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News Story Update: U.S. D.O.T. Warnings to Airlines Regarding the Issuing of Refunds for Cancellations

  • Thread starter Deleted member 67185
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Deleted member 67185

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So, if you are having problems, keep filing a complaint with the DOT.

 
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Jenibee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
TBD
Thank you so very much for posting this! I did not know that a refund was even a possibility, but I have just submitted a request for domestic flights that I had actually canceled after AA significantly altered my arrival time. I didn't really want the voucher, but thought that was my only option. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Thank you so very much for posting this! I did not know that a refund was even a possibility, but I have just submitted a request for domestic flights that I had actually canceled after AA significantly altered my arrival time. I didn't really want the voucher, but thought that was my only option. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
There is a separate complication for air travelers: Did you book directly with an airline or a 'real' travel agent, or did you book thru a third party site like Travelocity, Cheapo Air, Expedia, etc.

If you booked thru a third party site, you are not an airline customer, you are a customer of that third party site. Expedia et al are the airline's customer, not the person purchasing from Expedia. So the DOT rules do not apply directly to the Expedia customer.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have read this notice and my attention was caught by a sentence in the second paragraph:
To the extent this notice includes guidance on how regulated entities may comply with existing regulations, it does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the regulated entities in any way.
If the airlines "may comply... but are not bound in any way" then I do not understand why persons with bookings should see this as an enforcement notice by the Department of Transport. Am I missing something?
 

Damico Walking

Ready, and waiting, to walk
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal route May 2020 (not to be)
Portuguese coastal route TBD post COVID-19
I had booked directly with an airline, Delta, who subsequently 1) issued a significant change in schedule, then 2) cancelled the flight. My wife and I were issued vouchers electronically on the same day I received the cancellation notice. That same day I put a call in to the airline, requesting a queue call back. The call came back in about 15 minutes, then another 10 minutes on the phone and the money was back to my credit card. No fuss.

Now onto the "may comply..." clause noticed by @Albertagirl . The airlines are being formally warned that if they do not voluntarily comply with the "recommendation" the next step will be to enact a retroactive legal requirement to comply. This is something the majority of the airlines do not want, adding more regulations to an already heavily regulated industry, so they usually comply. Yes some take additional nudging but it is how the gentle persuasion process works. You know, carrot then stick only if needed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
The airlines also have another little wrinkle (listed as point #2 in the document). If they cancel, they will give a refund in cash or a up ticked voucher. But, for right now, if you cancel because of the corona virus, they will usually only give you a refund as a voucher good for one or, in some cases, two years. On the plus side, I had a reservation with TAP and they responded with either a refund or a 20% + voucher good for two years and gave me the voucher in about 3 days. Most airlines seem to have grudgingly gotten with the program, but some are still packing fewer flights with as many people as possible to maximize what revenue they are getting.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Happy to say all of my flyer miles were restored and the monetary amounts for my flights were refunded to my charge cards...AmericanAirlines. I cancelled my July flights in early March, sent a request to the airline. They responded asking me to contact them in a few weeks because of the intense volume they were experiencing. I sent one email and received the credits that same day within a few hours.
Wishing everyone the same kind of luck I experienced.
(BTW...have not paid out for a full fare in 6 caminos...use flyer miles and in some cases a tiny bit of cash ! It can be done! My cancelled flight was Boston to Pamplona, Santiago to Boston...$37.00 )
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 CF, 2016 Camino Portuguese, 2018 Le Puy to St. Jean, 2019 CF
A week ago found my Iberia flight was cancelled from SFO to Barcelona( which would have been yesterday). Called, waited on the line for about 5 minutes and just this am see I have already received my refund. I did book directly with Iberia. Have to say I am a little surprised it was so easy.
 

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015, 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
The airlines also have another little wrinkle (listed as point #2 in the document). If they cancel, they will give a refund in cash or a up ticked voucher. But, for right now, if you cancel because of the corona virus, they will usually only give you a refund as a voucher good for one or, in some cases, two years. On the plus side, I had a reservation with TAP and they responded with either a refund or a 20% + voucher good for two years and gave me the voucher in about 3 days. Most airlines seem to have grudgingly gotten with the program, but some are still packing fewer flights with as many people as possible to maximize what revenue they are getting.
I also took the TAP voucher + 20%. Hopefully things will be back to normal by the time it expires.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP to Finisterre 2009
Le Puy to SJPDP 2013
Frances 2014
GR700 & Arles 2017
Norte 2019
A week ago found my Iberia flight was cancelled from SFO to Barcelona( which would have been yesterday). Called, waited on the line for about 5 minutes and just this am see I have already received my refund. I did book directly with Iberia. Have to say I am a little surprised it was so easy.
Hi Suzanne, do you have the phone number you used to call Iberia as I haven't had any luck so far when I've tried to call them. Thanks in advance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP to Finisterre 2009
Le Puy to SJPDP 2013
Frances 2014
GR700 & Arles 2017
Norte 2019
1 (800) 772-4642. That was hard to find!
Many thanks, Suzanne. I was able to get through to them and my flights will be refunded. Good detective work on finding the phone number as its not one I'd been able to locate. Cheers
 

Dawn of a new Day

Active Member
Thank you so very much for posting this! I did not know that a refund was even a possibility, but I have just submitted a request for domestic flights that I had actually canceled after AA significantly altered my arrival time. I didn't really want the voucher, but thought that was my only option. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I understand that if YOU cancel there is only a credit. If the airlines cancel they will offer you a 2 year credit, if you accept this, there is nothing more, if you say No, then they need to refund your money.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
A week ago found my Iberia flight was cancelled from SFO to Barcelona( which would have been yesterday). Called, waited on the line for about 5 minutes and just this am see I have already received my refund. I did book directly with Iberia. Have to say I am a little surprised it was so easy.
I had five flights booked with Iberia. Once I got through to their help desk I requested refunds and got two flights refunded within the statutory (in Europe) seven days. The other refunds are somewhere in Limbo. I tried the help desk again but they have no view of the refund department and can only forward requests. I also tried my Ibereia Plus frequent flyer help desk who said they could do nothing either! Luckily I paid with a UK credit card and under a UK consumer law the credit card company is also liable for any defective goods or services if the original supplier goes bust or fails to take complaints seriously. Now Mastercard is refunding the flights.
 

Casserole

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 - Solo, SJPdP to Finisterre
2018 - Daughter (2) and Hubby, Sarria to SdC
I had booked directly with an airline, Delta, who subsequently 1) issued a significant change in schedule, then 2) cancelled the flight. My wife and I were issued vouchers electronically on the same day I received the cancellation notice. That same day I put a call in to the airline, requesting a queue call back. The call came back in about 15 minutes, then another 10 minutes on the phone and the money was back to my credit card. No fuss.
This is good to know. I had to cancel a flight through Delta today and realized that it wasn't a refund, but an "eticket". I'll be calling tomorrow.
 

Damico Walking

Ready, and waiting, to walk
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal route May 2020 (not to be)
Portuguese coastal route TBD post COVID-19
This is good to know. I had to cancel a flight through Delta today and realized that it wasn't a refund, but an "eticket". I'll be calling tomorrow.
I wish you the best but remember there is a difference in the rules if the airline cancels versus if you cancel. If they cancel the refund is required by US regulations if you request it. If YOU cancel then a voucher is all the regulations require and if they do refund it is the airlines option.
 

Jenibee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
TBD
Just an update to say that I received an email this morning from AA advising that a refund had been issued to my credit card for my canceled domestic tickets. I had canceled the flight after the airline changed the schedule, and had received a voucher which I didn't really want. It took just over a week to receive the refund, and I'm glad to have the funds returned as I don't know when I will travel by air again.
 

peregrin peregrina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
april 2021
There is a separate complication for air travelers: Did you book directly with an airline or a 'real' travel agent, or did you book thru a third party site like Travelocity, Cheapo Air, Expedia, etc.

If you booked thru a third party site, you are not an airline customer, you are a customer of that third party site. Expedia et al are the airline's customer, not the person purchasing from Expedia. So the DOT rules do not apply directly to the Expedia customer.
FYI - I used Expedia to book my mid-September RT flights (Delta) from US to France. I had no plan to cancel them but was going to wait and see what is happening with the Camino by then. However, I was contacted by Expedia via email on Saturday that I qualify for a full refund from Delta as they changed my flights more than 2 hours, which impacted my ability to make connecting flights. Expedia told me that one of the criteria for getting refunds on canceled flights is a schedule change of more than 2 or 3 hours (depending on the airline.) They told me the refund will take approximately 8 weeks to process. I then called Expedia to verify how to proceed, and received a call-back within an hour using the call-back feature. The agent was very helpful in making all the changes necessary to my many connections and hotels etc. In the case of Easy Jet and Iberia flights, Expedia suggested that I wait to see whether those airlines change or cancel my flights closer to September so I would then be able to get the full refund if so- otherwise I could just change the flights at that time. Lastly, on hotels, I had booked hotels for my first 2 nights and last 2 nights. One of them was non-refundable, but because of the airline situation, Expedia told me to cancel the non-refundable hotel and they would provide me a voucher good for any hotel up to within a year. I haven't read all the posts yet but wanted to put this out there in case anyone finds this helpful.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I’m sorry if I take this thread a little outside its ambit, but there was an interesting article in yesterday’s NYT warning us of the “data yo-yo” that we are going to experience in reports about travel and all other sorts of economic indicators.

What they mean is that there are now recent reports that the air travel industry in the US is up 123% in just the last month! That is true (212,000 passengers over the previous month’s 95,000). But in comparison to last year, when 2.4 million people PER DAY were getting on planes in the US, it is surely no cause to think that we are bouncing back. And I am not suggesting we get into the debate of whether we should bounce back or not — just reporting on the interesting statistical reports that can be very misleading.

 

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