No After Tour Service from Liberty Travel - It Is YOUR FAULT

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Dec 28, 2016
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I booked our airline tickets for our African Safari tour through Liberty Travel that apparently went through a place call FlightCenter.com - JetBlue/Qatar/JetBlue. The first leg on JetBlue was supposed to depart SFO at 11:00PM on 7/25/2016 arriving JFK at 7:30AM, 7/26/16, in time for a connection on Qatar Airline at 11:15AM, 7/26/16. At around 5PM on 7/25 we received a notice from JetBlue that the flight will e delayed till 1:50AM, 7/26 arriving JFK at 10:30AM so clearly there will not be sufficient time to make the Qatar connection. So my husband drove me to SFO while my daughter who was going on the same tour with me but lives in NYC frantically called the travel agent to see if JetBlue would make arrangement for a different first leg. JetBlue declined despite their own procedure that requires at least one hour for connecting flights. So we were forced to purchase another ticket from AA at SFO at $590.10 plus another $35 for buying the ticket at the airport. That, as it turned out, was the only way I could make the tour that was already paid for. As it turned out, JetBlue canceled the flight all together and re-route my first leg to one that leaves SFO to JFK via Las Vegas at 2:00PM on 7/26 and claims that I will still be able to make the connection to Qatar flight schedule to depart JFK at 11:15AM on 7/26.

Besides myself and my daughter who lives in NYC, my sister and her partner who lives in Maryland were joining us on the tour and my sister and her partner had a similar problem so they had to take Amtrak instead. So after I came back early August I emailed Liberty Travel requesting their help to get a refund from JetBlue. Months went by with basically no news from Liberty Travel until my sister filed a complaint with Elliot.org. Then I got a call from Liberty Travel offering me a refund of $297. My daughter thought that was ridiculous especially when you considered that I paid an extra $99 to JetBlue to get a better seat for the first leg, and emailed Liberty Travel. She did, almost immediately, got a response from Liberty Travel. Among the false claim that they always responded promptly, what they said was that the ticketing group is FlightCenter.com, a different organization that had nothing to do with them despite that the ticket was booked by Liberty, and that there offer for a partial refund, after four months, was above and beyond their duty to customers, and that it was basically our fault that we declined to purchase travel insurance and that they offered us a full refund which is absolutely not true. In fact the travel insurance bit is totally ridiculous as they know even if we did purchase travel insurance my daughter who lives in NYC would not have faced the delay and I guess Liberty Travel would expect her to travel alone!

The only time that Liberty Travel truly responded promptly was right before the trip my husband decided to upgrade my ticket with Qatar to Business Class because I happened to have have injured my back. They did work over time to get that done within two hours.

So my conclusion was if you are looking for service after the tour from these people think twice if not thrice. They would gladly take your money to arrange to buy the ticket for you and then will tell you they have nothing to do with the ticketing agency! If ticketing is the only service a traveler needs why go to them instead of one of the ticketing sites like Expedia, Cheap Flight, etc.? On top of that it is your fault for not buying their upselling such as a travel insurance. And we all know how much travel insurance will cost and is worth.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
FlightCenter owns Liberty Travel (and GOGO vacations) so I don't know why that has anything to do with anything.

Did you know that without travel insurance you most likely would have no medical insurance outside the US? Travel insurance most likely would have helped reimburse you for the extra ticket cost you incurred. That's part of most coverage.

As your travel agent they should have helped you as soon as the first flight was canceled. That's why you booked through them.

Did you contact Liberty as soon as the flight was canceled to get you rebooked?
 
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Realitoes

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So my conclusion was if you are looking for service after the tour from these people think twice if not thrice. They would gladly take your money to arrange to buy the ticket for you and then will tell you they have nothing to do with the ticketing agency! If ticketing is the only service a traveler needs why go to them instead of one of the ticketing sites like Expedia, Cheap Flight, etc.? On top of that it is your fault for not buying their upselling such as a travel insurance. And we all know how much travel insurance will cost and is worth.
Sorry you had a problem, but glad you were able to still make your trip. Unfortunately, these things happen. As Neil stated, your travel agent should have been able to fix this for you in a reasonable amount of time. As it stands, all you can really expect from Jet Blue is a refund of your unused ticket. You definitely can write them and ask for compensation to cover your other expenses due to the cancelled flight, but realistically, all you may get is a small voucher or some miles as a gesture of goodwill.

I don't agree about travel insurance, especially if you are traveling outside of the US. What would happen if you get sick or injured? Chances are very good your regular medical insurance will not cover you. You could end up with thousands of dollars of expenses, especially if you have to be medically evacuated back to the states.

The right policy would have covered you here, or at least provided some benefits to reimburse you the extra expenses. Also consider if you were unable to get a flight to complete your trip, what would losses have been that insurance may have covered?

The trick is not to buy the travel companies insurance (which is usually the cheapest with least benefit), but to shop around and be sure to understand what is covered and what is not. Two good places to do this online is with squaremouth.com and insuremytrip.com. I've used both at one time or another for my various trips.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Diana, glad you were able to make the trip but sad to hear your story. Did you know this travel agency before you booked with them? Were they recommended to you? Did they have good reviews? It appears to me that they are behaving just like an OTA; take your money, issue a tix and disappear.

Have you checked the credit card you used to book the trip to see if they might have any insurance coverage? For example, Chase Sapphire cards have excellent trip insurance for interruptions and cancellations ...it's a perk to the cardholder.

You are definitely due a refund from JetBlue, but the TA is in the way. You need to work through Liberty Travel. You are their client, and the airline generally refunds through the TA. Keep an eye on your credit card, as sometimes these refunds just appear on your statement.

Meanwhile, compose a concise, polite email outlining the problem and asking for your refund. From your post, it appears that there is a great deal of misinformation going back and forth, so getting everything in writing from now on may help you. Be persistent and patient, working on up to the agency owner if necessary. Good luck and please keep us updated.