delay of covid refund from travel agent

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sjl

Apr 29, 2016
23
7
61
We booked flights over a year ago to travel to Fiji this past summer, which of course got cancelled due to covid. We booked through a travel agent who purchased the tickets through an airline consolidator (the flights on are three different airlines). We originally accepted a credit that had to be booked by this past October. When it was evident covid travel restrictions were going to continue, we requested a refund in September. We were told no problem - expect up to 120 days for our refund. We have now exceeded the 120 days. We are being told we will get our refund, but they can't tell me when. We are out around $3300. Since this was booked through our travel agent and the tickets were not purchased from the airlines, is there any recourse we have to ensure we get our money back as quickly as possible at this point?
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
25,852
28,968
New York
www.promalvacations.com
What airline was it? The agent is most likely correct- some airlines are taking an incredibly long time for refunds.

Are you sure you were entitled to a refund and not a credit? Did you cancel the flight or did the airline? You are only due a refund if the airline canceled your flight. If you canceled you may only be due a credit.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
4,062
6,487
the United States
I agree with Neil's post and will add that if you wish to accelerate the refund, you might request assistance from the Attorney General's office in your state. Perhaps they can motivate the travel agency to shorten the refund timeframe.

You can find them using this link: Who's My AG?
 
Last edited:

sjl

Apr 29, 2016
23
7
61
What airline was it? The agent is most likely correct- some airlines are taking an incredibly long time for refunds.

Are you sure you were entitled to a refund and not a credit? Did you cancel the flight or did the airline? You are only due a refund if the airline canceled your flight. If you canceled you may only be due a credit.
Yes - they canceled and it's been confirmed we will get a refund. It's just taking a really long time. The tickets are on Fiji Air - but we purchased through our travel agent (who I believe purchased from a consolidator, but I'm not sure). So who is responsible for the refund? Fiji Air? the travel agent? the consolidator? Who do I press for an answer?
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Forum Director
Apr 13, 2016
1,065
2,304
St. Louis
Yes - they canceled and it's been confirmed we will get a refund. It's just taking a really long time. The tickets are on Fiji Air - but we purchased through our travel agent (who I believe purchased from a consolidator, but I'm not sure). So who is responsible for the refund? Fiji Air? the travel agent? the consolidator? Who do I press for an answer?
Who charged your credit card? If it was the consolidator or travel agent, then that is who would owe you the refund. Unfortunately, we are finding that many of these companies have either gone out of business or suspended operations during the pandemic due to financial issues. Even some airlines are not providing refunds because of cash flow issues. It is possible you may not get the refund until the company is able to start operating again, which likely may not happen until the pandemic is over and the industry starts back up.

You should continue to make requests for your refund in writing to the company you paid. The following post explains how to best do this:

 

sjl

Apr 29, 2016
23
7
61
Who charged your credit card? If it was the consolidator or travel agent, then that is who would owe you the refund. Unfortunately, we are finding that many of these companies have either gone out of business or suspended operations during the pandemic due to financial issues. Even some airlines are not providing refunds because of cash flow issues. It is possible you may not get the refund until the company is able to start operating again, which likely may not happen until the pandemic is over and the industry starts back up.

You should continue to make requests for your refund in writing to the company you paid. The following post explains how to best do this:

Ok thanks. The travel agent charged my card. They are still in business. I will continue to pursue with them.
 
Jul 13, 2016
586
1,375
58
Ok thanks. The travel agent charged my card. They are still in business. I will continue to pursue with them.
So, on your credit card statement, the name that appears is the travel agency, not Fiji Airways?
I agree that it is taking a long time for refunds. I had tickets on Virgin Atlantic last May, and I finally got my refund late September. The airlines have little to no funds coming in. That is what is delaying refunds. If the travel agency actually has your money, then they have to wait for the refund too.
 
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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
25,852
28,968
New York
www.promalvacations.com
This is a very small airline and the agency is most likely still waiting on a refund.

Was the flight to or from a US airport? If so, the DOT requires airlines to provide a refund if they cancel a flight. You might be able to push it if you file a DOT complaint but I would let the agent know you are doing this so they can ask the consolidator.

At the very least, your agent should be going to the consolidator to get updates on what the consolidator is doing.
 

Skippy

May 30, 2019
896
2,390
Did the flight originate at a US airport with Fiji airlines (not a partner airline)?
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
855
1,791
This is how this process works. You call your Travel Agent and ask for your refund. Your travel agent calls the airlines and asks for your refund. The airline puts you in line for a refund. As new bookings for flights come in the airline pays out the refunds from the list ( this can take a very long time) finally after many months ( for some they will be waiting over a year) the airline will release the funds to your Travel Agent. The TA will then process the refund and after more time they will send you your refund.
Many ask well since I paid the TA the TA should refund me then go get the money from the airlines. While this sounds like a good way ( and in the past some travel agents would in fact do this) , in these times the travel agent has ZERO cash reserves and has no money to give you . If you read the terms and conditions you agreed to when you booked with your TA , I suspect that you will see you get refunded once the TA gets the refund from the airlines.
I wish you the best of luck.
 

sjl

Apr 29, 2016
23
7
61
Update..... I was incorrect in stating the charge was made to the travel agent (it's been too long - I had forgotten!). The payment was directly to Fiji Air for all the flights (including the US based legs). I contacted Fiji Air about the refund and sent them all the appropriate paperwork. They quickly responded and told me that since the travel agent booked the flights, the travel agent would have to request the refund. I replied that it was my understanding that the travel agent had done so and asked Fiji Air to confirm that for me and also to let me know when I can expect the refund. Since then, no response from Fiji Air - they've gone silent.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Forum Director
Apr 13, 2016
1,065
2,304
St. Louis
Update..... I was incorrect in stating the charge was made to the travel agent (it's been too long - I had forgotten!). The payment was directly to Fiji Air for all the flights (including the US based legs). I contacted Fiji Air about the refund and sent them all the appropriate paperwork. They quickly responded and told me that since the travel agent booked the flights, the travel agent would have to request the refund. I replied that it was my understanding that the travel agent had done so and asked Fiji Air to confirm that for me and also to let me know when I can expect the refund. Since then, no response from Fiji Air - they've gone silent.
If the airline charged you and the US legs were canceled by the airline you can file a complaint with the DOT at the below link:

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint
 

sjl

Apr 29, 2016
23
7
61
The contacts provided in the attached link for Fiji Airways are no longer valid. The response notes that you must contact them through their "contact us" web page. That was what I initially did. Again, they communicated promptly with me at first but when I asked for confirmation that they were processing the refund and the estimated date I can expect it, they went silent. Now what?
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
25,852
28,968
New York
www.promalvacations.com
You can request an update of contacts.


Or you can use our strategy:


If you fill out the form our researchers will work on getting current contacts.
 
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Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
855
1,791
The payment was directly to Fiji Air for all the flights
I would think too much time has passed but have you tried doing a charge back with your credit card. As the charge on your card was Fiji you would be able to file a charge back since the services you paid for were never provided. There is no down side to trying a charge back.
If this fails I would also file with DOT for your refund. Eventually this company will be made to pay.