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Our refund experience

Hi all,

I thought I would share our refund experience with all, and maybe it well help some.

Our trip was 23 nights, which included time in France, Italy and a seven night cruise of Civitavecchia port (to the Greek islands).

Airline:

We had purchased tickets JFK-FCO (Rome) and CDG (Paris)-JFK. Flights were with Delta (although the flight to Rome was operated by Alitalia), and I purchased economy tickets (not basic economy). Separately I had purchased Delta tickets SJU-JFK and JetBlue tickets JFK-SJU. All tickets purchased directly with the airlines.

Flight JFK to Rome (for June 24) was cancelled a few weeks ago. Flight from SJU to JFK was changed the time (according to what they had emailed me). Both returning flights still on schedule.

Called Delta. Since I am in PR I got prompted to the Spanish speaking agents. First time I was advised they were busy and I could talk to an English speaking agent. When I chose this option I was put on hold and after five minutes got an automated message that due to high call volume they could not answer my call... Called again and stuck to the Spanish speaking agents, where I was also put on hold. After about 10 minutes, an agent answered my call. It turns out my flight SJU-JFK had been cancelled and I had not been notified. She promptly requested refunds for all of the flights. Since our flight to Europe was cancelled, there is no way we can get on the plane back, and therefore I was entitled to a refund.

The final flight on JetBlue from JFK to SJU has not been cancelled, but I am holding a bit more. If its not canceled by the beginning of July, then we will take the credit.

Hotels
Most were booked on booking.com and hotels.com. All were non refundable except for one night at Hotel Aberdeen. Through booking.com I contacted them and they had not charged my card, and cancelled my booking. The hotels in Venice and Milan I had reserved directly with the hotels, and cancelled without problems.

Museums
We had purchased tickets to Uffizi and Accademia in Florence. The Uffizi will actually be closed on the date we have tickets for, even though the museum has reopened. I requested a refund. What I received was a voucher to be used whithin 18 months of the email in which the voucher is attached. The voucher says Fireze Musei, so I am assuming it applies to both museums.

Tours
This is where it has been most difficult.

I had four tours booked with Walks of Italy, three in Italy and one in France. They automatically sent me a voucher for 125% of the money paid. We are rethinking the trip, and want to cancel at least one the tours. That will take months. Very slow response. They only reason they actually responded is because I went to their site to see where else they offered tours and the chat prompt came up. Through the chat I was able to get someone to address my issue.

One tour through City Wonders. They want me to take a voucher, refund will take months.

Two tours through Greek Traveling. These were for the day trips to Mykonos and Santorini. They have sent me a voucher, per Greek Law.

PK Travel tour in Greece (for Athens) had not been paid for, so I was able to cancel it no problems.

Fortunately, I was weeks from purchasing train tickets when our lockdown (which is three months old and is not over yet) began.

I am so glad that we were going DIY. I spent two years planning this trip and called ,many travel agents. Everyone kept telling me they could help me arrange this, and nobody came through. I know many people who had package tours who aren't getting refunds, and want to make people travel in the fall.

I wish everyone luck with their cancellations.

Here's to hoping we can go in 2021.

Posted by
1332 posts

It kinda shows me that many companies are staring at bankruptcy in the face. The cash just isn’t there, thus vouchers in the hopes that things will be better down the road

Posted by
3034 posts

As Grandpa said, "You can't get blood from a turnip." Some of these companies simply don't have the liquidity to refund cash. Where practicable a voucher is better than nothing.

Posted by
981 posts

Thanks! I have 5 tours with Walks of Italy for our family of 4, scheduled in September. I have paid s out $2k. My flight was cancelled and Delta refunded.

We would like to take the same trip in September 2021. Part of me wants to just change the dates and not bother asking for a refund, but now I’m worried they will go bankrupt.

Posted by
170 posts

I had booked and pre-paid “Pristine Sistine” for 3 people next week through “Walks of Italy”. Received an email today notifying me I will get a voucher instead good for three years.

Posted by
981 posts

Wow. Well, we plan on going next year at the same time, so that works for us....but it’s still not right. It’s supposed to be refundable. Are you going to push them? Goodness, I hope they stay in business.