Expedia said airline will not give funds to refund cancelled flight

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Oct 12, 2016
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#1
Hello. I have learned a lot from your website.

My problem is as follows.

I booked on flight from Los Angeles to Lima, Peru on Expedia.com flying on Copa Airlines. Two hours later I phoned Expedia customer service and I asked if I could change my flight day. She said no problem since the change is within 24 hours. She then canceled the flight and booked me another flight.

Four days later the funds for both flights were withdrawn from my bank account. I paid with a Citibank Debit Mastercard. The funds were paid to COPA ARC HAGERTOWN MD 16278.

I phoned Citibank and they recommended requesting a refund from Copa first. Because Citibank would have to open a unauthorized charge case.

I called Expedia customer service billing. The representative said I was entitled to a refund. After waiting on the phone for an hour he said Copa would not give Expedia the funds. Therefore, he could not give a refund.

I called Copa Airlines Customer Service next. She said Expedia is the one to refund the funds. She said Copa only receives a portion of the funds.

Next I sent an email to Expedia customer service, as recommended by this site. I received the following reply,
Sorry for the inconvenience. Since you booked so recently, the charge may not have gone through on your credit card. However, if the charge did go through it generally takes about eight weeks before your billing statement reflects the refund. The timing depends upon how long it takes the airline and your bank to process.​

Any suggestions on to get my refund would be appreciated.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#2
Hello. I have learned a lot from your website.

My problem is as follows.

I booked on flight from Los Angeles to Lima, Peru on Expedia.com flying on Copa Airlines. Two hours later I phoned Expedia customer service and I asked if I could change my flight day. She said no problem since the change is within 24 hours. She then canceled the flight and booked me another flight.

Four days later the funds for both flights were withdrawn from my bank account. I paid with a Citibank Debit Mastercard. The funds were paid to COPA ARC HAGERTOWN MD 16278.

I phoned Citibank and they recommended requesting a refund from Copa first. Because Citibank would have to open a unauthorized charge case.

I called Expedia customer service billing. The representative said I was entitled to a refund. After waiting on the phone for an hour he said Copa would not give Expedia the funds. Therefore, he could not give a refund.

I called Copa Airlines Customer Service next. She said Expedia is the one to refund the funds. She said Copa only receives a portion of the funds.

Next I sent an email to Expedia customer service, as recommended by this site. I received the following reply,
Sorry for the inconvenience. Since you booked so recently, the charge may not have gone through on your credit card. However, if the charge did go through it generally takes about eight weeks before your billing statement reflects the refund. The timing depends upon how long it takes the airline and your bank to process.​

Any suggestions on to get my refund would be appreciated.
Call Citibank back after 8 days have passed and open the unauthorized billing charge. Make sure it is for the correct charge. Are they identical? I may wait until after my trip if it was soon to prevent cancellation of the ticket. You have your confirmation of the ticket change and the original booking confirmation. Hang on to these. Let Citi know you contacted the merchant and it confirmed the refund was issued. also, don't use a debit card for future ticket purchases.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
R

Realitoes

Guest
#4
Hi William,

The charge to your credit card was from the Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) direct to COPA. This is normal for online travel agencies (and a requirement of the airlines).

What should have happen was when you called in to cancel the reservation within the 24 hour period allowed, the reservation should have been queued to be voided through the ARC. This normally will done manually the next day, this would then be sent to ARC for the charge to be reversed. I'm not sure how long it would take today, but it use to take up to a week before the ARC would actually reverse the charge to the credit card.

I would recommend not calling anymore, but using the company contacts for Expedia to write them and ensure that the ticket was voided and the charge has been reversed.
 
Oct 12, 2016
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#6
OK. Thanks. I will write to the first company contact, Sarah Gavin, and see what response I get.

This site is a real education to how the online travel agencies operate.
 
Likes: AAGK

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,110
15,586
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www.promalvacations.com
#9
Yes dispute the charge. But realize that you do not have as much protection with a debit card that you have with a credit card. I advise cliens to use a cc, not a debit to ensure they have the best protection they can have if something does wrong.
 
#10
Hi William,

I would keep a copy of all receipts and itineraries including the original ticketed one and the one you cancelled two hours later along with your new itinerary with the new date as well as the agent's name, ID # and time you called in to cancel the first itinerary and book the new dates. It can take up to two billing cycles for a refund to process unless the reservation was in the ticketing queue. This is one reason to book directly with the airline.

Usually the airline can intercept a ticket that has not been ticketed therefor no charges except for the credit card authorization will be present. Credit card authorizations usually take seven days to come off your account.

Patience is key here as it can take time for Expedia to void the first purchase and go ahead with the second purchase. This is the reason to book with a credit card and if you do not see the void for the first purchase I would call your credit card company even if its automatic today to let them know for fraud purposes that you cancelled the first ticket and authorize the second ticket. Its good to inform your credit card company so they can help you with not being charged for the first ticket.

I hope this helps. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us again.
 
Oct 12, 2016
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#11
Thank you for all the advice and support.

Today I filed a Debit Card Transaction Dispute with Citibank. They said they will open an investigation with the Merchant that will take up to 120 days. They requested fax copies of receipts, emails and other correspondence with the Expedia.

Should I continue to email Expedia requesting payment?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,110
15,586
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
Thank you for all the advice and support.

Today I filed a Debit Card Transaction Dispute with Citibank. They said they will open an investigation with the Merchant that will take up to 120 days. They requested fax copies of receipts, emails and other correspondence with the Expedia.

Should I continue to email Expedia requesting payment?
No. Let the bank do it's job.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#13
So recommendation is to dispute the charge with Citibank and send emails to the company contact.s
@William I wouldn't email the contacts, I would dispute the charge. However, if the others feel strongly about that course, then I would listen to them. A dispute empowers the card issuer to speak with the contacts on your behalf so you don't have to. Emailing them while Citi does its work seems unnecessary and confusing. You reached out to the merchant already.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#14
It does not look like Expedia VOIDED your eticket at all.
When you pay for a ticket with a credit card and cancel the same day before midnight, a VOID prevents ARC from completing the earlier authorization hold. The transaction just drops as if you were not charged at all. Not sure if the same exact process works for debit cards but I assume it does.

The suggestion to dispute is correct since the airline will not refund you for Expedia's error. Expedia is just playing you now, so don't believe them. Let your bank deal with these fools for you.
 
Oct 12, 2016
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#15
Thank you for all the advice.

I have a copy of the email receipt cancelling the ticket and the Expedia website shows the ticket cancelled.

The customer service at Expedia seems completely incompetent. They do not seem to do any work at all.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Oct 12, 2016
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#17
To revisit this issue three months later.

Citibank concluded the dispute in my favor. So the funds taken by Expedia have been permanently credited back to me.

The lessons learned from Elliot
1) Purchase airline tickets directly from the airline; you get better custom service.
2) Purchase airline tickets with a credit card; you get more consumer protection.

Thank you everyone for your help.
 
Likes: Patina