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RS BOE and United Refund Experience

I follow this forum, although I am not big on posting. Today was to be the start of RS BOE trip that I started planning last July. We are hopeful that this pandemic will subside and international travel will be possible once again in the not too distant future.

I am grateful that as of this morning all my upfront costs for a traveling party of 4 have been refunded. Thanks to all the advice from others on this forum on seeking refunds, as knowledge is key is getting some of the refunds. By far RS was the most professional and hassle free about the refund and I have a great deal of respect for his team for managing this effort....THANK YOU.

I had timed tickets for Versailles that were non-refundable. I went ahead and sent a respectful email citing my reservation numbers requesting a refund. The response was the tickets were non-refundable, which I already knew. The tickets were valid until the end of December 2020. Unexpectedly, several weeks later my credit card was refunded.

I had booked 4 tickets through United (United outbound and Swiss Air inbound - Swiss Air is a United partner). A direct flight to Paris and Swiss Air from Rome connecting through Zurich back to the US. All 4 seats were purchased on a credit card with United. I played the waiting game not seeking a voucher or credit. Within 3 weeks of the scheduled initial flight, I received an email from United that my itinerary was changed but not cancelled. I still did nothing and waited. I noticed that Swiss Air was canceling flights out of Rome running about 2-3 weeks ahead of scheduled flights. I checked Swiss Air daily for my flight. On May 5, my flight from Rome to USA was cancelled, so I now met the criteria for a United refund. On May 5th, I called United and respectfully stated that one of my flight segments was cancelled and I wanted a refund. I was put on hold for less than 5 minutes and was told that refund was forthcoming with 20-30 days. I stated that refunds were required within 7 days, but that did not change the response during the call.

United refunded each person's ticket separately with a refund to my credit card. The first refund came within 3 business days. Two additional ticket costs were refunded on the 5th business day. The final refund was May 16, which is 7-8 business days depending how you count the days.

My experience was as stated by many on this forum......wait and do not cancel your airline. If you cancel, you will likely receive a voucher or credit. Wait until your flight is near and call United...no online request forms. Track your flights for cancellations. If a flight segment is cancelled call United and request a refund. This was a slow process and a waiting game.

Posted by
556 posts

DB, thank you for your post. I appreciate all your details.

I’m wondering if I’m am now finally in a similar situation. Our R.S. Best of the Adriatic tour was cancelled. Our flights were to begin June 4. We had one lay-over each way, and second leg of the first trip now says “This flight segment is cancelled or not confirmed.” Everything else still seems to be scheduled. The particulars are as follow:

June 4 UA Flight 989 IAD (Washington D.C.) to Frankfurt 5:35 pm

June 5 LH 1458 Frankfurt to Ljubljana 11:30 am—-This flight cancelled or not confirmed

June 25. UA 7255 Dubrovnik to Frankfurt 7:25 am

June 25. UA 8827 Frankfurt to IAD 1:10

I’m wondering if the “cancelled” is strong enough to call, or if the “or not confirmed ” casts doubt?
I don’t want to jump the gun, but I’d like to get the refund in hand, also.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by
7752 posts

Interesting to hear your Versailles tickets were refunded and that the rest of your refunds worked out too!

I hope you'll plan to do your trip again when things settle out. Rick's Best of Europe tours are so good for a taste of lots of different areas. His handling of this debacle makes me want to do even more tours with RSE to show my support.

Thanks for posting your experience!

Posted by
2040 posts

va from va --

Lufthansa announced its June schedule late last week and apparently uploaded those changes over the weekend, cancelling numerous flights that were still hanging around from the pre-COVID-19 schedule. A check of the booking tool on Lufthansa's website shows no FRA to LJU flights on June 5; it looks like the route does not re-start until June 15. So... you should be able to call now and get a refund (or at least get placed in the queue for a refund).

Of note, LJU airport was closed to commercial traffic from March 17 through May 12. Slovenia's government only gave a few days' notice of the re-opening, so it will take a bit of time for airlines to get service up and running again -- early to mid June is when most airlines are expected to resume flights.

https://www.fraport-slovenija.si/en/press/7937

Posted by
556 posts

Dave,
Thanks for your reply to me. Perhaps I'll try calling tomorrow.

DB, Thanks for giving me the impetus to get started based on your experience.

va from va

Posted by
4 posts

va from va

Good luck in your REFUND request. Hope you get a prompt refund

Posted by
556 posts

Thanks DB and Dave,

Because of your impetus, I made the call this morning and United is processing the refund! The gentleman said it would take 27 days for processing.

The call took about 40 minutes, with me being put on hold 4 different times, so a lot of that was waiting while he checked with his supervisor, or later processed the refund. I freaked out while on the first hold because at first there was music playing, then all of a sudden--nothing. He had said to wait 5 minutes and as it stretched into 11 minutes, I wasn't sure that I had not been cut off because I didn't hear anything. But then he came back to check in, then put me on hold again.

By the way, I have not received any email notification from United about the cancelled segment, I just checked the flight details regularly.

Now, I have to call Lufthansa to see about a refund of seat reservations, and Travel Guard for hopefully, a voucher for a future trip.

We'd like to do the same trip in the future, but now can start from scratch.

DB, thanks for your thoughtful post, and Dave, thanks for checking details,

Virginia

Posted by
2040 posts

Glad to hear of your success! I'm a bit of an airline geek, so I kind of enjoy finding the details!

Posted by
556 posts

My phone call to Lufthansa for a refund of the seat reservations only took. 5 minutes. I used Travel guard’s online request form and that should take 15-20 days.

Posted by
271 posts

Hi va from va-
I guess I have been using the wrong phone number for Lufthansa. Could you give me the number that you used to get a 5 minute response?

Many thanks & be Safe

Posted by
556 posts

Kenneth,

I had this number jotted down as their call center: 1-866-953-2294.

The first time I called, it rang once, then there was nothing. I waited a minute or so, then hung up and tried again. The second time it was the same, but this time I decided to wait the silence out a bit, then someone was there to help me. Still, overall, it was 5 minutes. It was only for refunding seat assignment for a total of $150, and one of those legs had been cancelled by the airline so not a full airfare.

Good luck getting through.

Virginia

Posted by
556 posts

Good news! After just 4 days, our refunds from United for our roundtrip fares have been posted to our credit card. Now we'll just wait to hear from Lufthansa for the refund of seat assignments.

DB, hope you get to do the BOE in the future.

Posted by
3341 posts

Entry of 9/21 reported as spam / advert / solicitation.

Posted by
556 posts

Well, after a quick refund from United back in May, we just got our seat assignment purchases refunded from Lufthansa. It took a few phone calls and contacting my credit card company, but 4 months laster, there it was!