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Air Berlin Bankruptcy

Discussion in 'Airlines' started by Carol Sorgen, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. jsn55

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    I'm so sorry that you find yourself in this situation, Zachery. It's not a pretty picture. The issues with AirBerlin were well known last summer. But an online booking agent is just that - they book whatever you want and collect your money, that's the end of the transaction. A real travel agent would have found you a much better airline and a decent fare. I'd not look to Expedia for much help here. If you had months to deal with them, perhaps it could be straightened out after lots of work on your part.

    If your flights are cancelled by AirBerlin, Expedia should rebook you. I have little faith that they'd take care of the issue efficiently. While you'll probably not incur a cancel/change fee, the fares will no doubt be much higher than you originally paid. This is a real mess, and I'm hoping my colleagues are smarter than I am so we can advise you how to try to salvage your trip and your cash.
     
    #21
  2. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Did you try calling Air Berlin and asking? I would do that and go back to Expedia with the answer.
     
    #22
  3. Zachary B

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    I did try calling Airberlin and was put on terminal hold. Under the reservation number on the Airberlin website and on Expedia there's this note: "There has been a change to your flight. We will email or call you to confirm any changes." And I've called Expedia again and eventually (after an hour's wait) was connected to their "Schedule Changes" department. At my request, the Expedia agent cancelled my reservation and informed me that I will need to pursue the refund for cancellation with Airberlin (via the form at airberlin.com/complaint) -- after the airline has officially entered into insolvency. I have no confidence that I will receive anything from the airline. Lesson learned...
     
    #23
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  4. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Do a credit card dispute.
     
    #24
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  5. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    #25
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  6. Michele Sharik

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  7. Michele Sharik

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    On June 27, I purchased a round trip Air Berlin ticket (LAX-DUS Sept 19 and DUS-LAX Oct 2) via Orbitz. I got to DUS fine, but 2 nights before my flight home, they canceled my return flight. I called Orbitz; they said there was nothing they could do because AB wasn't offering any refunds and weren't rebooking the flights. They recommended I just purchase another flight and submit a claim with the insurance (When I booked the flight, I also purchased the AON "Total Protection Plan" insurance, but they say that the policy specifically excludes situations in which the "tour operator" (AB in this case) fails to provide service for any reason, so they won't reimburse me, either.) Bottom line: I purchased an Aeroflot ticket for $900+ just to get home and have no recourse for compensation.
     
    #27
  8. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    The policy doesn't cover bankruptcy?

    I would also contact your credit card you used to book the tickets with. See if you can do a dispute. Sometimes they will allow you to file even though it is past the time frame in cases like this where service wasn't rendered.

    AirBerlin started canceling flights earlier that were losing money. Check and see if bankruptcy is covered. You can file an appeal with the insurance company if you can prove to them why they should pay.
     
    #28
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  9. Michele Sharik

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    According to the AON customer service rep, the policy specifically excludes situations in which the "tour operator" fails to provide the service.
     
    #29
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  10. Warren

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    Contact your credit card company and file a claim for the half of the ticket you weren't able to use. It won't be $900+, but at least you should get half back of your original purchase.
     
    #30
  11. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Unfortunately I finally found the policy in Orbitz- it doesn't offer coverage for bankruptcy and they specifically state they don't cover common carrier failure:

    1. failure of any tour operator, Common Carrier, or other travel supplier, person or agency to provide the bargained-for travel arrangements;
    Sometimes you really need to shop around- there are many third party suppliers that would have covered this- and you will usually pay more for better coverage but in the long run it can be worth it.

    Here is one example:

    https://www.travelinsured.com/info/trip-cancellation-interruption

    Figure out what the return flight cost originally and call your credit card company to see if you can still file a dispute.
     
    #31
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  12. Michele Sharik

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    I don't have a credit card, so I had to purchase with a debit card, so I can't claim on that.
     
    #32
  13. Michele Sharik

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    Yeah, I'm just out of luck. (I have no credit card; I used a debit card to purchase.)
     
    #33
  14. Michele Sharik

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    BTW, thanks for the link - I'll bookmark it and keep it handy for next time. The AON insurance was offered as an easy click to add onto the Orbitz order. I don't follow the airline news and so didn't realize AB was in danger of defaulting back in June.
     
    #34
  15. Warren

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    Call your bank anyway. There are fewer protections for debit cards, but it doesn't hurt to at least make a call and see if they can do anything.
     
    #35
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  16. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Neither did many of us. The insurance that the airlines offer is usually minimal insurance which is why it is so cheap.

    If it is at all possible for you to get a credit card to use for any type of travel purchase, you should really consider it. Besides not having the consumer protections you would get using a credit card, some suppliers don't want debit cards used- some car rentals. Hotels and car rentals also run a charge amount through that stays as a hold on your account, and then charge the actual amount when you check out or return the car. That can take up all the funds on your debit card and also cause overdrafts in your account.

    I am sorry this happened to you. I wish I could think of another solution for you but you become a creditor of Air Berlin and would be at the bottom of the totem pole for any reimbursements.
     
    #36
  17. Michele Sharik

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    That's good advice. Thanks. :)
     
    #37
  18. Zachary B

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    Last week I went ahead and proactively canceled my Airberlin flights and rebooked on United/Lufthansa. Based on the FAQs that Airberlin has posted (https://www.airberlin.com/en/site/landingpages/flight_information.php) I have little expectation of ever being compensated by the airline. My hosts in Germany (at a university), however, have promised to look into ways of supporting my claim, whether with the airline or through their own administration.
     
    #38
  19. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Call your credit card company and file a dispute. They are out of business - that is your only hope of getting any money back.
     
    #39
  20. jsn55

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    I read today that Lufthansa is looking at taking over "parts" of AirBerlin, whatever that means. You made the right decision to not jeopardize your trip, but don't give up on the idea of recovering some of your money. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.
     
    #40

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