Answer: CheapOair should have helped you get a quick refund from Air One. As your travel agent, CheapOair should have advocated for you, rather than sending you directly to the airline for help.
One of the reasons you buy airline tickets from a third party like an online or offline travel agency is that they stand behind your purchase, offering to act as intermediaries when you need help. A good travel agent would have helped you fill out a ticket refund request and kept the pressure on Air One to send you the money.
I’ve been mediating these kinds of refund cases for a while, and I’ve noticed that it takes longer and longer to process refunds. It doesn’t help that you were dealing with Air One, which at the time was part of troubled Italian carrier Alitalia.
You shouldn’t have tried to contact CheapOair by phone. A refund request is almost always better handled by email (remember the paper trail!) and it will save you time, too. Here’s how to get in touch with the online agency.
Another option is a credit card dispute. True, you only have 60 days to dispute a credit card charge by law. But many credit cards will go to bat for you even if it’s been longer than that. Simply put, Air One didn’t give you the product that you were sold, so you might have had a strong case for a successful credit card dispute.
The other options — which are long shots — are taking CheapOair and Air One to small claims court. I say “long shots” because technically, neither company is keeping your money. The airline is just taking its time with your refund.
I contacted CheapOair on your behalf. After a considerable amount of back-and-forth between you, the agency and the airline, and another three-month wait, you received a full refund.