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airline canceled flight booked through expedia without adequate help getting flight home from europe

Discussion in 'Travel agencies' started by Lauren B, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Lauren B

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    My son Daniel, who is studying in Amsterdam this semester, and his friend Allison booked tickets on Expedia for their flight home in December. My son emailed me on 8/23/2015 that there was a problem with his Amsterdam-Brussels-Newark flight home on 12/2015. KLM canceled the early flight On the Amsterdam to Brussels leg so they would no longer make their connection In Brussels to Newark.
    Allison's mom was able to get her daughter a refund for the canceled flights and rebook her on another flight. Hoping to do the same, I began working with Expedia on the phone in August. after the 3rd phone call, when they were still unable to get Dan on a flight home, and refund the other ticket, I booked a ticket myself to get him home.
    Since then I have spent over 10 hours across at least 8 different encounters seeking the refund to which we are entitled but and have yet to have them refund the ticket. On each, I have a long wait to reach a representative who then tells me I need a supervisor. Then another wait to talk to supervisor. In many instances, the call was dropped while waiting for the representative and/or the supervisor. I have asked them to take my number so they can call me back if they drop the call. They always agree to do this. Whenever, the call is dropped and no one from Expedia has ever called me back.
    On those occasions when I reached the supervisor, I was told that the ticket is owned by Jet Airways, that Jetairways has to ok the refund. But they all say, "this will be no problem we can get this fixed." After the first six call they basically said that I have to call back at 11pm my time, when Expedia can then call someone at Jet Airways in Mumbai. This is hard on me (as I have to get up at early to go to work), but I've done it several times. Usually the call is dropped before they reach Mumbai.
    One time, I heard the supervisor reach Mumbai only to hear that this Jet Airways number isn't the right office for a refund. That supervisor told me I would have to call back at 9AM EST to reach the right Jet Airways office (which I had done 5 phone calls before), that I had to be on the phone with Expedia and Jet Airways to get a refund. When I asked to speak with his supervisor (it was midnight, my time) he told me that might take a few hours; my call was then disconnected. On one call, I was told that a team had been assigned to my case and they would get back to me. Never happened.
    In summary, there is no supreme supervisor that I can reach by phone or email, to finally accomplish this refund. They have dropped my calls (after being on hold for 45 minutes too many times to count.) Or else left me with false promises that they were working on it.
    Is there a way to reach someone high up in Expedia and explain how poor their customer service is. how "the buck stops nowhere" and I am in this endless phone purgatory, waiting for someone to take this on and complete the task. No one at Expedia has ever called me back after dropping the call although I give my cell phone to every person I speak with.
    Who else can I contact with this complaint. I feel that because of their incompetence and poor customer service I am out about $900 and many hours of my life on hold with no result.
    thanks for listening. Lauren Baker
     
    #1
  2. cp556

    cp556 Moderator
    Staff Member Advocate

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    @Lauren B - what a convoluted situation! I'm happy your son is getting home, but sorry about what's been involved here.

    I can tell you two things: First, we receive many messages with problems from Expedia. They are not known for their customer service, as you have witnessed.

    Then, we have a number of very smart, experienced airline ticketing gurus on this Forum. I suspect at least one of them will be along shortly to offer expert advice and suggestions.

    In the interim, please familiarize yourself with our Company Contacts list found in the bar above .. Expedia's contact info is there (and here: http://elliott.org/company-contacts/expedia/

    It's an extensive list of contacts, and we suggest retiring your telephone and using email from now on. This provides a paper trail and transcript of the who/what/when, which will prove valuable. Our suggestions are to start with the first contact, allow a week for reply, and if you've not received a response (or do not like the response you received), write to the next level, and so on.

    We encourage writers to be polite and concise. Bullet points are a great way to list what occurred. Remember that the desk your message lands on receives many letters a week, so yours needs to be brief and concise to be read and understood.


    Please keep us posted on what transpires.
     
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  3. Realitoes

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    Lauren,

    This is a big issue with these OTAs - they are ready to take your money and sell you the ticket, but when anything goes wrong - there is absolutely no customer service.

    First, stop calling it is getting you no where. Expedia does not need you on the phone to cancel your ticket and get you a refund for a schedule change. They do it because they are a call center not actual travel agents. Start emailing using the contacts from the Company Contacts link at the top of this page. Explain that there was a schedule change that made the ticket unusable and no suitable alternate flights were available. You have attempted to solve this by calling their call center and after hours on the phone and many dropped calls, you have not been successful.

    At the same time, you might want to contact your credit card company and dispute the charge. There is usually a 60 days window after the statement date, but even if you past it they may still be able to help you.
    Next time I recommend buying the ticket directly from the Airline or use a reputable travel agent.
    Good Luck.
     
    #3
    Neil likes this.
  4. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    @Lauren B, this story makes my blood boil. How dare they treat their customers this badly? They're insisting that you be on the line when they call Mumbai in the middle of the night? That is just plain hogwash, they're trying to discourage you so you just go away. Hah, you've come to the right place, I'm confident that we can guide you to a solution. First, who paid for the ticket and what entity appeared on the credit card statement? My colleagues have already outlined the procedure you should follow.
    Remember that the person reading your email works in a dark, dank office full of dead plants, surrounded by stacks of complaints. You want her to read your complaint, understand it quickly, and pass it on to the correct department for processing. One of our advocates is fond of advising that you want this person to be your friend, and it's kinda true. Be as polite as you possibly can, state the facts concisely and tell them what you want as compensation. Good luck, and let us know the outcome.
     
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  5. AAGK

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    Dispute the charge. The flight was cancelled and you are entitled to a refund. Expedia wouldn't work with you. I would still email them as suggested but just dispute the charge before it is too late.
     
    #5
  6. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Are you sure Allison flights were booked on Expedia? It sounds more like she may have booked directly through the airline.
    Unfortunately when you book through an OTA, you add another layer between you and the airline.
    I agree with AAGK, dispute the charge and rebook directly through the airline,
     
    #6
  7. joelw

    joelw Moderator
    Staff Member Lead Advocate

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    @Lauren B If Allison's mother was able to get a refund, apparently with little trouble, why didn't you follow the same procedure? Was this because she did not in fact book through Expedia?
     
    #7
  8. Mike Z

    Staff Member Advocate

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    Hold on a minute. I'm a little confused as to what airline you are looking for a refund for. Are you looking for a refund for the one cancelled leg, or from the other airline which you will not be able to connect to because of the cancelled leg?

    Also, how exactly was the flight booked? Was the flight booked as a single flight, or did you book one flight from Amsterdam to Brussels, then a different flight from Brussels to Newark? This will make a BIG difference as to what you are entitled to for a refund. Also, as you used Expedia for your agent, they are the ones that should be securing any refunds, or at least explaining why you may not be due a refund.
     
    #8
  9. Flywisely

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    Well before anyone casts a stone, check the facts first.
    #1) Jet (9W) does not have fares from Amsterdam (AMS) to Newark (EWR) or New York (JFK).
    #2) Jet (9W) discounted fares do not allow for end-on-end combinations.
    Therefore, based on these 2 facts, no one can put a AMS-BRU-EWR ticket on Jet (9W) 589 ticket stock.
    This might suggest that the kid booked 2 separate tickets AMS-BRU on KLM and BRU-EWR on 9W.
    Since the early KLM flight # 1721 discontinues after 24OCT, then why not simply take the a KLM flight for the previous day and spend a night at BRU?
    Jet Airways has absolutely no obligation to refund its ticket when the KLM flight is on another ticket.
    Next time please provide ALL the pertinent ticket information so that everyone gets a clear picture. Digging up facts is not easy.
     
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  10. Joe Farrell

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    Thank you for calling customer support.

    We see you have a problem. We are not trained to solve problems. We have three scripts We have already used two of them. Thank you for calling,. Good bye.
     
    #10
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  11. Michael K

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    Please don't impugn the customer based on the assumption that what you see today for future travel matches recent reality.

    KLM and Jet Airways entered into a codeshare agreement in 2013, and this agreement was still in place at least as of April 2015, even though the agreement is apparently no longer in place at this moment in time.
     
    #11
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  12. Mike Z

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    Why shouldn't we assume that what we see today matches what the customer was able to look up. The flights aren't supposed to happen until December and they were purchased just over a month back. The logical explanation to the issue is that the original ticket was being sold as two separate flights not a single ticket with a layover or plane change. We've seen this happen many times here on the forums, and in almost every case, the problem is that the poster cannot get a refund from airline B when airline A cancels the flight.
     
    #12
  13. Michael K

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    The passenger noticed a cancellation/schedule change of the first segment as of August 23rd. Where did you see what the purchase date was?

    Flights can be purchased 11 months in advance. Google shows that the code-share arrangement changed much more recently than that.
     
    #13
  14. AAGK

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    Is what everyone saying that he didn't book the same ticket as friend Alison did and instead booked his tickets as separate flights? How was Alison able to book this flight and get it refunded then?
    Also, I don't understand why Brussels is involved. KLM is nonstop between jfk and Amsterdam.
     
    #14
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  15. AAGK

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    Also, flights from Amsterdam to Brussels are like $100. Just take a different one and keep the brussels- ewr flight. How is she out 900? For what? That's more than a nonstop from Amsterdam to jfk.
     
    #15
  16. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    That is what we are trying to determine but without the letter writer coming back to answer our questions, we can't really help anymore because we need to know how the tickets were booked.
     
    #16
  17. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    Promal is right, as usual. We can conjecture all we want, but until @Lauren B gives us the details we need, we're at full stop.
     
    #17
  18. Flywisely

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    Please tell us what codeshare 9W flight of KLM existed for AMS-BRU for the date that was cancelled.
    Codeshare or no codeshare, you cannot put AMS-BRU-EWR on a 9W validated ticket at that price level because 9W does not file fares for AMS-EWR and because 9W's low fares from BRU-EWR do not allow end-on-end combinations.

    Micheal K, you obviously are not an expert on arline fares and airline ticketing since you seem not to understand fare contruction and fare rules. Codesharing is irrelevant to this specific situation and does not provide anything meaningful to the discussion. Had the cancelled flight been a codeshare on the same, then a refund would be very easy. So it isn't.
     
    #18
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
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  19. Flywisely

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    If you want to know where the 9W codeshared flights in Europe are, simply go to 9W's website:
    http://www.jetairways.com/EN/US/JetExperience/codeshare-partners.aspx

    You will notice there are none between AMS <> BRU.

    KLM codeshares 9W flights inside India so that KLM can expand its network beyond DEL.
    But 9W does not codeshare KLM flights in Europe.

    And here is one tiny bit of information the advocates might be able to use:
    the last time Jet published a one-way fare (€ 1040 base fare before taxes and fees) from AMS to EWR was around Feb/March 2015 but the latest departure would be 10 Dec 2015. By April 2015, Jet stopped filing fares for AMS to NYC. So unless this kid's ticket was purchased by March 2, 2015; at least 10 months prior December 10, there was no way to "create" such a ticket the LW was talking about. Notice that €1040 before tax is more than the $900 she said she lost. So that right there should be another indication that 9W did not ticket the whole AMS-BRU-EWR itinerary.
     
    #19
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  20. Michael K

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    There you go. All I asked is that you not impugn the customer based on the assumption that what you see published today for future travel matches what the customer found when they made their purchase.

    The codeshare list changes and very recent news reports were referenced not to prove anything one way or the other with respect to this passenger, but to demonstrate that the level of cooperation between these carriers is in flux and in the midst of ongoing negotiations.
    If I've learned anything from following these forums, it's that one can never rely on an "easy" refund if Expedia is involved.
     
    #20

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