Refund for canceled Emirates Flight

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Apr 2, 2018
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#1
I am seeking help with a complaint against Emirates Airlines.

My family was scheduled to fly on Emirates in Business Class from Phuket, Thailand (HKT) to New York City (JFK) via Dubai (DXB) on Saturday January 6, 2018. Approximately 6 hours before we were scheduled to depart from Phuket, we were informed that our flight from Dubai to JFK had been canceled. The agent we spoke with said that the next flight he could offer us to return to New York City would be on January 10th (4 days after our scheduled flight). We had work and school commitments beginning on the 8th of January and expressed that coming back 4 days late was not a reasonable resolution. We asked the agent to also search for flights that would get us to Boston, Washington DC or another location in the United States from where we could then get home - he said he was unable to find any options. While on the phone with the agent, we searched for other options to get us from Dubai to the New York area. The only option that we found was an Emirates flight from Dubai to Barcelona on January 6th and then a flight on Lufthansa (operated by United Airlines) from Barcelona (BCN) to Newark, NJ (EWR) the following day (January 7th). The agent said that he could not book us on the flight from BCN to EWR so we booked that flight ourselves, and the agent agreed that we could seek compensation from Emirates for the cost of that flight. We are seeking compensation for the flight from BCN to EWR or alternatively a refund of the amount that we paid Emirates for the flight from Phuket to JFK. Emirates initially responded to my email with a statement that they would not compensate us and then did not reposed to any subsequent emails and I have been told it is not possible to speak with someone by phone regarding post-travel matters.

Though the flight on the 6th was canceled due to weather circumstances beyond the control of Emirates, the lack of any option other than returning home 4 days later seems completely unreasonable. And we were lead to believe by both the agent on the phone and another agent in the Dubai airport that we would be compensated if we purchased the tickets for the flight from Barcelona to JFK.

Any suggestions for how to continue to pursue the claim?

Thanks in advance.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
You had the misfortune to try to travel during a storm — and then even worse Emirates flies into Terminal 4 at JFK which had a water main break (on the 6th I think) and the terminal was flooded. People were stranded for days. Sorry this happened to you.

Airlines are not required to endorse their tickets to another carrier.

Did you cancel the Emirates return? Usually the airline is obligated to offer the next available flight or a refund.

Have you tried to write to the Emirates contacts? Remember they did not cause the problem — Especially at terminal 4 — so politeness is key

Sorry your return was so unpleasant
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
And it is not unheard of that one has to wait for a trip after a major weather problem. The snow started on the 4th and JFK even closed for a bit — so there were flights canceled for days — those people all had to be rebooked and took all available seats — and then the terminal 4 water main problem.
So more people in need of seats. The airline cannnot take the seats away from those that were previously booked and confirmed in order to accomodate those who have had flights canceled.

I know how frustrating it is. I was stranded at the Frankfurt airport for days during Super Storm Sandy.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
CMY. I have a question — you flew on Emirates from Dubai to Barcelona on Emirates and then bought a separate ticket at walk up fare for BCN to EWR?

When an airline says you may seek reimbursement that sadly means that you can seek but they are not promising to pay.

I do not know Emirates endorsement policy.

What I see as problematic is that you voluntarily accepted the new destination without any commitment in writing — and walk up fares are very expensive.

I am not sure if you will get a refund from Dubai to JFK as you did get transported to BCN —

But I do think you should write a polite letter. JFK was such a mess during the storm and terminal 4 in particular.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#5
The problem is when a flight is canceled due to weather, the airline can either put you on the next available flight with seats - which happened to be four days later - or refund the remaining ticket. They can't put you on another flight if the flight is sold out.

Did they refund you for the return ticket? We have company contacts on top of our page. Read the information about writing and use that to start at Customer Service. Don't ask them for anything you aren't entitled to - you should ask them for the difference in the cost of the new flight vs. the original flight, not for the entire new ticket.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
The problem is when a flight is canceled due to weather, the airline can either put you on the next available flight with seats - which happened to be four days later - or refund the remaining ticket. They can't put you on another flight if the flight is sold out.

Did they refund you for the return ticket? We have company contacts on top of our page. Read the information about writing and use that to start at Customer Service. Don't ask them for anything you aren't entitled to - you should ask them for the difference in the cost of the new flight vs. the original flight, not for the entire new ticket.
Neil you may know this — do airlines have to have agreements to endorse tickets? Airlines can refuse to endorse correct?

What I see as problematic is that they went half way to the US on Emirates (to BCN) rather than wait and bought a walk up ticket — One way last minute from BCN to EWR can run from over 3,000 in economy to over 5000 in business.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,424
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www.promalvacations.com
#7
Neil you may know this — do airlines have to have agreements to endorse tickets? Airlines can refuse to endorse correct?

What I see as problematic is that they went half way to the US on Emirates (to BCN) rather than wait and bought a walk up ticket — One way last minute from BCN to EWR can run from over 3,000 in economy to over 5000 in business.
Most no longer cross endorse. You can ask but the airlines don’t have to.
 
Apr 2, 2018
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#8
Thanks for the replies. Yes, we essentially bought a walk-up ticket - we purchased it online that day. We didn't feel that we had any other option (except to stay in Thailand for 4 extra days). I have written to the company contacts and will see what happens. I understand that the weather was not their fault, but many flights did get into either JFK of EWR that weekend. And we did offer to be rerouted to another destination in the US. What was frustrating was that they offered no option other than the flight 4 days later. And they did not offer a refund.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#9
They have to give you a refund if the flight doesn't work for you.

Let us know how the writing goes. You didn't write to all the contacts, did you? Our page says to start at Customer Service and work up one at a time weekly.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
Thanks for the replies. Yes, we essentially bought a walk-up ticket - we purchased it online that day. We didn't feel that we had any other option (except to stay in Thailand for 4 extra days). I have written to the company contacts and will see what happens. I understand that the weather was not their fault, but many flights did get into either JFK of EWR that weekend. And we did offer to be rerouted to another destination in the US. What was frustrating was that they offered no option other than the flight 4 days later. And they did not offer a refund.

Newark was not as messed up with the snow. Also Emirates lands at Terminal 4 which was flooded. There was no place for the plane to go. Delta also had passengers stranded for days because of the flooding.

JFK management did not handle the situation well and passengers suffered but for once the airlines were not the immediate cause.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#11
What a mess! I think most of us have our horror stories but it never gets any easier. I have no new suggestions but want to extend my sympathy and urge you to go after that refund. Weather/flood delays are not the airlines' fault of course, but you should not have to pay for the tix that you couldn't use. Four days delay is awful, but we've all seen much worse. Be polite, patient and persistent in asking for that refund. And don't forget the first rule of dealing with an airline agent: they'll tell you anything to make move along, so keep your communications polite and businesslike. Unless it's in writing, an airline agent's promises are worth very little.
 
Likes: ADM
Apr 2, 2018
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#12
I did look up the difference in the cost of the flights from Dubai to Barcelona on the one hand and to JFK on the other hand. The cost to JFK is AED 18,170 (approx USD 5090.10) and the cost to BCN is 10,890 (approx 3050.70). I wonder if that might help me if I try to get them to refund the difference?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#13
They most likely will not refund th difference. Once you agree to rerouting on flights other than what you had, they only owe you the balance of the ticket you canceled.

But it can’t hurt to try. The worst they can say is no.
 
Likes: jsn55