Priceline + Virgin Atlantic withholding COVID refund for >1 year(!)

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Apr 26, 2021
3
0
1
New York
I'm at a loss on how to proceed with a refund request with Priceline that's lasted more than a full year...

My widowed mother booked a flight with Virgin Atlantic to visit her grandchildren; the flight was scheduled for March 2020 and cancelled due to COVID restrictions, with promise of full refund.

On 2-3 occasions over the last year, Priceline and/or Virgin have responded to our messages via email, assuring us that a full refund has been issued and should be posted to the original credit card used to book the flight within a few business days. (I have a record of these emails.)

Recently, after learning from my mother that the refund had still not been issued, I finally filed a DOT complaint. The response from Priceline was swift, but the same – only this time they claimed to have processed the refund on more than 2 weeks ago, and to contact your bank if you don't see a refund posted. Meanwhile, my mother called her bank, and they said they have no record of a transaction from Priceline. They cannot issue a refund because too much time has passed since the original purchase.

At this point, it seems plausible that Priceline and/or Virgin are indefinitely sitting on the refund they owe/promised my mother, and are placing the onus on her to request the money from her credit card company. While I recognize the difficulties that COVID placed on the travel industry, this feels like both an unfair and fraudulent business practice, and an undue burden on the average customer.

Any advice for best way to get this refund - and maybe seek additional compensation+penalties for all the additional time it's taken over the last 12+ months to recover what's rightfully ours?

Thanks so much
 
Jan 6, 2021
249
912
93
Houston, TX
There is a nearly-identical situation going on in another thread with Travelocity:


Check it out...the suggestions are the same for your situation!
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
727
1,518
93
One question.
Is there any chance your nothing has changed either her credit card or her number was changed ( lost card, new card with different number).
Beyond that file an appeal with DOT.
 
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Apr 26, 2021
3
0
1
New York
One question.
Is there any chance your nothing has changed either her credit card or her number was changed ( lost card, new card with different number).
Beyond that file an appeal with DOT.
Good question - but no change to credit card/number. Based on Priceline's reply, I may follow up with the DOT official assigned to the account.
 
Apr 26, 2021
3
0
1
New York
There is a nearly-identical situation going on in another thread with Travelocity:


Check it out...the suggestions are the same for your situation!
Thank you! In my case, the credit card charge also appears from Virgin Atlantic. Would it make sense for me to file a new DOT complaint against Virgin, in addition to the one I filed against Travelocity?
 
Jan 6, 2021
249
912
93
Houston, TX
Thank you! In my case, the credit card charge also appears from Virgin Atlantic. Would it make sense for me to file a new DOT complaint against Virgin, in addition to the one I filed against Travelocity?
It might. Unfortunately, the DOT doesn’t have jurisdiction over Online Travel Agents like Travelocity. It does, however, have jurisdiction over the airline. If nothing else, you will receive verification that Virgin has issued the refund to Travelocity and then you can keep working them.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
25,670
28,413
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
It might. Unfortunately, the DOT doesn’t have jurisdiction over Online Travel Agents like Travelocity. It does, however, have jurisdiction over the airline. If nothing else, you will receive verification that Virgin has issued the refund to Travelocity and then you can keep working them.
Exactly. The DOT rules about airline cancellations only apply if you book directly with the airline. File against Virgin.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
10,924
12,893
113
San Francisco
I'm at a loss on how to proceed with a refund request with Priceline that's lasted more than a full year...

My widowed mother booked a flight with Virgin Atlantic to visit her grandchildren; the flight was scheduled for March 2020 and cancelled due to COVID restrictions, with promise of full refund.

On 2-3 occasions over the last year, Priceline and/or Virgin have responded to our messages via email, assuring us that a full refund has been issued and should be posted to the original credit card used to book the flight within a few business days. (I have a record of these emails.)

Recently, after learning from my mother that the refund had still not been issued, I finally filed a DOT complaint. The response from Priceline was swift, but the same – only this time they claimed to have processed the refund on more than 2 weeks ago, and to contact your bank if you don't see a refund posted. Meanwhile, my mother called her bank, and they said they have no record of a transaction from Priceline. They cannot issue a refund because too much time has passed since the original purchase.

At this point, it seems plausible that Priceline and/or Virgin are indefinitely sitting on the refund they owe/promised my mother, and are placing the onus on her to request the money from her credit card company. While I recognize the difficulties that COVID placed on the travel industry, this feels like both an unfair and fraudulent business practice, and an undue burden on the average customer.

Any advice for best way to get this refund - and maybe seek additional compensation+penalties for all the additional time it's taken over the last 12+ months to recover what's rightfully ours?

Thanks so much
Unless your mother's bank is in a small town where you can actually get help from a banker, I'd wait until she receives the next statement ... people on the phone are often not very good providers of accurate information. If mom can access her a/c online, she could verify that the refund has arrived in real time.
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
727
1,518
93
Thank you! In my case, the credit card charge also appears from Virgin Atlantic. Would it make sense for me to file a new DOT complaint against Virgin, in addition to the one I filed against Travelocity?
Well, since the DOT has no power what so ever to get you a refund from Priceline what so ever. Filing a DOT complaint on Priceline is a 100% fail.
So you have to try a DOT against Virgin Atlantic if you want to go that route. But I do not expect success, But it I was in this situation I would surely try.
 
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