STA Travel refund problem...

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Jun 11, 2017
Dear Christopher Elliott and Readers,

Hello. I have read your column in the Chicago Tribune for quite some time. Although I probably should have written to you a long long time ago, I am finally taking the time to write to you about a “travel refund” related problem that I have had that dates back a few years. Previously, I sent this e-mail to your e-mail address. I received a reply telling me to forward the letter to your other “message system”. So, today, I am re-sending the e-mail in its entirety. Since it has been a long time since the problem occurred, I’m not sure if you can help me. But, I wanted to take the time to ask. The following is my problem.

In 2008, I purchased a round-trip flight from/to Los Angeles to/from Taipei, Taiwan via China Airlines through STA Travel’s Chicago, Illinois branch office. I had used the Los Angeles to Taipei portion, but had submitted the Taipei to Los Angeles portion for a refund in 2009 to STA Travel. Originally, in Taiwan, I had asked a China Airlines office about a refund, but they told me that I needed to contact the travel agent in the U.S. During the time of my travels, the STA Travel office in Chicago closed and the STA Travel office in Evanston, Illinois took over the old office’s travel clients, tickets, etc. I corresponded with them extensively.

I have been living overseas (in Taiwan) for the past few years and have just recently located old booking information and photo-copies of the old original ticket which I had sent (via certified postal mail) to the STA Travel’s Evanston, Illinois branch. The ticket was actually an old “paper-ticket” that used to be standard prior to “e-tickets” being used now. That office (in Evanston, Illinois) had said that they would submit the original ticket for a refund many years ago (in 2009), but I have never received any information since then regarding the ticket. I did try to contact their Evanston, Illinois office numerous times in 2009 and 2010, via e-mail and telephone, and was constantly told that the refund had been submitted to the “main office” and that I should wait for a reply. That reply never came. Eventually, I gave up trying to jump through the hoops of never getting a definitive answer to my problem/refund.

Over the years, the unresolved issue has continued to bother me, as I felt cheated of a few hundred dollars of a refund. I didn’t think of contacting your office for help until recently. Even though it has been about seven or eight years, is it possible that your office could try to contact STA Travel and see if there is any possible way to get the refund that never came to me? Or, at least, an explanation as to what had happened.

I greatly appreciate any help that you could be regarding my problem and hope that there can finally be a happy resolution. Thank you so very much for your assistance. I will look forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

J. Dooley


Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York