United email about inability to board plane for Israel without proof of place to quarantine for 14 days while in Israel

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Apr 30, 2020
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Family trip for seven planned on United non-stop from Dulles to Tel Aviv and paid for in July 2019 for flights March 20 and return March 31, 2020. Received notification around March 9th from tour guide re new Israeli policy requiring all incoming visitors to quarantine for 14 days. Received email from United around March 15 or 16th stating that no one allowed to board without proof of place to quarantine in Israel for 14 days. Email indicated that if that were not possible (a place for quarantine) we could apply for refund or change plans to travel before July 21st 2020 (year from purchase). Since our trip was only 11 days and we had no place to stay for quarantine and there was no way that all seven people could reschedule before July 21, we canceled on March 17. Within several days we received credit for that part of the tickets which was for seat upgrades. I then called United and asked whether the refund for the rest of cost would automatically be refunded on July 21 or whether we should request refund. United representative reported that because it was a new policy, she had to ask supervisor who then suggested that I actually request the refund before July 21. I requested the refund online on March 27th. One week ago I received what appeared to be a standard denial saying tickets were non-refundable but I could use them for travel up to July 21, 2020 and perhaps up to one year longer. I called United and they have started an appeal for the refund as we obviously cannot use the tickets before this July and it is highly unlikely that they can be used even by July of next year based on everyone's already scheduled activities and the uncertainty involved. Unfortunately, I have apparently lost the key email from United from mid March and I am certain that I could not be the only person to have received that email. It would be helpful to have a copy of the email to bolster my appeal and was wondering if anyone else had a copy of it. (The flight itself apparently did take off).
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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If you've done an extensive search of your old emails and can't find it, I suggest posting on the FlyerTalk United forum. I "almost always" save important emails in separate folders, but the little rascals do manage to disappear occasionally ... I have found a couple in the wrong folder. An email in March might still be in your trash folder. FlyerTalk has thousands of active participants in each of their forums, and I've been able to receive good answers to odd questions over the years. If United is offering such long extensions on future credits, stating that nobody could take the trip in all that time may not be a good reason for a refund. So it would be very helpful to find that email.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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If you've done an extensive search of your old emails and can't find it, I suggest posting on the FlyerTalk United forum. I "almost always" save important emails in separate folders, but the little rascals do manage to disappear occasionally ... I have found a couple in the wrong folder. An email in March might still be in your trash folder. FlyerTalk has thousands of active participants in each of their forums, and I've been able to receive good answers to odd questions over the years. If United is offering such long extensions on future credits, stating that nobody could take the trip in all that time may not be a good reason for a refund. So it would be very helpful to find that email.
Thanks for the info. I must have accidentally deleted it one month ago as I can't retrieve deleted emails more than one month old. Probably the only important email I didn't save in a protected folder - Murphy's Law!! I have joined the Flyer Talk forum as you suggested and hope for a response.
 
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Barry Graham

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Jan 7, 2015
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I am so sorry your trip was canceled. As you can probably tell from my picture, Israel is a country dear to my heart. I am very familiar with that flight even though I have never taken it, as we live in the DC area. It is very hard to know that we cannot visit right now.

I am not sure why you need to post this on Flyertalk. If you click on this link you will find a very helpful list of company contacts that you can use to write to, starting at the top. I hope they either refund or make them usable some time that works for you.
 

smd

Mar 14, 2018
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Here are the United travel waivers and restrictions that were in place on the day you cancelled (March 17):


The Israeli quarantine requirements are discussed, but there is nothing that says a refund is an option.

As of March 17, United was waiving all change fees and providing credits that were valid for one year from the original ticket date. This appears to be what you received. (Since that time, United has extended the credits to 2 years from the issue date, so they should be good through 3/17/2022.)

Is it possible that you misinterpreted the email?
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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I am so sorry your trip was canceled. As you can probably tell from my picture, Israel is a country dear to my heart. I am very familiar with that flight even though I have never taken it, as we live in the DC area. It is very hard to know that we cannot visit right now.

I am not sure why you need to post this on Flyertalk. If you click on this link you will find a very helpful list of company contacts that you can use to write to, starting at the top. I hope they either refund or make them usable some time that works for you.
She's curious about "anyone else who received an email like hers".
 
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Apr 30, 2020
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I remember that the email stated that I had one year from date of purchase to use - which for us would have been July of 2020 (we bought the tickets last July). I am also almost positive that it said that if the tickets couldn't be used by a year from purchase then a refund was possible. It was for this reason that I then canceled and requested refund. It is certainly possible that United has subsequently changed its policy but I am pretty certain that as of that email the information was as above. That's why I would like to see a copy of the email that was sent at that time. Thanks.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
United changed their policy about using certificates to 2 years from date of issue. Perhaps that might help with the credit.

“These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. You might not see this policy change reflected everywhere right away – we appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.”
 
Apr 30, 2020
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I am so sorry your trip was canceled. As you can probably tell from my picture, Israel is a country dear to my heart. I am very familiar with that flight even though I have never taken it, as we live in the DC area. It is very hard to know that we cannot visit right now.

I am not sure why you need to post this on Flyertalk. If you click on this link you will find a very helpful list of company contacts that you can use to write to, starting at the top. I hope they either refund or make them usable some time that works for you.
Thanks for the interest and the information. As I believe I noted in my original message that I posted to Elliott Advocacy, I have made a telephone call last week to United and was told that an appeal has been made on my behalf. I was told that I should call back by around May 7th for answer. So I'll wait until I get the answer before proceeding further. But, obviously having a copy of that email would have been helpful. I am certain that other people must have received it also.
 

smd

Mar 14, 2018
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965
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I remember that the email stated that I had one year from date of purchase to use - which for us would have been July of 2020 (we bought the tickets last July). I am also almost positive that it said that if the tickets couldn't be used by a year from purchase then a refund was possible. It was for this reason that I then canceled and requested refund. It is certainly possible that United has subsequently changed its policy but I am pretty certain that as of that email the information was as above. That's why I would like to see a copy of the email that was sent at that time. Thanks.
The link I posted was a snapshot of United's policies taken on March 17, so it wouldn't reflect changes United made after that time. There was no refund policy, although I suppose it's possible that the email was either in error or confusing.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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United changed their policy about using certificates to 2 years from date of issue. Perhaps that might help with the credit.

“These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. You might not see this policy change reflected everywhere right away – we appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.”
Thanks for the response. The problem is that even if they allow a credit for travel 2 years from ticket issue - ie. July 2021, it's very uncertain whether all seven of us can use it by then. This was probably a pretty much once in a lifetime trip for the family (try getting seven people to arrange the same time off). Plus my wife and I are in our 70's and I'm not sure how comfortable we'll feel flying anywhere before a proven vaccine is developed.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,042
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113
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www.promalvacations.com
Thanks for the response. The problem is that even if they allow a credit for travel 2 years from ticket issue - ie. July 2021, it's very uncertain whether all seven of us can use it by then. This was probably a pretty much once in a lifetime trip for the family (try getting seven people to arrange the same time off). Plus my wife and I are in our 70's and I'm not sure how comfortable we'll feel flying anywhere before a proven vaccine is developed.
It’s not the date the ticket was issued, it’s the date the credit was issued. If they gave you the credit on March of this year, it should be good until March of 2022.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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The link I posted was a snapshot of United's policies taken on March 17, so it wouldn't reflect changes United made after that time. There was no refund policy, although I suppose it's possible that the email was either in error or confusing.
The link information was very helpful as it confirmed at least part of the email as I remembered it. As you can see from my original posting, when I called United to confirm my cancellation and I asked whether the refund would be automatic if I couldn't use by July 21, 2020 or if I had to actually request the refund, the representative consulted with her superiors who then stated that I would actually have to request the refund - which I then proceeded to do. So it certainly seems that United was aware of the refund policy and was instructing me on how and when to request it.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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It’s not the date the ticket was issued, it’s the date the credit was issued. If they gave you the credit on March of this year, it should be good until March of 2022.
That may make it somewhat more possible to use though at the present I have neither credit nor refund and it still would leave a problem with seven people coordinating along with school schedules, etc. I am awaiting reply from United for my appeal re refund and am hopeful to hear by May 7.
 
Jul 7, 2018
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I don't know who you use for your email but if you have gmail, there is a folder labeled "all mail". I have discovered emails in there that I thought I had trashed. If you have something like that you could try to see if it is there rather than in the trash folder.
 
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Apr 30, 2020
8
1
3
72
I don't know who you use for your email but if you have gmail, there is a folder labeled "all mail". I have discovered emails in there that I thought I had trashed. If you have something like that you could try to see if it is there rather than in the trash folder.
Unfortunately, the Trash email only seems to keep deleted emails for about a month and I must have accidentally erased it over a month ago.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,042
23,001
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Unfortunately, the Trash email only seems to keep deleted emails for about a month and I must have accidentally erased it over a month ago.
Can you change your mail setting so they aren't deleted that quickly?

But it is neither here nor there at this point. You'll have to wait for Uniteds response and see if they will make an exception.
 
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