Delta won't honor their 24 cancellation refund policy

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Jul 31, 2016
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#1
Hi everyone. I booked and payed for a one way flight on July 19 for a flight from LAX to Spokane leaving July 31, 2016. But I found out my father was sick and I needed to get back to Boston that same day. I canceled the Delta flight within less than 24 hours online and booked another flight to Boston.

I thought everything was fine until I received an email yesterday stating that I could check in for my flight for Spokane tomorrow. I called customer service and 2 and a half hours later received a call back and was hung up on. I reached a second agent another 2 hours later and was told that it wasn't my fault that their system didn't work and cancel the flight. He stated it was like " I used their remote to change the TV and it didn't work". However, after talking to a supervisor he stated they would not refund my money. I could receive a full credit which I do not need since I already booked another flight.

I stated this was unacceptable. I canceled the flight within 24 hours since I booked and payed for another flight to a different city from LAX. I stated their policy on their website to the agent :

"Once you’ve bought a qualifying eTicket, you have a day to cancel it for any reason and receive a full refund—including any prepaid fees and Direct Ticketing Charges—with no cancellation fee.” And, “Cancellation request must be made by midnight of the day after the eTicket is purchased or midnight of the departure date of the first flight, whichever comes first. Available only for eTickets purchased at the time of reservation through Delta ticket offices and airport ticket counters, Reservation Sales, or at delta.com.” Source:www.delta.com

And also quoted the federal rule:

“…passengers will be able to hold a reservation without payment, or cancel a booking without penalty, for 24 hours after the reservation is made, if they make the reservation one week or more prior to a flight’s departure date.” Source: DOT Briefing Room.

The agent stated you were unable to cancel it (due to their faulty system) so we can only give
you a credit. I asked the agent what his name was and who is his supervisor was and was again cut off.

I called back a third time and was never received a callback or any follow-up email. What should I do next? What are my rights? I filed a complaint with DOT. Should I write my senator, Delta corporate office etc.? Contact my bank? What do I specifically want to include in the letter?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
How did you cancel your flight? Online or over the phone? You should have received an email at cancellation verifying the cancellation.

In any event we have customer contacts on top of our page. Find the delta contacts using our customer service address.

Write to customer service with the info you have and see if they can help.

Give them a week to reply. If they don't or they can't help, write to the first executive shown. Give him/her a week to reply, repeat weekly if necessary until you get to the CEO. If they still can't help, then come back to us and we can get one of the writers to take a look at the case.

Let us know how you make out.
 
Jul 31, 2016
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#3
Thanks Neil. Should I write exactly what I wrote in my paragraph? I did it online and didn't know I needed an email confirmation since I have never cancelled a flight before.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,697
18,353
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
You need to shorten it and put it in bullet form with facts only:

On xx/xx I booked a flight, Etc

On Xx/xx I went back online at xx:xx and cancelled my flight by doing xxxxxx.

Etc. but I'm not sure that they will do much because apparently it wasn't done properly. There are several prompts you have to do to make sure it cancels. You need to plead nicely that you thought you did it correctly and didn't realize you should have received an email cancellation. You also should always go back in and check your reservation when you make changes to endure they take.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
 
Jul 31, 2016
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#5
Thanks! After this experience, I will not only save the confirmation or cut and paste it from site, I am calling to confirm! And never flying Delta again. Only airline I have had 3 bad experiences with and rude customer service.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
Patricia, it does sound like their system didn't 'take' your cancellation. I went through this with a very expensive hotel a couple of years ago. Hang up the phone and handle all this in writing, as Neil has outlined.

These things happen, so be very matter-of-fact that an error was made and you'd like everything refunded. Be very polite and concise in your email. Look at it from their view: Delta doesn't know if you cancelled or not, do they? They are not the enemy here ... you want whomever is reading your letter to understand the situation immediately, believe that you cancelled, and route your request to the refunds department.

ADVOCATE ADVICE

When you cancel anything online, be sure that you receive a cancellation number and/or confirmation. Computer systems sometimes don't work properly, and you don't want to be caught in a situation where you can't prove that you cancelled.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#7
@Patricia what makes you think you canceled your flight? If you log into your account and check on that flight, does it show as cancelled? Are you sure you didn't just book another flight? I have not cancelled Delta online before, but I assume there would be a clear message of the cancellation on the screen. Are you saying the reservation recreated itself after you cancelled?
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#8
Also, how did you pay for the booking? Apparently if you paid with a voucher, etc, you aren't entitled to the same protection.

As for contacting your bank- I would encourage that if you cancelled pursuant to the 24 policy. However, you would need to send your bank the confirmation of your cancelation or screenshot to prove you did this. So long as Delta's records show otherwise, you will probably not succeed.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#9
So here's what I have to believe:
1.) You went online to book and pay for a LAX to GEG flight. System worked fine.
2.) You pulled your reservation and cancelled it within 24 hours of #1. System did not work.
3.) You then bought a ticket to BOS immediately. System worked fine.
 
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#10
If you did not see the flight as being canceled - then you did not cancel it.

There was some step you needed to take - as in a confirmation screen where by Delta said "are you ure" - and you did not click yes at that time - then you went to the screen to buy the next ticket to Boston.

When I canceled a hotel room last week - I CALLED the hotel. spoke with a human being and obtained a cancellation number. While that may not happen at an airline, it is obvious you did not cancel - otherwise - Delta would not be asking you to check in for your flight.

It's irrelevant anyway - because you can't prove you tried to cancel - maybe DL can recreate the steps your took - and I imagine they can - so its worth telling your tale of woe to them - but I imagine the first person to read your complaint is not going to do that -
 
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