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For all of the complaints about airlines....

Either I must be very fortunate or the airlines are getting their act together.

Today around 1pm EDT, I called Delta regarding my round-trip itinerary between JFK and Zürich which was to take place April 15-22 that Delta canceled earlier this week. I asked the agent to be refunded and he said absolutely. There was maybe at most a 30 second wait for the agent to take my call.

He then noticed that I have a trip to Montréal planned May 6-11 and asked if I wish to have that roundtrip itinerary refunded as well. In fact, those flights have not been cancelled. I said that I did and he put me on hold and had both itineraries credited to the credit card I used and said I would see the refund in 5-10 business days. For me, a refund was a better option than having the money credited to my Delta account with the understanding that if I didn’t use up the credit by May 31, 2022, it would be gone. In addition, since my husband and I have both been furloughed, we need the money more than we need it sitting in my SkyMiles account.

So I had an easy time reaching out to Delta and spoke with an extremely competent & friendly agent. Requesting a refund was a whole new experience for me as I have always purchased non-refundable airfares at the lowest airfare class available. I had a very pleasant experience with Delta and wanted to share this with everybody.

Posted by
6433 posts

Good to see common sense and corporate structure can co-exist. Give the front line people the authority to 'do the right thing' and let them use their common sense to take care of two things with just one call.

I had a similar experience with Alaska

Posted by
2847 posts

My experience with Lufthansa was similar, except that I was on hold for about 10 minutes, and had to listen to a [very] brief explanation of the voucher alternative. But once I declined that, the agent processed the refund. The hardest part of the whole transaction was understanding the woman's thick German accent.

Posted by
579 posts

I called American this afternoon to ask for a refund on my non-refundable ticket since it met 2 conditions listed in their "Conditions of carriage" in which they will give a refund. The original flight was cancelled and I was booked on a substitute several hours earlier. Flight cancellation is a listed condition in which a refund is permitted, as is a change in flight departure of more than 61 minutes (BTW things are a bit shifty on this; when I bought the ticket it said 61 minutes, but today it says a change of 4 hours).

The agent originally just wanted to cancel the flight and give me my ticket number; I was supposed to go online and request the refund. I didn't want to do that, I asked her to process the refund so she said she did and said I can expect it in 10-14 days. I hope that's what really happens and she didn't just say that to get me off the phone since after the call I received an email from American saying

Don’t worry, the value of your ticket is safe. Please wait to call until you’re ready to rebook, and you’ll be able to use the value of your unused ticket and seat purchase toward a future trip

It's worth reading the "Conditions of carriage" for your carrier before calling. The American one is at https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-service/support/conditions-of-carriage.jsp

Posted by
35 posts

I called Lufthansa today because it has been 17 business days since I requested my refund. The agent told me it could take up to 10 weeks because of the sheer volume they are processing.

Posted by
226 posts

A bit of a positive note from Canada also - we were in our winter home in Mexico when the call came for Canadians to return home. Scramble for flights,- booked, canceled, booked, canceled, booked, partially canceled and finally a repatriation flight was secured. This was basically the same flight booked but a different name. We flew to within 400 kms of our home, so rented a car after flying into Canada and then isolated for 14 days. On top of all the expense of rebooking flights, we also had flights to join the Rick Steve’s Greece Tour in May. Todate, all airlines have given credit vouchers with extended expiry dates and of course RS has credited back our tour payment and our credit card company was more than happy to issue a check as opposed to a credit balance. We are very happy with our post flight refunds and look forward to using every one of them to explore the world again. Hopefully sooner than later..

Posted by
2040 posts

Continental--

Quick question... on another thread, two people indicated they received an e-mail from Delta pretty much immediately that confirmed the refund. Did you get an e-mail immediately that confirmed the refund and the refund amount? Thanks in advance for the response.

Posted by
4 posts

When I returned from the UK, (we rebooked with American Airlines 3-20-20 back to the US the day before we were originally going to depart from the UK(3-21-20) on Aero Lingus. I was finally able to request a refund from Aer Lingus several days after returning home to the US, I have a claim number, waited 7 days, no refund. I was able to speak to the US side of Aer Lingus ticket agent 1 week ago & she said shewould place the refund request through. 7 working days later, still no refund. I guess from the posted comments on this forum that is going to take alot longer than I expected. Hopefully the airlines won't go bankrupt before I get my refund. I guess I will have to wait a little longer for my refund. If anyone has any more tips, let me know-thanks

Posted by
4 posts

I did get a refund from American Airlines within 7 days of my flight being cancelled from Dulles to DFW. Make sure to enter each ticket number in for a refund for each ticket, not the confirmation number. Hope this helps.

Posted by
3144 posts

Dave, no I did not and have not received an email. However, the agent provided me the 13 digit “refund document number“ for each refunded itinerary and confirmed the refunded amount for each itinerary.

My husband was to go on the Montréal trip with me and he had paid for it with miles so I know that the agent returned the miles into his account as it was done in real time. I never even asked for a confirmation email; again, I’ve never had an airfare refunded. I should have asked for a confirmation email. Everything about that interaction was positive so I’m hopeful.

Posted by
2040 posts

@Continental...

Not trying to steal your hope! In another thread, two people reported getting immediate e-mails that confirmed the refund. Delta told me that they were sending my request to the "refund department" for further review; I got an e-mail indicating that they had received my request for a refund and the refunds department would determine eligibility. I requested a refund on two April itineraries where my flights had been cancelled -- one was rescheduled with a >3 hour difference in arrival time, one currently has me arriving at a connecting airport 3 hours after my "new" connecting flight departs.

Posted by
3144 posts

Dave, the agent told me that by speaking with him, he can bypass the refund department and put through the refund himself. He said with that department, it can take 90 days or more as they go through a process with the accounting department and with all of the cancellations, it is taking extensive time. When I say I called Delta, I specifically called the wheelchair service customer service number as I have been helped by them since I started traveling with a wheelchair in airports. I have a back disability which makes Standing for more than a moment excruciatingly painful so I’ve been using wheelchair service at airports and Delta is the one that arranges the service with these airports as all airlines do. Maybe Delta‘s wheelchair service department has some ability to process refunds more quickly.

Time will tell.

Posted by
3144 posts

I want to update this thread I started. The refund from Delta was posted to my AMEX card on April 11, THE DAY AFTER I CALLED THEM!

I am stunned with how quickly that was done especially as I never received an email confirmation of my refund request. True, it never occurred to me to ask for an emailed confirmation. That was a brain freeze!

I just checked now because it never occurred to me to check earlier as the agent told me it would take 5-10 business days so I wasn’t in a rush to look. Friday, April 17 was the 5th business day after my refund request.

@Dave, Delta DID come through and I am beyond impressed!

So for all of the complaints about airlines, Delta Airlines came through for me.

Posted by
579 posts

I called American this afternoon to ask for a refund on my non-refundable ticket since it met 2 conditions listed in their "Conditions of carriage" in which they will give a refund. The original flight was cancelled and I was booked on a substitute several hours earlier.

As a follow-up to my post above on April 10th, I received an email from AA that they will give me a refund. I am appreciative in these difficult times

Posted by
2040 posts

Continental,

Here's my tally so far...

  1. Domestic trip -- flight cancelled -- new arrival time > 3 hours after prior arrival time -- refund requested 4/8 -- request sent to refund department for review -- still waiting to hear decision

  2. International trip -- flight from AMS to Berlin canceled -- refund requested 4/8 (same call as #1) -- request sent to refund department for review -- called back 4/10 because no confirmation e-mail that refund was being reviewed as in #1 -- agent said the refund request was never made, so it was sent again -- refund received April 14

  3. International trip -- whole itinerary cancelled by Delta -- refund requested 4/14 -- refund received 4/16

Posted by
3144 posts

Looks like by and large the international side came through even with that agent’s error of not submitting one of your refund requests. I hope the domestic flight gets refunded as soon as possible.