaways (so these are weeks that you simply buy as if you booked a week vacation and do not apply to your exchange week) - totally out of luck. Again the fact is that if I had a getaway into Spain and Spain is on total lock-down so I cant fly there and hotel is closed - apparently makes no difference at all
:mad:
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I wrote several weeks ago that I was willing to take a voucher from Air Portugal which was good for one year. I got a pleasant surprise from them today, they added 20% to my voucher and said it is good for 2 years.
 

Martin Cole

Love being a pilgrim walker
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 French x3 Portugese x2 Primitivo x1 English x1, Muxia x1 Cancelled 2020!!
NEVER book with Expedia. I watched a colleague spend 4 hours trying to change a flight that was cancelled by the airline in favour of one that missed a connecting flight. Was ridiculus, expedia does nothing but sell, they cannot manage or change or refund.
Use them to check very approx flight pricing only but like their car hire prices most of the taxes and extras are ignored to look good.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
UPDATE: - I received an Email from Expedia yesterday morning, telling me that United Airlines had changed several departure and arrival times on my itinerary. Within the email they said I have three options to choose from; 1. - Accept the provided changes. 2. - They provided me an alternate schedule or, 3. - Cancel my itinerary and get a refund from United. (!!!).
I then called United Airlines directly (800 number), knowing I would not get a telephone call through to Expedia. The call was answered by a live representative within 15 minutes and the customer service representative confirmed that those were the options currently on the table to me from her company. I (with much trepidation) told her I wished to cancel my itinerary and obtain a full refund. Within 5-7 minutes she canceled my flights and told me my refund would be reflected on my credit card statement within the next 21 day billing cycle.
While this is not the thing I really would have liked to have done, I had to bite the bullet and opt for the safest option to get my money refunded and come to the realization that a September Camino start was not going to be in the cards for me this year.
For now I will continue to read this forum every few days, enjoy surfing the internet about caminos and live vicariously through Youtube while social distancing...
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I wrote several weeks ago that I was willing to take a voucher from Air Portugal which was good for one year. I got a pleasant surprise from them today, they added 20% to my voucher and said it is good for 2 years.
My UPDATE is I heard from American Airlines today. They've been whittling away various legs of the trip (scheduled for next week) and not telling me, and I've been waiting for them to cancel the whole thing. Since they haven't bothered to contact me about any of the whittling, I was surprised to get an email from American asking me to phone them. I called and the recording said it would be roughly 20-30 minutes in the queque. Turned out to be closer to an hour but I tolerated their awful music, and spoke with an agent who was happy to look for flights to get me to my destination. Since it wouldn't do me any good to go anywhere, I said not to trouble herself and I wanted to look into the option of a refund. She pleasantly said "No problem," and explained she would connect me to someone who would walk me through the process, and said to click on the button in the Refund section on aa.com. I was connected to a fellow who did walk me through the process (and who sounded so bored I felt sorry for him). I was given the options of a refund or a voucher. I had previously determined I would refuse a voucher if offered (who knows when things would be right for travel), but it turned out American would add 20% to the cost if I did. I spoke with the agent about this, saying maybe the airline would go bankrupt before I could travel. He laughed and said the US government has given the airlines so much money there's no way they would go out of business. He then went on to say if it were he, he would take the refund. That's what I chose to do. Supposedly it will go back onto my card in a week. Part of me still sees that additional 20% floating away, but at least it is now resolved.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
It looks like those of you who have booked directly with the airlines are having the best success at receiving refunds, and I've learned a lesson through my frustration. I'm still in the "run around" process and plan to try calling again on Wednesday. I think Expedia is trying to "whittle down" my resolve and I must say it's unfortunately starting to work. If I continue to get nowhere I will next try the flight insurance I'd purchased, and after that my credit card company.
Who knows, in the end I may be begging for the vouchers if my refund requests are not honored.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
@chrissy - I booked through Expedia. I would suggest calling your airlines direct, circumventing Expedia completely. It seems Expedia is just an intermediary who sells for airlines and has no say so as to providing refunds or not. Just my opinion though...
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
@chrissy - I booked through Expedia. I would suggest calling your airlines direct, circumventing Expedia completely. It seems Expedia is just an intermediary who sells for airlines and has no say so as to providing refunds or not. Just my opinion though...
That's true, but generally the agent "owns" the booking, and refunds go to the agent who processes them for the client.
 

Galloglaigh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
Warren Buffett has sold all his airline shares so must know something. Press on for your refund.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
@chrissy - I booked through Expedia. I would suggest calling your airlines direct, circumventing Expedia completely. It seems Expedia is just an intermediary who sells for airlines and has no say so as to providing refunds or not. Just my opinion though...
My flights are all with Iberia. I had contacted them direct early on and was told I had to deal with Expedia. Maybe since Iberia is not an USA airline they are not being as helpful to me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
The music can be hell aswell. 😖😖
I hope that this post is not too flippant, but an Australian friend of mine, who was in an amateur production of "The Sound of Music," found herself singing along to the music while on hold, and was then suddenly connected to an agent who, in her turn, began singing back. They finished "You are Sixteen, Going on Seventeen," and then addressed themselves to the business at hand.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I hope that this post is not too flippant, but an Australian friend of mine, who was in an amateur production of "The Sound of Music," found herself singing along to the music while on hold, and was then suddenly connected to an agent who, in her turn, began singing back. They finished "You are Sixteen, Going on Seventeen," and then addressed themselves to the business at hand.
Not flippant at all. I love it!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I hope that this post is not too flippant, but an Australian friend of mine, who was in an amateur production of "The Sound of Music," found herself singing along to the music while on hold, and was then suddenly connected to an agent who, in her turn, began singing back. They finished "You are Sixteen, Going on Seventeen," and then addressed themselves to the business at hand.
So cute!
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
My flights are all with Iberia. I had contacted them direct early on and was told I had to deal with Expedia. Maybe since Iberia is not an USA airline they are not being as helpful to me.
:( - Sorry to hear this ...
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Update #3
I am very frustrated and starting to feel helpless. I am sure this is what Expedia and Iberia want...to wear me down and give up trying for a refund. If I do give up, then I hope my party of 3 are able to accept vouchers as a last resort. I do not even know if the newbies would be able to plan to go again next year so vouchers are not really a good option for them.
I called Expedia today and only had a half hour being on hold this time. They had requested "waiver codes" for the flight refunds from Iberia through emails they sent on April 16th and again on April 23rd but they have received no response back from Iberia either time. (Iberia supposedly tells them they will not accept phone calls from them).
I then called Iberia myself (which I had done on the 16th) and they still say I must only go through Expedia. I then said "but you are not responding to their emails". I was then told that Expedia must not be providing the proper information to them. I know that they are as I have a copy of Expedia's email to Iberia. Every jot, tittle, correct itinerary and booking numbers, and all our names are included in the email.
So then I decided next to contact my credit card company. A recording said my wait time would be an hour, I waited with the music, only to be cut off and disconnected automatically after 40 minutes.
My next plan will be to contact my flight insurance through AIG. I had called them as soon as my flight was canceled and was told my request would be reviewed by an adjustor "case by case" and that I should find out from Expedia first before I fill out a form for a report. I think I know how that will go if I do..."Run around, run around"...it's a merry-go- round, but not any fun. 😐
I am mainly sending this update for myself to let off some steam as I do not expect many forum members to bother reading through this lengthy negative, yet factual post.
 
Last edited:

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Update #3
I am very frustrated and starting to feel helpless. I am sure this is what Expedia and Iberia want...to wear me down and give up trying for a refund. If I do give up, then I hope my party of 3 are able to accept vouchers as a last resort. I do not even know if the newbies would be able to plan to go again next year so vouchers are not really a good option for them.
I called Expedia today and only had a half hour being on hold this time. They had requested "waiver codes" for the flight refunds from Iberia through emails they sent on April 16th and again on April 23rd but they have received no response back from Iberia either time. (Iberia supposedly tells them they will not accept phone calls from them).
I then called Iberia myself (which I had done on the 16th) and they still say I must only go through Expedia. I then said "but you are not responding to their emails". I was then told that Expedia must not be providing the proper information to them. I know that they are as I have a copy of Expedia's email to Iberia. Every jot, tittle, correct itinerary and booking numbers, and all our names are included in the email.
So then I decided next to contact my credit card company. A recording said my wait time would be an hour, I waited with the music, only to be cut off and disconnected automatically after 40 minutes.
My next plan will be to contact my flight insurance through AIG. I had called them as soon as my flight was canceled and was told my request would be reviewed by an adjustor "case by case" and that I should find out from Expedia first before I fill out a form for a report. I think I know how that will go if I do..."Run around, run around"...it's a merry-go- round, but not any fun. 😐
I am mainly sending this update for myself to let off some steam as I do not expect many forum members to bother reading through this lengthy negative, yet factual post.
Hang in there!

Squeaky wheel gets the oil.

Keep squeaking.
 

Kumi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2020
Our round trip flight from Chicago to Madrid to leave tomorrow on Iberia was cancelled a few weeks ago. I then called Expedia and the recording said to wait three days before the flight as the volume of calls was so high. I did that and did finally talk to two humans, requesting refunds, not vouchers. I literally spent 2+ hours on the phone, mostly holding. They themselves in turn were holding with Iberia to get a special code for my refund, but they could not get through to Iberia, so assured me they will be "working on it". I should get refunds in 6-8 weeks "they say". Next was calling Orbitz for our Iberia leg from Madrid to Oviedo. Same exact run around, plus both Expedia and Orbitz were using the same phone number and appear to be somehow connected to each other. Another 1+ hour on the phone again with them, saying the same thing, only now they can not assure a refund as the flight is not officially canceled, only changed to leave three days later! I still have two other calls to Iberia Express to deal with. Since those flights are not canceled (yet), no refund is allowed even though I cannot get to Spain. All these flights are with Iberia.
I fully understand the issues due to the virus and have sympathy, but am left hanging for who knows how long and I wonder how many calls later I will be making....grrr!
Maybe I learned my lesson to book direct with the carrier. 🤔
BTW, this is the "short" version of all I dealt with.
Yes, basically the same thing with Cheapoair... Delta has refunded, but I bought through CheapOair so they have to refund me... they are giving me a hard time.. maybe worth going directly through Airline, might be more expensiv, but maybe well worth it in the long run.... it seems many people that bought directly from the airlines are getting their money back.
 
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