Sarah German redeemed an American Airlines gift card for a flight, canceled within 24 hours and asked for a refund. So why is the airline resisting? “Will American Airlines refund this gift card?”
Alison Boan believes that a Spirit Airlines computer glitch caused her return flight to be booked on the wrong date and increased her ticket price. Just hours later, when she discovers the problem, she calls the airline to switch to the correct flight. So why isn’t she allowed to do so? “Was this a Spirit Airlines computer glitch or just user error?”
When Ahmed Abdulrahim cancels a flight within 24 hours of booking it, he assumes he’ll have the money soon. Months later, he’s still waiting. Can his airline issue his refund? “I canceled my airline ticket within 24 hours. Where’s my refund?”
Even though Sampath Radhakrishna cancels his son’s airline ticket within 24 hours, his refund is missing in action. Now his credit card bill is due. Can the airline expedite the refund? “Why won’t American Airlines refund my son’s airfare?”
Today’s From The Trenches case is about an airline that may or may not be cheating on a federal regulation that helps consumers.
The regulation: The 24-hour rule.
“Is American Airlines cheating on the 24-hour rule?”
To get an idea how much airlines hate, hate, hate the 24-hour rule, consider the unbelievable case of Michael Kalman’s recent attempted ticket purchase on XL Airways.
“Flags and other funny ways around the 24-hour rule”
If there’s one regulation that airlines hate more than anything, it’s the 24-hour rule.
“The one rule your airline hates the most”
A casual observer might have thought that Anthony LaMesa was booking a last-minute JetBlue Airways ticket from New York to Cancun, Mexico, on a whim, perhaps to escape the frigid winter weather.
Appearances can be deceiving, though. LaMesa needed to fly to Mexico for emergency dental care. But when he found treatment closer to home, he discovered that he couldn’t change his ticket.
“When I booked this ticket, I thought I had the 24-hour cancellation window for a flight, which has been publicized all over the news,” he says. He didn’t. The 24-hour rule has an important, but often unarticulated, catch: It doesn’t apply to flights booked fewer than seven days in advance.
“What to do about the travel industry’s timeout clauses”
Thank goodness for the new 24-hour rule. That’s what Joan Weiner thought when she booked an airline ticket from Philadelphia to Vienna through Travelocity, only to find a cheaper fare a few hours later.
“Travelocity promised me a refund — did it do enough?”