Flight cancelled within ten minutes, no refund only travel voucher

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May 17, 2020
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On March 21, I was at the Philadelphia airport for a departing Southwest Flight that was cancelled. I am immune compromised, travel with an emotional support animal and Philadelphia was just shutting down due to COVID - 19. I quickly looked to see how else I could get to my parents home in Ft Lauderdale. Frontier had a flight going to West Palm Beach within 45 minutes. I booked it on my computer and went right downstairs to check my bag. When I got there they refused it saying there wasn't enough time. They said they could ship it to Miami. Then they said I would have to change my flight as well. It wasn't departing until approximately 11:00 - 8 hours later. All the attendants at the airport were talking about shutting down because of lack of employees and many flights were cancelled. There was no one else there. I asked them to just cancel the flight I had booked ten minutes earlier. They said I had to call. I could not get through so I cancelled on my computer.

I tried many times to contact them by phone only to be put on hold for hours. I wrote to them by email on April 19 and received their response on 4/24 that they wouldn't allow a refund, only a travel voucher. I had gotten to the gate 25 minutes prior to take off not the required hour. The cost of the one way ticket plus ESA was $347.40.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
The agents at the airport are correct- you booked a ticket that only would have worked if you had no luggage and had checked in and printed your boarding pass before the computers locked down. By the time you canceled your flight online you were most likely married as a no show and thus aren’t due a refund. These are things you don’t know when you book your own flights. There are cutoff times for checking in for every flight and then the computers lock so you cannot check in or check luggage.

We have company contacts on this site. You can try appealing to Frontier using them and see if they will do anything. But if they refuse a refund, you’ll know why.

This is how to write to them:


Good luck- let us know how you make out.
 
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May 30, 2019
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Ugh -- a real unfortunate situation. I was also traveling when things were starting to shut down. It was very stressful for everyone -- travelers, employees, and families
You have a few things going against you to get a refund:
Had you waited for the MIA the flight 8 hours later and it was cancelled, then you would have been entitled to a refund. But that's in the past

Suggestion for today: Use company contacts to politely request a refund.
 
May 30, 2019
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As I was thinking about this, perhaps you can use the fact that you had a service animal as a reason for the refund request, along the lines of an brief explanation that you made the reservation at the last minute after your flight on a different airline was cancelled, and you didn't realize that you had to register your service animal in advance. Appeal to the airline's goodwill. You should read Neil's link in Post #2 when making the request and be polite, because a refund they might provide would be above and beyond their public policy.
 
Feb 24, 2018
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This poster was not traveling with a service animal, which is a medical device, but was traveling with an ESA, which is a pet.

It would be highly inappropriate and unethical to try to use an emotional support animal as leverage to appeal to the airline's goodwill when the animal had nothing to do with the issue at hand. Such gimmicks are among the primary reason that those individuals, such as myself, who travel with service animals necessary to our health face resistance from airlines, who are trying to weed out trickery.

Service animals are not props to be used as leverage to appeal to airlines as emotional leverage when something goods amiss in traveling. Please respect those in the disability community by not suggesting that their medical devices should be used as convenient loopholes.
 
May 30, 2019
389
774
93
This poster was not traveling with a service animal, which is a medical device, but was traveling with an ESA, which is a pet.

It would be highly inappropriate and unethical to try to use an emotional support animal as leverage to appeal to the airline's goodwill when the animal had nothing to do with the issue at hand. Such gimmicks are among the primary reason that those individuals, such as myself, who travel with service animals necessary to our health face resistance from airlines, who are trying to weed out trickery.

Service animals are not props to be used as leverage to appeal to airlines as emotional leverage when something goods amiss in traveling. Please respect those in the disability community by not suggesting that their medical devices should be used as convenient loopholes.
I appreciate that @slb2rf pointed out that distinction. I withdraw my recommendation on Post #4.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,746
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San Francisco
On March 21, I was at the Philadelphia airport for a departing Southwest Flight that was cancelled. I am immune compromised, travel with an emotional support animal and Philadelphia was just shutting down due to COVID - 19. I quickly looked to see how else I could get to my parents home in Ft Lauderdale. Frontier had a flight going to West Palm Beach within 45 minutes. I booked it on my computer and went right downstairs to check my bag. When I got there they refused it saying there wasn't enough time. They said they could ship it to Miami. Then they said I would have to change my flight as well. It wasn't departing until approximately 11:00 - 8 hours later. All the attendants at the airport were talking about shutting down because of lack of employees and many flights were cancelled. There was no one else there. I asked them to just cancel the flight I had booked ten minutes earlier. They said I had to call. I could not get through so I cancelled on my computer.

I tried many times to contact them by phone only to be put on hold for hours. I wrote to them by email on April 19 and received their response on 4/24 that they wouldn't allow a refund, only a travel voucher. I had gotten to the gate 25 minutes prior to take off not the required hour. The cost of the one way ticket plus ESA was $347.40.
I am sorry to hear that you got caught up in this, Kindur. I would still ask Frontier for a refund. Use the guidance my colleagues have given you. Be appreciative, polite, patient and persistent. Admit that you made a mistake booking the flight because you didn't know all the restrictions. Your job is to compose a letter that is concise, that a busy exec can read and understand immediately. You want that person to want to help you. It's worth a shot. If they are unable to grant a refund, ask for a credit towards a future flight. It's a long shot, as you were undoubtedly listed as a no-show, but you'll never know until you make the request. If you checked in online, that might "prove" that you were there on time.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,041
23,001
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I am sorry to hear that you got caught up in this, Kindur. I would still ask Frontier for a refund. Use the guidance my colleagues have given you. Be appreciative, polite, patient and persistent. Admit that you made a mistake booking the flight because you didn't know all the restrictions. Your job is to compose a letter that is concise, that a busy exec can read and understand immediately. You want that person to want to help you. It's worth a shot. If they are unable to grant a refund, ask for a credit towards a future flight. It's a long shot, as you were undoubtedly listed as a no-show, but you'll never know until you make the request. If you checked in online, that might "prove" that you were there on time.
They gave him a travel voucher - he wants a full refund.
 
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