Government declares halt to visas. No visa, no entry, no reimbursement

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Dec 5, 2017
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#1
I bought a ticket for our son to fly to Turkey to visit family on Oct 6, 2017. I used Expedia and booked him to fly American Airlines/British Airways. I purchased the travel insurance plan. I was told that to get an e-visa, you can get it up to 2 weeks before departure date which was Dec 16th. On Oct. 8th, Turkey declared a halt on visas for US citizens. That has never happened before.

We waited and hoped that maybe it was temporary and the ban will be lifted. In late Nov, Turkey declared new restrictions for US citizens to enter Turkey. They must live outside the US for at least 30 days and must have a residence visa from that country before being able to enter Turkey and get a Turkey visa. My son was not able to meet those requirements.

I called British Airways, they stated they are not allowed to give refunds but can give credit only to the passenger's name. The problem is my son is not able to travel next year so the credit doesn't do any good. They stated if I wanted a refund, I would have to work with Expedia. I called Expedia, they said if I wanted a refund, I would have to work with British Airways. I was stuck. Neither would flex and give a refund on this incredibly unique circumstances. Other airlines have graciously issued refunds, understanding the dilemma. I contacted the travel insurance and they stated that visa issues is not on their approved list therefore our claim was denied. I understand customers not checking beforehand if they can get a visa and go ahead and buy their airline ticket and then find out they cannot get a visa. However, on Oct 6th, visas were being issued so I had no reason to doubt that it would be halted 2 days later. All I am asking for is a refund.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,112
15,591
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
When you buy through Expedia, you have to resolve it through Expedia. The airlines won’t work with you - you added a middle man.

We have company contacts for Expedia in our company contacts page under travel agencies. Write to the customer service email address.

Give them a week to reply. If they don't respond or refuse to help, write to the first executive shown. Tell him/her that Customer Service wasn't able to help or didn't reply. Give the executive a week to reply. If necessary, repeat weekly going up the chain of Executives one at a time. If you get all the Executives with no help, come back here and let us know and we'll
Tell you the next step. Make sure you keep all the emails as you'll need to forward them to the writers if they need to get involved. All correspondence should be in writing. Tell them as your travel agency they need to go to bat for you in this and they should be well aware that the airline will not deal with you directly anymore.


Good luck and let us know what happens.


BTW- we had another consumer with the same problem and they eventually had it solved it so I am hopeful you’ll get this fixed.

http://forum.elliott.org/threads/lufthansa-refund.7166/page-2#post-72473
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,935
7,823
113
San Francisco
#3
Well this must be a huge disappointment. Is your son an adult? If so, he needs to deal with Expedia to see what can be salvaged, since he 'owns' the tix. I think his outbound flight is coming right up, so it may be important to get things rolling by phone. Probably the best they can do is give him a credit towards a future flight less a cancel/change fee. But sometimes we are surprised with a positive outcome.

If you want to pursue a full refund, be sure he cancels the res before the day of departure. If not, he will be considered a 'no-show' and the tix value will be lost forever. While all this is going on, keep a daily eye on the State Department's website to see if things change for the better.
 
Dec 5, 2017
6
0
1
48
#4
When you buy through Expedia, you have to resolve it through Expedia. The airlines won’t work with you - you added a middle man.

We have company contacts for Expedia in our company contacts page under travel agencies. Write to the customer service email address.

Give them a week to reply. If they don't respond or refuse to help, write to the first executive shown. Tell him/her that Customer Service wasn't able to help or didn't reply. Give the executive a week to reply. If necessary, repeat weekly going up the chain of Executives one at a time. If you get all the Executives with no help, come back here and let us know and we'll
Tell you the next step. Make sure you keep all the emails as you'll need to forward them to the writers if they need to get involved. All correspondence should be in writing. Tell them as your travel agency they need to go to bat for you in this and they should be well aware that the airline will not deal with you directly anymore.


Good luck and let us know what happens.


BTW- we had another consumer with the same problem and they eventually had it solved it so I am hopeful you’ll get this fixed.

http://forum.elliott.org/threads/lufthansa-refund.7166/page-2#post-72473
Thank you for your response. I have begun the process with an email. We will see how it goes. Appreciate your feedback.
 
Dec 5, 2017
6
0
1
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#5
Well this must be a huge disappointment. Is your son an adult? If so, he needs to deal with Expedia to see what can be salvaged, since he 'owns' the tix. I think his outbound flight is coming right up, so it may be important to get things rolling by phone. Probably the best they can do is give him a credit towards a future flight less a cancel/change fee. But sometimes we are surprised with a positive outcome.

If you want to pursue a full refund, be sure he cancels the res before the day of departure. If not, he will be considered a 'no-show' and the tix value will be lost forever. While all this is going on, keep a daily eye on the State Department's website to see if things change for the better.
Thank you for your advice. He has already cancelled the ticket. He did receive credit but the credit doesn't do any good because he is not able to travel next year while the credit is still available.
 
Dec 5, 2017
6
0
1
48
#7
When you buy through Expedia, you have to resolve it through Expedia. The airlines won’t work with you - you added a middle man.

We have company contacts for Expedia in our company contacts page under travel agencies. Write to the customer service email address.

Give them a week to reply. If they don't respond or refuse to help, write to the first executive shown. Tell him/her that Customer Service wasn't able to help or didn't reply. Give the executive a week to reply. If necessary, repeat weekly going up the chain of Executives one at a time. If you get all the Executives with no help, come back here and let us know and we'll
Tell you the next step. Make sure you keep all the emails as you'll need to forward them to the writers if they need to get involved. All correspondence should be in writing. Tell them as your travel agency they need to go to bat for you in this and they should be well aware that the airline will not deal with you directly anymore.


Good luck and let us know what happens.


BTW- we had another consumer with the same problem and they eventually had it solved it so I am hopeful you’ll get this fixed.

http://forum.elliott.org/threads/lufthansa-refund.7166/page-2#post-72473
Greetings,

So far I have contacted the general email and Ms. Gorton's email over the time span of 2 weeks. I have not heard back from either. I just emailed Mr. Morrey and hope to hear something.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,112
15,591
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
Greetings,

So far I have contacted the general email and Ms. Gorton's email over the time span of 2 weeks. I have not heard back from either. I just emailed Mr. Morrey and hope to hear something.
Make sure you leave at least a week in between and in your email you should list the names of everyone you e mailed that did not respond.
 
Dec 5, 2017
6
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1
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#9
Make sure you leave at least a week in between and in your email you should list the names of everyone you e mailed that did not respond.
I just received an email response from Expedia:

"Thank you for contacting Expedia and giving us an opportunity to address your concerns. We regret visa issues associated with events in Turkey prevented your son from using his British Airways ticket. We understand the frustration this can cause, and have reviewed this matter in order to assist you.

According to our records, your son’s round trip ticket for travel from the United States to Turkey was purchased online on October 6, 2017. On October 10, 2017, the United States and Turkey suspended visitor visas between the two countries. While Turkish Airlines is allowing refunds for your travel dates, no other airline has announced such a refund.

Per our documentation, you were correctly advised on October 31, 2017 by two Expedia representatives that British Airways’ policy regarding refunds for visa-related travel to Turkey does not extend into December, 2017, therefore the airline has authorized only the application of your ticket value toward future British Airways travel per the airline’s terms and conditions. We regret British Airways’ policy does not meet your needs; as a third party travel agency, Expedia is, regrettably, not able to negotiate with the airline or waive policies, and we are unable to cover losses experienced by travelers impacted by a visa decision.

Your email mentions when you contacted British Airways to request a refund, you were referred to Expedia. This is because when you purchase a ticket through a travel agency, the travel agency is your contact for all change, cancelation and refund requests, which we process via the airline system per the rules of the airline. While the airline is free to waive its own policies regardless of the origin of purchase, the travel agency cannot. When an airline refers you back to the travel agency rather than fulfilling a refund request, we take the opportunity to reconfirm your understanding of the fare rules you accepted upon purchase. We regret any confusion caused by being advised to contact Expedia.

While we are not authorized to refund your ticket or waive airline penalties, we are happy to address any other questions you may have regarding your unused ticket..."
 
Dec 5, 2017
6
0
1
48
#10
I just received an email response from Expedia:

"Thank you for contacting Expedia and giving us an opportunity to address your concerns. We regret visa issues associated with events in Turkey prevented your son from using his British Airways ticket. We understand the frustration this can cause, and have reviewed this matter in order to assist you.

According to our records, your son’s round trip ticket for travel from the United States to Turkey was purchased online on October 6, 2017. On October 10, 2017, the United States and Turkey suspended visitor visas between the two countries. While Turkish Airlines is allowing refunds for your travel dates, no other airline has announced such a refund.

Per our documentation, you were correctly advised on October 31, 2017 by two Expedia representatives that British Airways’ policy regarding refunds for visa-related travel to Turkey does not extend into December, 2017, therefore the airline has authorized only the application of your ticket value toward future British Airways travel per the airline’s terms and conditions. We regret British Airways’ policy does not meet your needs; as a third party travel agency, Expedia is, regrettably, not able to negotiate with the airline or waive policies, and we are unable to cover losses experienced by travelers impacted by a visa decision.

Your email mentions when you contacted British Airways to request a refund, you were referred to Expedia. This is because when you purchase a ticket through a travel agency, the travel agency is your contact for all change, cancelation and refund requests, which we process via the airline system per the rules of the airline. While the airline is free to waive its own policies regardless of the origin of purchase, the travel agency cannot. When an airline refers you back to the travel agency rather than fulfilling a refund request, we take the opportunity to reconfirm your understanding of the fare rules you accepted upon purchase. We regret any confusion caused by being advised to contact Expedia.

While we are not authorized to refund your ticket or waive airline penalties, we are happy to address any other questions you may have regarding your unused ticket..."
Do I need to be chasing down British Airways?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,935
7,823
113
San Francisco
#11
I'm reading this: the airline has authorized only the application of your ticket value toward future British Airways travel

Isn't this a good thing? A refund is usually the last thing an airline wants to do, especially if he used an OBA. If the credit towards a future flight doesn't work, ask them to extend it.
 
Likes: Neil Maley