Yesterday I posted about the situation with United Airlines and how they had told my mother (who has been diagnosed with cancer) that she wasn’t entitled to a refund on her flights to Oregon to see my brother because “The illness, as described in your correspondence, does not qualify for an exception.”
I put up a post yesterday on United Airlines Facebook page voicing my disgust at their attitude and was overwhelmed by the response on Facebook, Twitter, and Ian (my brother’s) blog. (Thank you everyone who liked, shared, and got in touch with us.)
Here’s the update:-
United Airlines replied to me yesterday and this is what they said :-
“This is a very restrictive bulk rate ticket purchased through Expedia. The funds for bulk tickets are transferred to the airline after travel has taken place. We have no authority to refund your Mother’s ticket. We’re called Expedia and they tell us to have you call them at 01 524 5005 in Ireland or 35315245005 in Europe. We hope this helps. ^km”
I have two problems with this.
Firstly, this is a different reason given, for refusal of the refund, to the one that my mother was given, which makes me question United Airlines refund process. One would think that if a passenger requests a refund that there is a procedure for assessing the validity of the request BEFORE any further investigation is done, and before any response is given that could cause upset or offence to anyone.
Secondly, my father had already tried to call Expedia’s Dublin number several times over the last two weeks and was diverted to a call centre that he’s pretty sure isn’t based in Dublin. Expedia told him that he needed to contact United Airlines with regard to a refund.
So, between United Airlines and Expedia they’ve managed to create Mission Impossible with regard to getting a refund, by passing the book to each other.
To those of you who’ve been wondering why my mother didn’t claim off her travel insurance, I think that she thought seeking a refund would be the easiest option, especially as United Airlines offer a refund policy in the case of ‘unplanned events’.
Rather than it being a simple process, it caused her a lot of stress and anxiety on top of the worry she is already experiencing.
She is claiming through her travel insurance now, and I’m pretty sure will avoid both United Airlines and Expedia in the future. I certainly intend to steer well clear of both.