TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER

Expedia promised a refund last October. But where is it?

 

August 25, 2022



When KLM cancels Eric Aird's flight, Expedia promises him a refund. But months later, there's no sign of his $427. And no one can help him find it. Is the money gone?

I booked a KLM flight through Expedia last year. KLM canceled the flight because of COVID in October.

Expedia told me to wait 12 weeks for a refund. When no refund arrived, I contacted Expedia. Expedia claims KLM refunded me, even though I paid Expedia. KLM claims they refunded Expedia, which then should refund me.

After some back and forth, Expedia told me to contact my bank. I contacted Chase, my credit card company, to dispute the charges, but it was too late.

Expedia has stopped responding to my requests for a refund. I have proof of all communications. I want Expedia to refund me for the amount of the flight. I am out of options since Expedia, KLM, and Chase said they can't do anything. Can you help me get my $427 back?


Eric Aird, Zürich, Switzerland

You should have received a prompt refund. Department of Transportation regulations govern your ticket if you used Expedia in the United States. The rules require the airline to issue a refund within seven business days if you paid by credit card and 20 days if you paid by cash or check. Europe has similar rules.

I've reviewed the paper trail between you and the various parties -- Expedia, Chase and KLM. What a tangled web. You're right, they're blaming each other.

So who is ultimately responsible for your refund? Your online travel agency, Expedia. It took your money and agreed to act as your agent in purchasing the flight. After KLM canceled your flight, Expedia should have ensured you had a lightning-fast refund. It shouldn't have passed you off to KLM.


And what about your credit card? A Chase representative told you that too much time had passed between your purchase and your chargeback request. That's nonsense. Credit card companies can help their customers if they want, but they choose to cut off all requests after 60 days. They claim the Fair Credit Billing Act, the law that protects credit card customers, won't allow them to dispute claims more than two months old. But the law doesn't prevent banks from handling older disputes.

A brief, polite email to Expedia might have done the trick for you. I would have forwarded all of your correspondence along with a polite cover letter to one of the Expedia executive contacts that I publish on my consumer advocacy site. If that didn't work, you might have reached out to KLM. I publish their executive contacts, too.


I contacted Expedia on your behalf.

"My agents confirmed the refund has now been processed and the customer has been notified," an Expedia representative told me. "It sounds like the delay was due to an agent error, so we've apologized to the customer and added a $100 voucher to the traveler's Expedia account for the inconvenience."

Christopher Elliott's latest book is “How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler” (National Geographic). Get help by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help

© 2022 Christopher Elliott

 

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