Custody issue causes need to cancel trip.

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May 30, 2018
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#1
My wife and I booked a trip in February to take our family to Mexico. Now, my wife’s ex-husband is refusing to allow the children to leave the country on vacation with us. To try and keep things civil for the kids sake, and not cause larger fights or a possible court case. We’d like to cancel our trip and rebook just the two of us.
I called my travel agent, and was told the $1800 deposit we put down would be lost, if we were lucky we would get a $900 credit and be charged $200 per ticket to change the tickets.
We’ve flown United before, and generally like the airline. However this seems outrageous in charges. I’m not looking to receive cash back. I fully understand not wanting to refund cash, I would be completely fine with an airfare credit to use on our rebooking and future trips, but I don’t want to be hit with a high fee every time I go to use it, as I see others have been.
We booked through our travel agent who used Apple Vacations. We are Mileage Plus members for what it's worth.

Any help would be much appreciated.
 

Neil Maley

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#2
If you didn’t purchase cancel for any reason insurance- your travel agent is correct- you will lose your money if you try to cancel and rebook.

Why do you have to cancel and rebook?

I would simply go on the trip with you and your wife and not take the kids. You’ll lose what you paid for their tickets but it won’t affect what you have already booked and you wont lose your deposit. The travel agent should be able to cancel just the kids tickets.
 
Likes: jsn55
May 30, 2018
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#3
[QUOTE="Neil Maley, post: I would simply go on the trip with you and your wife and not take the kids. You’ll lose what you paid for their tickets but it won’t affect what you have already booked and you wont lose your deposit. The travel agent should be able to cancel just the kids tickets.[/QUOTE]

I was told by the travel agent that individuals cannot be cancelled from the trip. That we would have to cancel the whole trip and re-book.

We thought about just going and not cancelling their tickets if we are left with no choice. It would just be nice to not actually loose all that money. To be able to use a credit in the future. We're still 5 months out from our trip. United would most definately sell those seats at a higher rate than when we bought them in February.

Is it worth trying to contact a higher up at United for help?
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#4
[QUOTE="Neil Maley, post: I would simply go on the trip with you and your wife and not take the kids. You’ll lose what you paid for their tickets but it won’t affect what you have already booked and you wont lose your deposit. The travel agent should be able to cancel just the kids tickets.
I was told by the travel agent that individuals cannot be cancelled from the trip. That we would have to cancel the whole trip and re-book.

We thought about just going and not cancelling their tickets if we are left with no choice. It would just be nice to not actually loose all that money. To be able to use a credit in the future. We're still 5 months out from our trip. United would most definately sell those seats at a higher rate than when we bought them in February.

Is it worth trying to contact a higher up at United for help?[/QUOTE]

Yes, I would. Was it only tickets you bought? Not a hotel as well? Was it booked through United or a tour company?

They make not deal with you because you booked with an agent but I would absolutely call United and ask if you can only cancel the kids tickets.

If you were booked as a package through a tour operator, you should ask them.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#5
I was told by the travel agent that individuals cannot be cancelled from the trip. That we would have to cancel the whole trip and re-book.
You might not be able to get any refund for the cancelled tickets, but I can't think of any scenario where, if you have tickets for John, Jane, Jerry, and June, and only John and Jane show up, United would block them from flying.
 
Jan 30, 2018
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#6
Agree with Just a Guy - we were scheduled to travel last week on JetBlue and at the last minute I could not go. There were no issues (other than us losing some money) with my husband traveling without me. I would think United would work the same way.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
May 30, 2018
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#7
I was told by the travel agent that individuals cannot be cancelled from the trip. That we would have to cancel the whole trip and re-book.

We thought about just going and not cancelling their tickets if we are left with no choice. It would just be nice to not actually loose all that money. To be able to use a credit in the future. We're still 5 months out from our trip. United would most definately sell those seats at a higher rate than when we bought them in February.

Is it worth trying to contact a higher up at United for help?
Yes, I would. Was it only tickets you bought? Not a hotel as well? Was it booked through United or a tour company?

They make not deal with you because you booked with an agent but I would absolutely call United and ask if you can only cancel the kids tickets.

If you were booked as a package through a tour operator, you should ask them.[/QUOTE]


We booked as a whole package resort and all through Apple.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#8
I agree with my colleagues. I think we need more details of your trip. Perhaps we can advise you on how to get the kids' tix cancelled with a credit towards future flights. I think you booked a whole vacation package with flights and hotel/vacation rental? Are all 4 of you on the same United res? Tiny details are important in a case like this. I'm very glad that you came to us 5 months out. I've just sent you a PC.

Please make a list of exactly what you purchased and how much it cost. Since Oscar took over United (not to mention all the hellacious PR they've had in the last year or so), the airline really is trying to take better care of its passengers.
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#9
We booked as a whole package resort and all through Apple.
Ok that makes a difference. The airline most likely will not allow you to make changes.

Have you asked your agent to simply cancel the kids and leave the rest intact? Present it that way instead of canceling and rebooking.

Did you buy Apples insurance?
Cancellation/Change Waiver: Cancel or change for any reason† up to the time the flight check-in is closed. Non-refundable scheduled airfares and airlines penalties are even covered. Choice of vacation certificates or cash back for all vacation types including scheduled air.
 
May 30, 2018
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#11
We booked through Doylestown Travel Agency in Doylestown Pa.
Charley booked an all inclusive vacation package for us through Apple Vacations.
Leaving Cleveland, OH to Cancun November 10th Flight #1038. 2 adults 2 children ages 14 and 11.
Staying at the Grand Palladium Colonial for 7 nights
Leaving Cancun November 17th Flight #1037 2 adults 2 children.
We're all booked under the same reservation.

We do enjoy flying United and not had any issues as we've (my wife and I) have flown to Mexico and the Dominican Republic with United.

Ideally we'd like to extend our stay if we don't have the children, but beggars can't be choosers right? Future flight credits would be great, as we take a trip every year.

I greatly appreciate everyone's input and help on this matter. If there is any additional info needed please ask and I will gladly provide it.
 
May 30, 2018
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#12
We did not purchase apples insurance, as when I talked it over with Charley(travel agent) he said it wasn't worth the cost, as we'd not had any issues before. When we booked the trip, their father was in agreement of them going. But come time to apply for their passports we've got resistance. We do our best to keep an amicable relationship for the kids sake, however it's a constant battle on most fronts. Unfortunately this time it's causing me quite a lot of money.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#13
You should be considering filing a suit against your travel agent. If he did not encourage you to buy that insurance and actually talked you out of it- you have a problem. Did you sign anything declining insurance?

I suggest you go back to Charley and force him to get a credit for the kids tickets. That insurance would have covered you. I have never heard of a travel agent telling you it’s not worth buying insurance.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#15
Did you decline any insurance on the paperwork?
If you did not (Apple has a form they usually require a consumer to sign agreeing to terms and conditions) you should go after your travel agent.

I would call him and tell him that he talked you out of the insurance that would have covered this for you and you expect him to go to Apple and cancel the kids off the ticket and want a credit to use less cancellation fees. Tell him you don’t want him to cancel and rebook as you and your wife are going, you just want the kids dropped. Tell him that if he hadn’t talked you out of the insurance you would be covered for this.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#16
Charley's behaviour is outrageous. Experienced travelers, and especially TAs, know how important insurance has become with the horrid airline change/cancel fees. To tell you that you'd not had any issues before so don't need the insurance is crazy. I would consider cancelling the whole package without penalty so you can rebook elsewhere. The TA can work it out with Apple, but you should not be left holding the bag here.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,024
12,256
113
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www.promalvacations.com
#17
Charley's behaviour is outrageous. Experienced travelers, and especially TAs, know how important insurance has become with the horrid airline change/cancel fees. To tell you that you'd not had any issues before so don't need the insurance is crazy. I would consider cancelling the whole package without penalty so you can rebook elsewhere. The TA can work it out with Apple, but you should not be left holding the bag here.
That isn’t going to happen. Apple has their money, not the agent and Apple has paid the airline. They aren’t going to waive cancellation fees due to the errors of the travel agent.

I believe if our writer can prove the agent stated that about the insurance they would be able to sue the agent in small claims court for the loss of the kids tickets.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#19
You really need to go back to the agent. Telling you not to bother buying insurance was a bad move on the Agent.

Another thought: the trip isn’t until February. Might the first their parent change his mind again about the passports? Maybe in return for something else? A holiday or something?
 
Jun 27, 2017
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#20
I was confused, too. But I re-read Post #1 and Post #11 to clear my confusion. SnL8387 booked the trip in February and the trip is November 10-17. I agree that perhaps they should try to talk to the father of the children again. He MIGHT be persuaded to allow his two children to go on this trip. Of course, they have to get passports for the two children and they should start working on that issue - like filling out paperwork, getting birth certificates, photos and whatever else is needed.