Iberia canceled flight, didn't tell me, didn't rebook. I spent +$2k to get home

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Nov 23, 2015
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#1
SUMMARY:

Iberia canceled my august 4 return leg from Madrid to Panama - apparently after I upgraded to business when checking in for the departure leg a month earlier. They didn't tell me my ticket was canceled. Vayama, where I booked my flight, didn't tell me. I found out by accident four days before my flight. They were no help to rebook me and I had to spend $2,000 to buy a one way transatlantic flight less than a week in advance. I've been in contact with them since August 17 trying to get my money back with no luck.

What follows is a detailed cumulative report of all contact I've had with Iberia trying to resolve the issue.

My August 4 return flight on Iberia from Madrid to Panama was canceled without notification or re-booking. Details are in the report submitted to Iberia, below.
On August 17, I submitted claim *** via the form on Iberia’s website. The claim consisted of the following. It was edited to fit character limits.

"I booked an Iberia flight with Vayama (V). The return leg was canceled without notification, a horrible situation.
V said that Iberia is responsible for reimbursement so I’m asking Iberia to reimburse $656.96 for the cancelled return leg of the RT flight I bought, plus $2025 that I had to pay for a one way flight after no one got back to me with a solution for returning home.
What happened:
Someone mistakenly cancelled my flight from Spain to my home in Panama (I had already flown the first leg of RT), but no one from V or Iberia informed me. I happened to log into Iberia's website and saw the cancellation. I called Iberia. I called V repeatedly; no one got back to me despite promises that I would be contacted soon. I was stranded in Spain with no way home & booked a flight on my own, because I had to get back to work so I wasn't fired. I am very angry & upset.
I flew to Madrid on June 26 (#6346) to attend masters degree classes. I found out about my cancelled flight just four days before before my graduation ceremony. My parents & other family were arriving from the U.S. to spend time with me and attend the ceremony. The situation with my unresolved cancelled flight sent my stress level through the roof, negatively impacting a celebratory family time. I was put in an awful situation due to your mistake.
The evening of July 27 in Spain, I decided to log on the Iberia website to check on my flight & saw this message: “Unable to locate this trip, it may have been cancelled. Please call us for further information.” I then called Iberia & was told there was an “HX” status on my reservation, which means it appears that payment hadn’t been made on the itinerary by the booking agent.
Iberia said my flight was still happening, I still had a seat, that when payment was made I would again be officially booked on the flight. I thought this was strange since I already paid for my flight & flew leg 1 of the RT in June. (Later V explained that airlines - Iberia - charge passenger’s cards directly. If true, it's clear Iberia made a huge error.)
I logged into my V account & saw the following message: "We have been informed by the airline that there has been a change to your flight schedule on which you are booked. Important - contact V as soon as possible.” I called V & asked why I didn’t get an email informing me about this. I was very upset I was never notified. I was told that V has a system in place but something must have gone wrong, & that Iberia told me the wrong information during that first phone call re: incomplete payment.
V confirmed the flight I was originally booked on, Iberia 6361, had been canceled and I didn't have a flight home booked. I was told V would now submit a change request to Iberia. Later I was told that the call was in with Iberia & that V was waiting to hear back. A supervisor then told me he saw a remark from Iberia on my reservation - something like "do not take action, check in updated or upgrade." (I paid to upgrade to business class when checking in for my June 30 flight. I never asked to cancel the return leg or saw notification of this being possible.)
Then V told me the flight was still happening but was now 6365 (not original #6361) due to a change in timing, but there weren't available seats. I wondered why I was not booked on this flight. It seemed to have the same times as the flight I first had. Nothing changed but the flight #. How did my existing reservation not also change? V told me that the airline canceled my return trip & remarks said that I was rebooked in a different class, do not make changes - they thought maybe Iberia forgot to reissue the return leg after my outbound upgrade.
I never heard anything from V or Iberia about any sort of refund or rebooked flight during my remaining week in Spain (I still have not heard from them on August 17). Feeling stranded in Spain with no way home, I booked a last-minute one-way Aug. 4 flight on AirFrance for $2,025.15 (way more than my original $1300 RT ticket).
Vayama’s recent response to an email about my cancelled flight:
Firstly it’s impossible that Vayama was missing the payment to Airlines; as airlines charge passenger's card directly and if there would have been a problem with the payment you would not have been be able to take the outbound. Secondly, as the upgrade was done directly with the airlines, and after that the booking was cancelled by the airlines therefore there was no action taken by Vayama. Which in turn means that fault came from Iberia and compensation needs to be claimed claim from Iberia. We were advised by Iberia's agent helpdesk to send you a link and not to interfere this booking as they do have to escalate the inspection.
Thanks for your prompt attention to this matter. Again, I’m asking Iberia to reimburse $656.96 for the cancelled return leg of the RT flight I bought, plus the $2025 spent on my emergency return flight with AirFrance. Thank you.

I received no reply or acknowledgement my claim was received. On September 7, 21 days after the original claim was submitted, I re-submitted the exact same message as shown above, notating that I had originally sent it on 8/17 and never received a response or record of receipt. My activity number was ***.
On September 16, I received a message in which Iberia requested proof of the Air France ticket I had purchased. I attempted to submit it via the Iberia website as a PDF attachment (attached to this email also) with the following text.

"Hello, I am following up with existing report ***. You replied back and requested documentation of the flight I had to purchase to get home after my Iberia flight was canceled without notification.
It was from Barcelona to Panama, instead of from Madrid like my canceled flight was, because I was in Barcelona and had a reservation on Vueling from Barcelona to Madrid - but with my Madrid-Panama flight with Iberia canceled, it made more sense to fly from Barcelona directly.
Attached is the proof of purchase from Air France of my one-way flight from Spain to Panama that I had to purchase when Iberia canceled my return flight without notifying me."

However, the form on their website was broken (further details in text below) and I was unable to submit the claim that way. I contacted them through their Facebook page and was given the "atencionalcliente@iberia.es" email address. I sent the following message to this address on September 17.
"Hello,
Your customer service representative on the Facebook page told me to write to this email address due to the form on your website having a flaw - when I filled out all applicable information and attached a PDF as requested, I received an error message that the "status" field was left blank, even though nothing in the form was blank and there was no area marked status. I tried several times, as well as my mother who lives in a different country than I do - we both received the same error message.
Below is what I tried to submit via the Iberia online complaints form as well as the requested documentation. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Hello, I am following up with existing report ***. You replied back and requested documentation of the flight I had to purchase to get home after my Iberia flight was canceled without notification.
The flight was from Barcelona to Panama instead of from Madrid like my canceled flight was, because I was in Barcelona and had a reservation on Vueling from Barcelona to Madrid - but with my Madrid-Panama flight with Iberia canceled, it made more sense to fly from Barcelona directly.
Attached is the proof of purchase from Air France of my one-way flight from Spain to Panama that I had to purchase when Iberia canceled my return flight without notifying me."
On October 1, I emailed them again, in a reply to my original message, asking for confirmation they received my message. I received confirmation of receipt from Iberia on October 2. On October 7, 21 days after the Air France PDF was submitted, I emailed them again.
"Hello,
It has now been 21 days since I emailed you with the requested proof of Air France purchase (September 17 - October 7). When I first contacted you about this situation on August 17, you told me I would be notified of a solution within 21 days. It has been seven weeks.
It has now been two months since I was left stranded in Madrid through no fault of my own after my return flight was mysteriously canceled and no one notified me. (My flight was supposed to be on August 4 until I was removed from it.)
Please let me know when I will be receiving the refund for my Air France flight which I had to purchase at the last minute, as well as the half of the round-trip airfare that you didn't provide despite me paying for it.
Thank you,
Emma"
I received no reply. On October 11, I submitted the following to the Iberia Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/iberia?fref=nf It is worth noting that the previous Iberia page I had written to is no longer in existence and all records of the messages they sent me/I sent them are gone - no longer in my Facebook messages folder.
"four days ago I emailed you to follow up about existing report ***. It had been 21 days (now 25) since I had last heard from you and submitted all the requested paperwork. I have still not heard back from you. This is in regards to a flight that I was booked on for August 4 2015 and was then removed from without notification, leaving me stranded in Madrid and having to purchase my own last-minute return ticket. I am still seeking over $2,000 reimbursement for ticket fees due to your error. When will I receive a reply and my money?"

All conversations from Facebook can be viewed here, starting with their first reply to my post. I have screenshots if the link at the bottom of the conversation is not accessible or the images below do not work. The most recent post from me to Iberia in this thread - marked 8 hours ago, etc - happened the morning of November 22.
Iberia Hi Emma, if you sent the missing documents just 4 days ago, please allow some more time for them to get back to you. Kind regards.
Like · Reply · October 11 at 11:04am
Hide 27 Replies

Emma Eiraina no, i sent the missing documents on september 17. 4 days ago i wrote asking when i would receive a reply (21 days after sending the documents)
Like · Reply · October 11 at 11:06am

Iberia Hi Emma, thank you for confirming us the date, we explain you a little, the response time is approximately 4 weeks ask you to wait a little more. If passing that time you haven't received information, please contact us again. Kind Regards.
Like · Reply · October 11 at 11:22am

Emma Eiraina ok, thank you. previous communications have said 21 days which is why I checked again on that date. I will look forward to a reply within 4 weeks of September 17 (this coming Thursday).
Like · Reply · October 11 at 11:26am

Iberia Hi Emma, thanks for your understanding if the deadline has not received news again please contact us back. Kind Regards.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · October 11 at 11:34am

Emma Eiraina Hi, I haven't heard from them yet. My most recent email was sent September 17. Four weeks after that date was this past Thursday. It is now Saturday. Help please.
Like · Reply · October 17 at 3:26pm

Iberia Hi Emma, we will sent a new message to the responsible area, we will contact you back, as soon as they give us more details. Kind Regards.
Like · Reply · October 17 at 5:15pm

Emma Eiraina when might i expect a reply? i've been waiting for my money back since the beginning of august.
Like · Reply · October 17 at 9:39pm

Iberia Hi Emma, we understand your concern, we really regret the delay in your case, we have already sent urgent messages to the corresponding area as soon the give us and update about your case, we will contact you immediately. Kind Regards.
Like · Reply · October 17 at 9:43pm

Emma Eiraina hello, have you heard anything from the appropriate office yet? could you please ask them again? it's been two and a half months and I am still out over $2,000 due to the mistake that was made. thank you.
Like · Reply · October 21 at 6:00am

Iberia Hi Emma, as we previously mentionned we sent urgent messages to the corresponding area and we'll let you know as soon as they give us and update about your case. Kind regards.
Like · Reply · October 21 at 6:04am

Emma Eiraina it has been two weeks since you sent this "urgent message" to the appropriate office. earlier in this very conversation you told me i would receive a reply by october 17. it has been three months since i was left stranded in madrid without a return flight due to Iberia's mistake and had to spend over $2,000 to get home. what do i need to do to get some answers?
Like · Reply · October 31 at 6:00pm

Iberia We're deeply sorry for the delay, Emma. We've pinged our colleagues one more time and we wil get back to you as soon as they reply. Regards
Like · Reply · October 31 at 6:15pm

Emma Eiraina one week later... can you please ask them again for me? it's november, this happened in the beginning of august. thank you.
Like · Reply · November 8 at 7:02am

Iberia We just did Emma. We are sorry for the delay in giving you an update on your file. We hope to get back to you soon. Regards.
Like · Reply · November 8 at 7:14am

Emma Eiraina one week later yet again. any update? please ask them again.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 7:07am

Iberia Hi Emma,
We are deeply sorry for the delay. We are aware that our colleagues are indeed processing your claim. It seems they were pending confirmation from the administration department in order to establish the compensation that applies. We just sent them new message to see if there are any news we can inform you about.
Regards.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 7:12am

Emma Eiraina Thank you. It is on my calendar to ask every week, because to me $2,000+ is quite a lot of money, and the injustice of what happened to me is quite severe.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 7:14am

Iberia Hi Emma,
Our colleagues inform us that they will call you today to let you know about the status of your claim. Regards.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:09am

Emma Eiraina Thanks, I look forward to hearing from them. Could you ask if they will also email the information? I am traveling today and may not be able to answer my phone.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:32am

Emma Eiraina actually, i think the number they have on file is my American google voice phone number, which does not forward to my Panama phone (where I live), and I won't be on a laptop today to answer an incoming call through my gmail. Please have them email the information instead.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:34am

Iberia OK, Emma, we will let them know. Regards.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:39am

Emma Eiraina Thank you very much.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:50am
Emma Eiraina the email they sent (one day later than you said they would) said they would reply in "the next days." they attempted to call me but as I told you, i was unable to answer the phone. the voicemail said they would attempt to call me again. They have not called again, nor have i received another email. so.... what's going on with my claim? i'm still out over $2,000 due to your mistake.
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Iberia Hi Emma,
You informed us that you prefered to be contacted by email as you weren't going to be available on the phone. So we contacted our colleagues and they sent you that email, to let you know that your claim is being managed and that you would get the resolution promptly.
Did they try and call you again after that?
Regards.
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Emma Eiraina Their email stated I would have a resolution in "the next days." Then I got a phone call that I was unable to answer, saying they would call back. They haven't called back or sent another email with the resolution. I do not consider three months after submitting my claim "prompt." I would prefer all communication to happen in writing and I look forward to a resolution before December.
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Iberia Thanks for confirming, Emma. We will consult with our colleagues and we will get back to you as soon as they inform us.
Regards.
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Emma Eiraina I'll keep checking in with you regularly smile emoticon and at some point I will have to involve a third party to help solve this problem. It's ridiculous that it has taken so long. My flight was canceled, I was not rebooked or helped in any way, and I had to spend over $2,000 to get myself home after Iberia stranded me in Madrid. It's shameful.
Like · Reply · 8 hrs
https://www.facebook.com/iberia/posts/***?comment_id=***&reply_comment_id=***&offset=0&total_comments=19&notif_t=feed_comment

On October 28, sent to Ibera via email to the address I had been contacting:
"Hello,
Regarding existing report ***
It has now been 4 weeks since I sent the requested information (see below) and I have not received a reply with information on how you will correct your mistake of leaving me stranded in Madrid on August 4 without telling me. When will I get my money back?
Thank you,
Emma"

I received no reply to the October 28 email. In the Facebook thread, the Iberia representative said I would be contacted via phone that day (Saturday, November 14) with further information about my claim. I requested an email instead. The text of the email I received on November 15 is as follows:
Dear Mrs Cohen:
I am writing in relation to flight IB 6365 of 04, August 2015 and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for contacting us.
Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of your flight. We are aware of how important it is to our passengers that trips observe the scheduled time, which is why we make every effort to prevent this from occurring.
We are working in your claim at this moment and you will receive an answer with the final resolution in the next days.
Thank you again for patience and for contacting us. Your assistance allows us to improve our service. We hope we continue to enjoy your trust.
Sincerely,
Iberia. Customer Service Center

The previous email from Iberia was sent from a no-reply address, so I forwarded the November 15 email from Iberia to the functional back-and-forth email address I have on file with the following text.
"Thank you for the letter (below). I look forward to a satisfactory resolution within the week.
Regards,
Emma"
On November 15, at 1:37 pm, I missed a phone call to my google voice phone number (the one I told Iberia to not contact me on, asking for all communication to happen in emails instead).
"Good afternoon Mrs. Cohen this is Yeltsin? Yelsa? calling from Iberia customer relations department. I was calling regarding your claim. We will try to call you back later. Thank you."
She never called back.
On November 22, I sent another email to the email address I had been contacting, continuing the chain of email messages I began on November 15, with the following text -

"Hello,
What is the status of my claim? I am still waiting. It has been over three months and due to your negligent mistake I had to spend over $2,000 to get home. When will I get that money back?
Thank you,
Emma"


I still have yet to hear from them with any suggestion for fixing this. They never once - Vayama or the airline - rebooked me or made any attempt to notify me and inform me of the canceled flight. I want my money back - the half of the RT that was canceled, and the $2000+ I had to spend to purchase a Transatlantic flight that would get me home in time for work.

Any suggestions? I can upload the Air France ticket receipt if anyone wants to see it.
Thanks!
Emma

 
Last edited:
Jan 8, 2015
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#3
Emma, your post is very hard to read, which makes it confusing. it may make perfect sense to you as you were the one it happened to, but for those of us trying to help you out, it is very difficult. if it is very difficult for us to read, then it will likely be the very same for someone at the airline.

Before I get too far in the weeds, I will say that you are NOT entitled to both a refund of the cancelled flight AND the new ticket you purchased. (was your ticket cancelled, or the flight?) This would mean that you are essentially flying for free. You should be entitled at the very least to a refund of the cancelled flight and possibly compensation under EU rules. (depending on when or if the flight was cancelled)

As the airline usually has to be given the chance to rebook you on the next available flight, or one within a certain time frame, you most likely will not get compensated for the new ticket you purchased.
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#4
My August 4 return flight on Iberia from Madrid to Panama was canceled without notification or re-booking. Details are in the report submitted to Iberia, below.
On August 17, I submitted claim *** via the form on Iberia’s website. The claim consisted of the following. It was edited to fit character limits.

"I booked an Iberia flight with Vayama (V). The return leg was canceled without notification, a horrible situation.
V said that Iberia is responsible for reimbursement so I’m asking Iberia to reimburse $656.96 for the cancelled return leg of the RT flight I bought, plus $2025 that I had to pay for a one way flight after no one got back to me with a solution for returning home.
What happened:
Someone mistakenly cancelled my flight from Spain to my home in Panama (I had already flown the first leg of RT), but no one from V or Iberia informed me. I happened to log into Iberia's website and saw the cancellation. I called Iberia. I called V repeatedly; no one got back to me despite promises that I would be contacted soon. I was stranded in Spain with no way home & booked a flight on my own, because I had to get back to work so I wasn't fired. I am very angry & upset.
I flew to Madrid on June 26 (#6346) to attend masters degree classes. I found out about my cancelled flight just four days before before my graduation ceremony. My parents & other family were arriving from the U.S. to spend time with me and attend the ceremony. The situation with my unresolved cancelled flight sent my stress level through the roof, negatively impacting a celebratory family time. I was put in an awful situation due to your mistake.
The evening of July 27 in Spain, I decided to log on the Iberia website to check on my flight & saw this message: “Unable to locate this trip, it may have been cancelled. Please call us for further information.” I then called Iberia & was told there was an “HX” status on my reservation, which means it appears that payment hadn’t been made on the itinerary by the booking agent.
Iberia said my flight was still happening, I still had a seat, that when payment was made I would again be officially booked on the flight. I thought this was strange since I already paid for my flight & flew leg 1 of the RT in June. (Later V explained that airlines - Iberia - charge passenger’s cards directly. If true, it's clear Iberia made a huge error.)
I logged into my V account & saw the following message: "We have been informed by the airline that there has been a change to your flight schedule on which you are booked. Important - contact V as soon as possible.” I called V & asked why I didn’t get an email informing me about this. I was very upset I was never notified. I was told that V has a system in place but something must have gone wrong, & that Iberia told me the wrong information during that first phone call re: incomplete payment.
V confirmed the flight I was originally booked on, Iberia 6361, had been canceled and I didn't have a flight home booked. I was told V would now submit a change request to Iberia. Later I was told that the call was in with Iberia & that V was waiting to hear back. A supervisor then told me he saw a remark from Iberia on my reservation - something like "do not take action, check in updated or upgrade." (I paid to upgrade to business class when checking in for my June 30 flight. I never asked to cancel the return leg or saw notification of this being possible.)
Then V told me the flight was still happening but was now 6365 (not original #6361) due to a change in timing, but there weren't available seats. I wondered why I was not booked on this flight. It seemed to have the same times as the flight I first had. Nothing changed but the flight #. How did my existing reservation not also change? V told me that the airline canceled my return trip & remarks said that I was rebooked in a different class, do not make changes - they thought maybe Iberia forgot to reissue the return leg after my outbound upgrade.
I never heard anything from V or Iberia about any sort of refund or rebooked flight during my remaining week in Spain (I still have not heard from them on August 17). Feeling stranded in Spain with no way home, I booked a last-minute one-way Aug. 4 flight on AirFrance for $2,025.15 (way more than my original $1300 RT ticket).
Vayama’s recent response to an email about my cancelled flight:
Firstly it’s impossible that Vayama was missing the payment to Airlines; as airlines charge passenger's card directly and if there would have been a problem with the payment you would not have been be able to take the outbound. Secondly, as the upgrade was done directly with the airlines, and after that the booking was cancelled by the airlines therefore there was no action taken by Vayama. Which in turn means that fault came from Iberia and compensation needs to be claimed claim from Iberia. We were advised by Iberia's agent helpdesk to send you a link and not to interfere this booking as they do have to escalate the inspection.
Thanks for your prompt attention to this matter. Again, I’m asking Iberia to reimburse $656.96 for the cancelled return leg of the RT flight I bought, plus the $2025 spent on my emergency return flight with AirFrance. Thank you.

I received no reply or acknowledgement my claim was received. On September 7, 21 days after the original claim was submitted, I re-submitted the exact same message as shown above, notating that I had originally sent it on 8/17 and never received a response or record of receipt. My activity number was ***.
On September 16, I received a message in which Iberia requested proof of the Air France ticket I had purchased. I attempted to submit it via the Iberia website as a PDF attachment (attached to this email also) with the following text.

"Hello, I am following up with existing report ***. You replied back and requested documentation of the flight I had to purchase to get home after my Iberia flight was canceled without notification.
It was from Barcelona to Panama, instead of from Madrid like my canceled flight was, because I was in Barcelona and had a reservation on Vueling from Barcelona to Madrid - but with my Madrid-Panama flight with Iberia canceled, it made more sense to fly from Barcelona directly.
Attached is the proof of purchase from Air France of my one-way flight from Spain to Panama that I had to purchase when Iberia canceled my return flight without notifying me."

However, the form on their website was broken (further details in text below) and I was unable to submit the claim that way. I contacted them through their Facebook page and was given the "atencionalcliente@iberia.es" email address. I sent the following message to this address on September 17.
"Hello,
Your customer service representative on the Facebook page told me to write to this email address due to the form on your website having a flaw - when I filled out all applicable information and attached a PDF as requested, I received an error message that the "status" field was left blank, even though nothing in the form was blank and there was no area marked status. I tried several times, as well as my mother who lives in a different country than I do - we both received the same error message.
Below is what I tried to submit via the Iberia online complaints form as well as the requested documentation. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Hello, I am following up with existing report ***. You replied back and requested documentation of the flight I had to purchase to get home after my Iberia flight was canceled without notification.
The flight was from Barcelona to Panama instead of from Madrid like my canceled flight was, because I was in Barcelona and had a reservation on Vueling from Barcelona to Madrid - but with my Madrid-Panama flight with Iberia canceled, it made more sense to fly from Barcelona directly.
Attached is the proof of purchase from Air France of my one-way flight from Spain to Panama that I had to purchase when Iberia canceled my return flight without notifying me."
On October 1, I emailed them again, in a reply to my original message, asking for confirmation they received my message. I received confirmation of receipt from Iberia on October 2. On October 7, 21 days after the Air France PDF was submitted, I emailed them again.
"Hello,
It has now been 21 days since I emailed you with the requested proof of Air France purchase (September 17 - October 7). When I first contacted you about this situation on August 17, you told me I would be notified of a solution within 21 days. It has been seven weeks.
It has now been two months since I was left stranded in Madrid through no fault of my own after my return flight was mysteriously canceled and no one notified me. (My flight was supposed to be on August 4 until I was removed from it.)
Please let me know when I will be receiving the refund for my Air France flight which I had to purchase at the last minute, as well as the half of the round-trip airfare that you didn't provide despite me paying for it.
Thank you,
Emma"
I received no reply. On October 11, I submitted the following to the Iberia Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/iberia?fref=nf It is worth noting that the previous Iberia page I had written to is no longer in existence and all records of the messages they sent me/I sent them are gone - no longer in my Facebook messages folder.
"four days ago I emailed you to follow up about existing report ***. It had been 21 days (now 25) since I had last heard from you and submitted all the requested paperwork. I have still not heard back from you. This is in regards to a flight that I was booked on for August 4 2015 and was then removed from without notification, leaving me stranded in Madrid and having to purchase my own last-minute return ticket. I am still seeking over $2,000 reimbursement for ticket fees due to your error. When will I receive a reply and my money?"

All conversations from Facebook can be viewed here, starting with their first reply to my post. I have screenshots if the link at the bottom of the conversation is not accessible or the images below do not work. The most recent post from me to Iberia in this thread - marked 8 hours ago, etc - happened the morning of November 22.
Iberia Hi Emma, if you sent the missing documents just 4 days ago, please allow some more time for them to get back to you. Kind regards.
Like · Reply · October 11 at 11:04am
Hide 27 Replies

Emma Eiraina no, i sent the missing documents on september 17. 4 days ago i wrote asking when i would receive a reply (21 days after sending the documents)
Like · Reply · October 11 at 11:06am

Iberia Hi Emma, thank you for confirming us the date, we explain you a little, the response time is approximately 4 weeks ask you to wait a little more. If passing that time you haven't received information, please contact us again. Kind Regards.
Like · Reply · October 11 at 11:22am

Emma Eiraina ok, thank you. previous communications have said 21 days which is why I checked again on that date. I will look forward to a reply within 4 weeks of September 17 (this coming Thursday).
Like · Reply · October 11 at 11:26am

Iberia Hi Emma, thanks for your understanding if the deadline has not received news again please contact us back. Kind Regards.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · October 11 at 11:34am

Emma Eiraina Hi, I haven't heard from them yet. My most recent email was sent September 17. Four weeks after that date was this past Thursday. It is now Saturday. Help please.
Like · Reply · October 17 at 3:26pm

Iberia Hi Emma, we will sent a new message to the responsible area, we will contact you back, as soon as they give us more details. Kind Regards.
Like · Reply · October 17 at 5:15pm

Emma Eiraina when might i expect a reply? i've been waiting for my money back since the beginning of august.
Like · Reply · October 17 at 9:39pm

Iberia Hi Emma, we understand your concern, we really regret the delay in your case, we have already sent urgent messages to the corresponding area as soon the give us and update about your case, we will contact you immediately. Kind Regards.
Like · Reply · October 17 at 9:43pm

Emma Eiraina hello, have you heard anything from the appropriate office yet? could you please ask them again? it's been two and a half months and I am still out over $2,000 due to the mistake that was made. thank you.
Like · Reply · October 21 at 6:00am

Iberia Hi Emma, as we previously mentionned we sent urgent messages to the corresponding area and we'll let you know as soon as they give us and update about your case. Kind regards.
Like · Reply · October 21 at 6:04am

Emma Eiraina it has been two weeks since you sent this "urgent message" to the appropriate office. earlier in this very conversation you told me i would receive a reply by october 17. it has been three months since i was left stranded in madrid without a return flight due to Iberia's mistake and had to spend over $2,000 to get home. what do i need to do to get some answers?
Like · Reply · October 31 at 6:00pm

Iberia We're deeply sorry for the delay, Emma. We've pinged our colleagues one more time and we wil get back to you as soon as they reply. Regards
Like · Reply · October 31 at 6:15pm

Emma Eiraina one week later... can you please ask them again for me? it's november, this happened in the beginning of august. thank you.
Like · Reply · November 8 at 7:02am

Iberia We just did Emma. We are sorry for the delay in giving you an update on your file. We hope to get back to you soon. Regards.
Like · Reply · November 8 at 7:14am

Emma Eiraina one week later yet again. any update? please ask them again.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 7:07am

Iberia Hi Emma,
We are deeply sorry for the delay. We are aware that our colleagues are indeed processing your claim. It seems they were pending confirmation from the administration department in order to establish the compensation that applies. We just sent them new message to see if there are any news we can inform you about.
Regards.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 7:12am

Emma Eiraina Thank you. It is on my calendar to ask every week, because to me $2,000+ is quite a lot of money, and the injustice of what happened to me is quite severe.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 7:14am

Iberia Hi Emma,
Our colleagues inform us that they will call you today to let you know about the status of your claim. Regards.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:09am

Emma Eiraina Thanks, I look forward to hearing from them. Could you ask if they will also email the information? I am traveling today and may not be able to answer my phone.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:32am

Emma Eiraina actually, i think the number they have on file is my American google voice phone number, which does not forward to my Panama phone (where I live), and I won't be on a laptop today to answer an incoming call through my gmail. Please have them email the information instead.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:34am

Iberia OK, Emma, we will let them know. Regards.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:39am

Emma Eiraina Thank you very much.
Like · Reply · November 14 at 8:50am
Emma Eiraina the email they sent (one day later than you said they would) said they would reply in "the next days." they attempted to call me but as I told you, i was unable to answer the phone. the voicemail said they would attempt to call me again. They have not called again, nor have i received another email. so.... what's going on with my claim? i'm still out over $2,000 due to your mistake.
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Iberia Hi Emma,
You informed us that you prefered to be contacted by email as you weren't going to be available on the phone. So we contacted our colleagues and they sent you that email, to let you know that your claim is being managed and that you would get the resolution promptly.
Did they try and call you again after that?
Regards.
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Emma Eiraina Their email stated I would have a resolution in "the next days." Then I got a phone call that I was unable to answer, saying they would call back. They haven't called back or sent another email with the resolution. I do not consider three months after submitting my claim "prompt." I would prefer all communication to happen in writing and I look forward to a resolution before December.
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Iberia Thanks for confirming, Emma. We will consult with our colleagues and we will get back to you as soon as they inform us.
Regards.
Like · Reply · 9 hrs

Emma Eiraina I'll keep checking in with you regularly smile emoticon and at some point I will have to involve a third party to help solve this problem. It's ridiculous that it has taken so long. My flight was canceled, I was not rebooked or helped in any way, and I had to spend over $2,000 to get myself home after Iberia stranded me in Madrid. It's shameful.
Like · Reply · 8 hrs
https://www.facebook.com/iberia/posts/***?comment_id=***&reply_comment_id=***&offset=0&total_comments=19&notif_t=feed_comment

On October 28, sent to Ibera via email to the address I had been contacting:
"Hello,
Regarding existing report ***
It has now been 4 weeks since I sent the requested information (see below) and I have not received a reply with information on how you will correct your mistake of leaving me stranded in Madrid on August 4 without telling me. When will I get my money back?
Thank you,
Emma"

I received no reply to the October 28 email. In the Facebook thread, the Iberia representative said I would be contacted via phone that day (Saturday, November 14) with further information about my claim. I requested an email instead. The text of the email I received on November 15 is as follows:
Dear Mrs Cohen:
I am writing in relation to flight IB 6365 of 04, August 2015 and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for contacting us.
Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of your flight. We are aware of how important it is to our passengers that trips observe the scheduled time, which is why we make every effort to prevent this from occurring.
We are working in your claim at this moment and you will receive an answer with the final resolution in the next days.
Thank you again for patience and for contacting us. Your assistance allows us to improve our service. We hope we continue to enjoy your trust.
Sincerely,
Iberia. Customer Service Center

The previous email from Iberia was sent from a no-reply address, so I forwarded the November 15 email from Iberia to the functional back-and-forth email address I have on file with the following text.
"Thank you for the letter (below). I look forward to a satisfactory resolution within the week.
Regards,
Emma"
On November 15, at 1:37 pm, I missed a phone call to my google voice phone number (the one I told Iberia to not contact me on, asking for all communication to happen in emails instead).
"Good afternoon Mrs. Cohen this is Yeltsin? Yelsa? calling from Iberia customer relations department. I was calling regarding your claim. We will try to call you back later. Thank you."
She never called back.
On November 22, I sent another email to the email address I had been contacting, continuing the chain of email messages I began on November 15, with the following text -

"Hello,
What is the status of my claim? I am still waiting. It has been over three months and due to your negligent mistake I had to spend over $2,000 to get home. When will I get that money back?
Thank you,
Emma"


I still have yet to hear from them with any suggestion for fixing this. They never once - Vayama or the airline - rebooked me or made any attempt to notify me and inform me of the canceled flight. I want my money back - the half of the RT that was canceled, and the $2000+ I had to spend to purchase a Transatlantic flight that would get me home in time for work.

Any suggestions? I can upload the Air France ticket receipt if anyone wants to see it.
Thanks!
Emma
Dear Ms. Cohen-Joppa,

Really? My God... no wonder you're not hearing from the airline. No one wants to receive an email this long, Iberia or us. If you want our help, please trim it way, way down and resubmit. Also, these forums are public, so I deleted all the identifying numbers from your post.

Grant Ritchie
Senior Lead Advocate
 
Likes: AMA and AAGK
Nov 23, 2015
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#5
Iberia canceled my august 4 return leg from Madrid to Panama - apparently after I upgraded to business when checking in for the departure leg a month earlier. They didn't tell me my ticket was canceled. Vayama, where I booked my flight, didn't tell me. I found out by accident four days before my flight. They were no help to rebook me and I had to spend 2,000 to buy a one way transatlantic flight less than a week in advance. I've been in contact with them since August 17 trying to get my money back with no luck.
 
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#6
My individual emails to the company were much more concise. This is the detailed record of my entire contact history with them. I've provided the basic gist in both the subject line and my second post in the forum. Thanks.
Dear Ms. Cohen-Joppa,

Really? My God... no wonder you're not hearing from the airline. No one wants to receive an email this long, Iberia or us. If you want our help, please trim it way, way down and resubmit. Also, these forums are public, so I deleted all the identifying numbers from your post.

Grant Ritchie
Senior Lead Advocate
the
 
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#7
We still aren't sure exactly what happened with my reservation. The flight number changed, the times remained the same, and I was somehow removed from my existing reservation mid trip. Depending who I talked to, I was given different answers and fingers were pointed at other parties - Iberia and vayama both. Like I explained above, my post is long and detailed because it explains, in detail, a concise history of every communication I had with the airline. They never reached out to me to inform me of my canceled reservation, to refund the half of my flight, or to rebook me once I brought the issue to their attention I was left to my own devices entirely and had to get home or risk being fired, and with such short notice the only option was the expensive one mentioned. I only discovered, by accident, that my reservation was canceled four days before I had to return.
Emma, your post is very hard to read, which makes it confusing. it may make perfect sense to you as you were the one it happened to, but for those of us trying to help you out, it is very difficult. if it is very difficult for us to read, then it will likely be the very same for someone at the airline.

Before I get too far in the weeds, I will say that you are NOT entitled to both a refund of the cancelled flight AND the new ticket you purchased. (was your ticket cancelled, or the flight?) This would mean that you are essentially flying for free. You should be entitled at the very least to a refund of the cancelled flight and possibly compensation under EU rules. (depending on when or if the flight was cancelled)

As the airline usually has to be given the chance to rebook you on the next available flight, or one within a certain time frame, you most likely will not get compensated for the new ticket you purchased.
 
Nov 23, 2015
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#8
I spoke with my credit card company and explained the situation already and they mentioned since I didn't book through them or have travel insurance they couldn't help me. Although at this point I am about to try again and explain it again as services paid for and not received. Seems none of these companies are eager to help!
I wasn't able to read this but I get the sense you paid for a ticket, the ticket was cancelled and you were not refunded. If you have not done so, call your credit card company and they will immediately remove the amount.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,755
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113
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www.promalvacations.com
#9
What it sounds like is that Iberia marked you as a no show, which when that happens, they cancel your return flight. Thats what it sounds like, but maybe it isn't actually what happened.

Did you use your cc to book the tickets? If you did, then what they are telling you makes no sense. Try calling your cc company back and getting a supervisor - it sounds like they didnt understand your issue. However, if this happened in June, you are beyond chargeback time but someone may still help you.

This is the problem when using a 3rd party like Vayama to book your tickets. When a problme happens, the airlines won't deal with you - they will only deal with Vayama. and if the agent at Vayama isn't good, they can't help either.

Here are our executive contacts at Iberia. Condense this letter by 3/4 and send it to the first executive listed. Give him a week to get back to you. If he doesn't or can't help, move on to the next executive. Repeat weekly until you have exhausted all avenues.

http://elliott.org/company-contacts/iberia-airlines/
 
T

travellerdan

Guest
#10
Emma, meet Joseph K. Joseph K., meet Emma. (see Kafka, The Trial, The Castle, etc.)

Seriously, you appear to be a victim of bureaucratic incompetence compounded to some degree by involving a third party, Vayama. As near as I can tell the problems all lie at Iberia.

I can suggest no obvious solution at this point beyond writing up the management chain at Iberia and hoping for a solution.

I did not find your narrative difficult to follow, but the missing information is not in what you did but in whatever it is Iberia did. Of course you would not send all that text to them.

Generally when someone takes matters in their own hands such as buying their own ticket back, the first airline will not reimburse. They most definitely have to reimburse what you paid them for the original ticket. With luck management at Iberia may recognize that they failed and give you something beyond reimbursing the Iberia ticket.

You could dispute what you paid to the CC company for the half of the Iberia trip you did not take, but you can't dispute the second ticket because you took the flight paid for. Is it too late now? Be careful that if you do start a dispute through the CC company any claim you make for a refund from Iberia may be stopped because you have now started an adversary action. Your CC company did not understand that you wanted to dispute the charge not that you wanted the CC to reimburse you or insure you.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Oct 5, 2015
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#11
So here are the facts as I understand them:

You originally had a roundtrip ticket on Iberia issued by Vayama
PTY-MAD IB6346 26JUN
MAD-PTY IB6361 04AUG

4 days prior your return flight, you went to Iberia's website and tried to logon.
You were unable to find your reservation because the system spotted a change in your flights... blah blah blah.

You later found out (from Vayama) than IB6361 was no longer operating and was replaced by IB6365 instead.

OK as an international travel consultant here's what I have to say:

#1) Make sure you had a paid round trip ticket -
If you paid for a round-trip ticket then you were issued 2 e-ticket coupons - one for each nonstop PTY-MAD and MAD-PTY flight. You can easily check this by looking at your 13 digit e-ticket number beginning with 075 and look for C1 and C2 in the end. The C2 is the second coupon which signifies you had a ticket for MAD to PTY.
If you have a copy of your e-ticket receipt then the above should be obvious.

#2) Check if Iberia protected you on IB6365 on 04AUG -
When an airline reschedules or changes flights, you are usually protected on the new flight. You will see the segment status of the OLD IB6361 change to "HX" and you will see an new additional segment IB6365 with a status "TK".
HX simply means you were previously holding confirmed status in that flight segment but now it is cancelled. It does not signify anything else (i.e. non payment, etc.)
If indeed your reservation was cancelled because of non-payment, you will see another message on your PNR stating the same because there will be no corresponding e-ticket coupon (TKNE) associated with that flight segment (hence it will cancel after the deadline).
It is the responsibility of the ticket agent (Vayama) to confirm the changes with you.
They were informed by the airline of the HX status through their GDS queue.
IMO, Vayama failed you here because they did not confirm the changes with you on a timely manner.

#3) Flight History says that IB6361 started on Sun 10-25-2015 and IB6365 stopped on Sat 10-24-2015. In fact IB6365 was already the operating flight even before you departed from Panama. There is no valid reason Iberia could not have updated and confirmed your reservation when you checked in at the PTY airport for your departing flight not unless you did not have a return ticket.

#4) Unless you can sue Vayama for negligence, I am afraid you will not be able to recover the cost of your new return ticket. IMO, lesson learned here is do not deal with OTAs with lousy service.
 
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#12
thanks for taking the time to actually read and understand my entire post. i didn't think it was hard to follow if one actually tried! it certainly wasn't my intention to confuse, on the contrary, i wanted to provide all relevant information in my first post. thanks again for confirming i'm not crazy with that intent! :)

yep, looks like my next step is to contact management as suggested above. i am in agreement with you regarding the CC company, and slightly hesitant to start anything with the credit cards until i've exhausted all options with iberia. what an adventure. cheers!

Emma, meet Joseph K. Joseph K., meet Emma. (see Kafka, The Trial, The Castle, etc.)

Seriously, you appear to be a victim of bureaucratic incompetence compounded to some degree by involving a third party, Vayama. As near as I can tell the problems all lie at Iberia.

I can suggest no obvious solution at this point beyond writing up the management chain at Iberia and hoping for a solution.

I did not find your narrative difficult to follow, but the missing information is not in what you did but in whatever it is Iberia did. Of course you would not send all that text to them.

Generally when someone takes matters in their own hands such as buying their own ticket back, the first airline will not reimburse. They most definitely have to reimburse what you paid them for the original ticket. With luck management at Iberia may recognize that they failed and give you something beyond reimbursing the Iberia ticket.

You could dispute what you paid to the CC company for the half of the Iberia trip you did not take, but you can't dispute the second ticket because you took the flight paid for. Is it too late now? Be careful that if you do start a dispute through the CC company any claim you make for a refund from Iberia may be stopped because you have now started an adversary action. Your CC company did not understand that you wanted to dispute the charge not that you wanted the CC to reimburse you or insure you.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Nov 23, 2015
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#13
thank you for the detailed suggestions. i'll dive into those after dinner and report back. and yes, lesson learned on 3rd parties, for sure!

So here are the facts as I understand them:

You originally had a roundtrip ticket on Iberia issued by Vayama
PTY-MAD IB6346 26JUN
MAD-PTY IB6361 04AUG

4 days prior your return flight, you went to Iberia's website and tried to logon.
You were unable to find your reservation because the system spotted a change in your flights... blah blah blah.

You later found out (from Vayama) than IB6361 was no longer operating and was replaced by IB6365 instead.

OK as an international travel consultant here's what I have to say:

#1) Make sure you had a paid round trip ticket -
If you paid for a round-trip ticket then you were issued 2 e-ticket coupons - one for each nonstop PTY-MAD and MAD-PTY flight. You can easily check this by looking at your 13 digit e-ticket number beginning with 075 and look for C1 and C2 in the end. The C2 is the second coupon which signifies you had a ticket for MAD to PTY.
If you have a copy of your e-ticket receipt then the above should be obvious.

#2) Check if Iberia protected you on IB6365 on 04AUG -
When an airline reschedules or changes flights, you are usually protected on the new flight. You will see the segment status of the OLD IB6361 change to "HX" and you will see an new additional segment IB6365 with a status "TK".
HX simply means you were previously holding confirmed status in that flight segment but now it is cancelled. It does not signify anything else (i.e. non payment, etc.)
If indeed your reservation was cancelled because of non-payment, you will see another message on your PNR stating the same because there will be no corresponding e-ticket coupon (TKNE) associated with that flight segment (hence it will cancel after the deadline).
It is the responsibility of the ticket agent (Vayama) to confirm the changes with you.
They were informed by the airline of the HX status through their GDS queue.
IMO, Vayama failed you here because they did not confirm the changes with you on a timely manner.

#3) Flight History says that IB6361 started on Sun 10-25-2015 and IB6365 stopped on Sat 10-24-2015. In fact IB6365 was already the operating flight even before you departed from Panama. There is no valid reason Iberia could not have updated and confirmed your reservation when you checked in at the PTY airport for your departing flight not unless you did not have a return ticket.

#4) Unless you can sue Vayama for negligence, I am afraid you will not be able to recover the cost of your new return ticket. IMO, lesson learned here is do not deal with OTAs with lousy service.
 
T

travellerdan

Guest
#15
yep, looks like my next step is to contact management as suggested above. i am in agreement with you regarding the CC company, and slightly hesitant to start anything with the credit cards until i've exhausted all options with iberia. what an adventure. cheers!
The gotcha with the CC companies is that if the time limit (60 days, maybe) expires then that path is closed. It can be a dilemma with long drawn out disputes.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Nov 23, 2015
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#17
so many chances to be screwed over by the bureaucracy. at the end of the day, i'm thankful i was at least able to spend the money and get home, but MAN is it seriously messed up. and i'm by no means not missing the $2,000. sure would be nice to see it again... heh.

The gotcha with the CC companies is that if the time limit (60 days, maybe) expires then that path is closed. It can be a dilemma with long drawn out disputes.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#18
Attached the travel document. Thank you again.
Thanks Emma.
This is a copy of your itinerary and not an eticket receipt which shows you paid.
Nevertheless, it showed the itinerary was ticketed!
TICKET: IB/ETKT 075 7558259219 FOR COHENJOPPA/EMMA

I tracked this down with Amadeus and could only see the retention record of Vayama.
So I cannot view the actual e-ticket receipt with payment breakdown.
Anyway if you paid around $1311 for this Q-booking class round-trip ticket then you can be assured you paid for a complete round trip ticket. That answers my question #1.

Your itinerary showed:
FLIGHT IB 6365 - IBERIA
TUE 04 AUGUST 2015

This is the actual flight for that day. I do not see where IB6361 played a role at all.
This really makes me believe you were poorly served by your travel agent Vayama.
I still think you were on IB6365 and was simply misinformed and that caused you to buy another ticket home.
If your flight reservation on !B6365 did not exist or if IB6361 was cancelled then your eticket coupon for that sector would be open for use. However, I think the bad news you were deemed a no-show for it. All possibly due to misinformation and lack of service by your agent.

You need to move fast. The retention segment on your PNR is dated Wednesday 16 December 2015. After that date your PNR history will be archived. Your next move is to demand your Amadeus PNR history from Vayama. You want the following:

#1) Proof you paid for all the flight segments as evidenced by all 2 eticket coupons - one for each flight in your itinerary

#2) Proof that Vayama received the HX status change in their queue and any subsequent flight you were moved to or confimed on. The queue history will display this.

#3) Current status of coupon #2 for MAD-PTY. You want to know if that was actually good last 4AUG and you missed the flight because you were misinformed.

I know I am asking you to do a lot to prepare for your possibly suing Vayama in small claims court.
 
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#19
Thanks, will request that now via the email address found on this website. I really appreciate all of your tips! while at one point a representative (i think from iberia - hard to recall) said i was not booked/did not have a seat reserved on the IB6365 leg, it's definitely possible they weren't fully equipped to provide all of the information to me. i was getting quite the runaround on the phone those few days.


Thanks Emma.
This is a copy of your itinerary and not an eticket receipt which shows you paid.
Nevertheless, it showed the itinerary was ticketed!
TICKET: IB/ETKT 075 7558259219 FOR COHENJOPPA/EMMA

I tracked this down with Amadeus and could only see the retention record of Vayama.
So I cannot view the actual e-ticket receipt with payment breakdown.
Anyway if you paid around $1311 for this Q-booking class round-trip ticket then you can be assured you paid for a complete round trip ticket. That answers my question #1.

Your itinerary showed:
FLIGHT IB 6365 - IBERIA
TUE 04 AUGUST 2015

This is the actual flight for that day. I do not see where IB6361 played a role at all.
This really makes me believe you were poorly served by your travel agent Vayama.
I still think you were on IB6365 and was simply misinformed and that caused you to buy another ticket home.
If your flight reservation on !B6365 did not exist or if IB6361 was cancelled then your eticket coupon for that sector would be open for use. However, I think the bad news you were deemed a no-show for it. All possibly due to misinformation and lack of service by your agent.

You need to move fast. The retention segment on your PNR is dated Wednesday 16 December 2015. After that date your PNR history will be archived. Your next move is to demand your Amadeus PNR history from Vayama. You want the following:

#1) Proof you paid for all the flight segments as evidenced by all 2 eticket coupons - one for each flight in your itinerary

#2) Proof that Vayama received the HX status change in their queue and any subsequent flight you were moved to or confimed on. The queue history will display this.

#3) Current status of coupon #2 for MAD-PTY. You want to know if that was actually good last 4AUG and you missed the flight because you were misinformed.

I know I am asking you to do a lot to prepare for your possibly suing Vayama in small claims court.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,833
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#20
What a horrible experience, Emma. I'm so glad that some of my colleagues are able to give you some guidance.

Just for the record, your original post wasn't difficult to follow, it was just too long and too detailed. No Customer Service rep would ever read it, they'd just toss it or send out a form letter to you. I'm glad you were able to list just the facts so we could help you move along towards some compensation.
 
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