We had four tickets from LAX to Montreal scheduled to fly late April. Of course the border closed to nonessential travel mid-March and all the flights were canceled. The airline gave a travel credit to be used before February 2021 (a year from original booking) AND a change fee of $800. Obviously that was not at all reasonable. Went through a very useless exchange with our travel insurance over several weeks, then finally went directly to the airline. They had an online refund request form, which purported to be overwhelmed and threatened to take 21 days. Got an email denial within 24 hours with no specific explanation.
i decided to call the airline directly to ask them why my refund request did not meet their eligibility requirements, and patiently explained exactly the same reasons I thought it did, exactly as I entered into their online form. 20 minutes later, the representative informed me my refund was approved. I got email confirmation and am now just waiting for the credits to post to my card.
TLDR: don’t give up if the airline denies your refund request—call them directly!
Edit based on some questions: I didn’t book directly through the airline, but through Expedia (Which was no help to me). Airline still honored the refund.
I canceled the flight myself before it was ultimately canceled. In retrospect I was worried that this would turn out to be a catch that would disqualify us from a refund, but I didn’t mention it at all and they didn’t ask. I just emphasized that the airline stopped operating that route 3 weeks before we were scheduled and didn’t fly it again until 3 months later.
We booked on Amex and were going to do a chargeback as a last resort if needed. But, luckily we didn’t have to (we have another huge charge on the same card to contest for my son’s summer day camp that never operated and is refusing to provide a refund).
Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t necessarily represent the views of IWB.