Help Interpreting United Response Re: Refund Request

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Apr 23, 2020
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I've been going back and forth with United trying to get a refund for my flight from Seattle, WA to Washington, DC on May 18, 2020. The following is their most recent response:

"Thanks for your response. I can understand the concerns with a travel certificate. You can redeem the certificate for refund if you do not use it by the time it expires. In other words you can get the certificate refunded back to the original form of payment. At this time that is the policy regarding your specific circumstances. We hope that you will reconsider and look forward to welcoming you on board again soon.


Regards,

Alton Watts
Executive Services, United Airlines
Corporate Customer Care"

I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this. Thoughts?
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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Who canceled the flight? Did you or did United? If you canceled it, you are only offered a credit to be used for another flight. If they canceled the flight you are due a refund as long as you had an open reservation. With this, if you don’t use it by the time is is set to expire, contact United a few days before and let them know and then at that time they will refund you.

That’s very generous of them because most airlines have a use it or lose it policy and you wouldn’t get anything back if you don’t use the certificate.
 
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Apr 23, 2020
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Who canceled the flight? Did you or did United? If you canceled it, you are only offered a credit to be used fir another flight. If you don’t use it by the time id is set to expire, contact United a few days before and let them know and then at that time they will refund you.

That’s very generous of them because most airlines have a use it or lose it policy and you wouldn’t get anything back if you don’t use the certificate.
At this point I have not cancelled my flight. They are pressuring me to do so but I'm playing the waiting game.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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If you get to a day or two before the flight and it hasn't been canceled, you are going to have to decide if you are going to travel or cancel if there are cancellation fee waivers, cancel and receive a credit. There are still people that have to travel and that flight might be going with or without you.
 

Patina

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Dec 22, 2015
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I would wait until 24 hours before departure. Basically, when they send you an email to remind you to check in for your flight and the flight is still scheduled, then cancel your reservation and request a credit for future use. If you don't have anything to do, then check your reservation every day to see if they cancel it.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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184
43
I've been going back and forth with United trying to get a refund for my flight from Seattle, WA to Washington, DC on May 18, 2020. The following is their most recent response:

"Thanks for your response. I can understand the concerns with a travel certificate. You can redeem the certificate for refund if you do not use it by the time it expires. In other words you can get the certificate refunded back to the original form of payment. At this time that is the policy regarding your specific circumstances. We hope that you will reconsider and look forward to welcoming you on board again soon.


Regards,

Alton Watts
Executive Services, United Airlines
Corporate Customer Care"

I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this. Thoughts?
My impression from reading the reply is that they are offering a voucher instead of a refund. Whether or not the flight has been canceled is not obvious. However, how I read what UA is saying is that we want to hold onto your money as long as we can before refunding it to you and we hope that, in the interim, you forget about the vouchers and never bother us again. So they're offering a refund but not really.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,042
23,001
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
My impression from reading the reply is that they are offering a voucher instead of a refund. Whether or not the flight has been canceled is not obvious. However, how I read what UA is saying is that we want to hold onto your money as long as we can before refunding it to you and we hope that, in the interim, you forget about the vouchers and never bother us again. So they're offering a refund but not really.
If the OP cancelsn the flight and not the airline, they aren't due a refund. They are due a credit. The airlines are issuing credits with the hope you will travel again, not so screw people out of money. If that was the case, they wouldn't be offering cancellation waivers.
 
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Apr 10, 2017
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If the OP cancelsn the flight and not the airline, they aren't due a refund. They are due a credit. The airlines are issuing credits with the hope you will travel again, not so screw people out of money. If that was the case, they wouldn't be offering cancellation waivers.
It seems like what the OP is describing is what the airlines tried to do prior to the DOT stepping up and telling them no.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,042
23,001
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
It seems like what the OP is describing is what the airlines tried to do prior to the DOT stepping up and telling them no.
If the OP canceled the flight and not the airline, that is not relevant. There is no cancellation - the OP is anticipating if you read post 3. We are telling her to wait until at least the day before to see if the flight is canceled. If the flight is canceled, she is due a refund. If the flight is still going out and she doesn't want to fly - then she isn't due a refund. Many domestic flights are still flying.