Can travel agent charge a processing fee to get a refund?

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Jun 12, 2019
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My son’s American Airline flight was cancelled. We purchased his ticket through Student Universe. I requested a full refund from Student Universe. They said they would request the refund from AA but would charge us a $40 fee. Is the $40 fee legitimate? There is no mention of a processing fee on their website or on our ticket invoice. AA says it's a bulk ticket and only the travel agent can process the refund for us.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
That is true that bulk tickets are different but the doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the ticket, it’s an agency fee.

It depends on whether the original ticket noted that the agent charged a fee for the ticket in the beginning. We need to see what the original purchase said. If the fee was not disclosed they can’t change that now.

But we need your son to post here so we can ask him questions directly. We don’t do third party requests. Ask him to come here and post his confirmation redacting any personal information so we can see what the agency said in the booking. Did he receive terms and conditions from the agent?
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
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Director
Jan 7, 2015
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I also don't see that it says anything. Since airlines no longer pay commission, fees are how travel agents stay in business. Since Neil knows more about travel agents than I do, I'll let him continue to advise.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,093
23,045
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I think your son is out of luck. Student Universe Terms of Use states that the user is responsible for all taxes and fees:

You are completely responsible for all assessments, charges, duties, fees, and taxes arising out of your use of the Site.

It also states this:

Payments

A credit or debit card must be used to confirm any booking. By making the reservation with a credit/debit card you authorize StudentUniverse to make a charge against that card.
StudentUniverse and affiliates “may charge an online booking fee,” this fee is highlighted upon payment and is always non refundable.

Here are the terms - see Limitations of Use:

 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
1,320
1,236
113
I see it from both sides. Had you bought from American you would have got a full refund. On the other hand the fare was much cheaper, had the trip gone ahead. You got nothing and want a full refund. They make no money from the fare itself but rather from the fees they charge, and have to pay staff to process refunds.