How long should you have to wait for an airline ticket refund?
Payment by credit card provides certain protections under federal credit laws. When a refund is due, the airline must forward a credit to your card company within seven business days after receiving a complete refund application. If you paid by credit card for a refundable fare and you have trouble getting a refund that you are due, report this in writing to your credit card company.
So why did it take Ann Renier more than three months to get her refund from Expedia?
On March 24, I booked a flight from Fort Wayne, Ind., to Shannon Ireland, to travel at the end of September.
In June, Aer Lingus canceled their flights into Shannon and based on my conversation with Expedia personnel, Aer Lingus authorized a refund. I then booked another flight on Continental into Shannon which hopefully I will have no problem with in three weeks.
I have spent several hours on the phone with Expedia personnel (all in the Philippines) and they keep telling me that my refund will happen in 30 days or next week or next billing.
I have talked to Aer Lingus and they tell me that I should have gotten my refund by now. I contacted Visa but because it is outside the 60 days they can not help.
What would you suggest I do next so this does not go on for years like some of the others?
To understand why Renier’s money is still in limbo, you have to read the DOT wording carefully. It says the airline must refund the money in seven business days. But it says nothing about how long your online travel agency can take. I’ve dealt with cases that have taken a year (that was also with Expedia) — even two.
There’s absolutely no good reason for this. The bottlenecks are not only self-serving, allowing the company to hold on to your money a little longer to pad its balance sheet, but they also send a clear message to customers that your money doesn’t matter unless they’re on the receiving end. Refunds should be made as quickly as the money is taken from your account.
I believe online travel agencies and airlines routinely disregard federal law when it comes to refunds. To get your money back, you either have to remind them of the rules, or contact me.
I got in touch with Expedia, and it refunded Renier’s airline ticket.
So what’s the longest you’ve had to wait for a ticket refund? Please leave a comment with your story.
(Photo: Pylon757/Flickr Creative Commons)