Refund or flight credit for nonrefundable British Airways Ticket

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Mar 3, 2019
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#1
I'm 17 and my mom bought me a plane ticket to see my aging parents who have health complications in the Netherlands. However, there is currently a level 2 travel advisory by the U.S. Department of State that says to use caution in the Netherlands due to terrorist activity. I'm a kid and I'm not exactly comfortable being in a foreign county for a long period of time with the risk of terrorist activity. Also, my grandparents advised me not to come because of the terrorist activity, as they are old and won't be able to accompany me outside. In addition to this, my mom could really use the money back due to economic hardship and other circumstances that makes me unable to ride my flight. The flight is through British Airways, and was purchased through CheapoAir. Can anyone please help me to get a refund, future flight credit, or at least a return of the $457.13 spent on the Imposed Carrier Fees and Taxes? The ticket cost a total of $769. We are frequent flyers that travel multiple times a year, and we have a rewards account, so we think that this treatment is unfair for people who have been buying tickets for so long. Please help. Thank you.

Travel Advisory: https://travel.state.gov/content/tr...eladvisories/netherlands-travel-advisory.html
 
Mar 3, 2019
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#2
Also, I am trying to request a refund for this flight that is exactly 3 MONTHS away. I'm sure they can fill the seat in that time.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#3
The travel alert is a level 2 alert, which is NOT a do not travel alert. Much of Europe and even the Caribbean is under the exact same alert. The alert had also been in effect since September. When did your Mom buy the tickets?

Unfortunately there is no refund due because the alert is just that - an alert to exercise caution in crowds. It isn’t telling us not to travel there.

A travel warning indicates imminent danger - and there is no warning to the Netherlands.

This article explains the difference:

https://www.smartertravel.com/travel-alert-vs-travel-warning/

You can cancel but your Mom won’t get a refund. She will get a credit for only you to use within a year from the date she bought the ticket less a cancellation fee. If she bought a non-refundable ticket, that’s exactly what it is- nonrefundable so she won’t be able to get a refund. And since you booked through Cheapo you have to deal with them, not the airline.

I would suggest you go and simply stay out of crowds. You may never have to opportunity to see your grandparents again.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tr...eladvisories/netherlands-travel-advisory.html
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#4
I agree with Neil, I say go and enjoy your time with your family. I assume you are originating from the US. If so, just to give you perspective, The US is under advisory by other counties due to terrorist threats. I am pretty sure most countries have the same advisory in place for each other!

Regarding your request for a refund, you can try contacting chepoair but I doubt they will work with you to procure a refund. My guess is your mom purchased a non-refundable fare from British Airways so you are asking for an exception to the airline's rule. In addition, you have a third party between you and the airline; there is no incentive for chepoair to spend the time and energy to request the refund on your behalf, but unfortunately, you have to go through them. I am sorry we don't have better news for you. May I suggest that whenever you purchase an airline ticket (or book a hotel, etc.) work directly with the company, not a third party like cheapoair.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
I'm 17 and my mom bought me a plane ticket to see my aging parents who have health complications in the Netherlands. However, there is currently a level 2 travel advisory by the U.S. Department of State that says to use caution in the Netherlands due to terrorist activity. I'm a kid and I'm not exactly comfortable being in a foreign county for a long period of time with the risk of terrorist activity. Also, my grandparents advised me not to come because of the terrorist activity, as they are old and won't be able to accompany me outside. In addition to this, my mom could really use the money back due to economic hardship and other circumstances that makes me unable to ride my flight. The flight is through British Airways, and was purchased through CheapoAir. Can anyone please help me to get a refund, future flight credit, or at least a return of the $457.13 spent on the Imposed Carrier Fees and Taxes? The ticket cost a total of $769. We are frequent flyers that travel multiple times a year, and we have a rewards account, so we think that this treatment is unfair for people who have been buying tickets for so long. Please help. Thank you.

Travel Advisory: https://travel.state.gov/content/tr...eladvisories/netherlands-travel-advisory.html
One problem you have is that you booked with Cheapoair and they charge their own post ticketing service fees. And BA can have cancellation fees of up to $275 dollars

Does your ticket even allow for a change?

As Neil pointed out, the warning has been in place since September 2018 -- if the ticket was bought after that date then the information was out there.

Are you saying that your grandparents have not left their homes since last September because of fear?

Are you in the US? If so the murder rate in the US is significantly higher than that of the Netherlands. The murder rate in the Netherlands is .8 person per 100,000 -- in the US it 5 people per 100,000 -- which means the murder rate is 6 times higher in the US than in the Netherlands -- these are the 2018 statistics.

Last September there were arrests of suspected terrorists who were trying to buy guns and materials for a terrorist attach. Last August two tourists were stabbed but not killed in the Amsterdam Central station -- that is why the threat level was raised.

You can write to Cheapo but if the tickets were purchased after September do not expect the threat level reason to work.

It is doubtful that a refund would be issued, and one has to consider that a credit is subject to fees and restrictions.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,308
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Maui Hawaii
#6
If you look at the State Dept charts and maps you will find almost all of Western Europe is in a level 2 advisory, including the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Denmark. Those areas are safer than much of the US and thousands of US citizens travel there every day. You should go visit your family.
The likelihood of a refund is very small, but you can ask CheapOair.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
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#7
I agree with Christina H and will add that whatever other reasons you have ("my mom could really use the money back due to economic hardship and other circumstances that makes me unable to ride my flight") need to be compelling for you to win over Cheap-O-Air. State them firmly but politely, without emotional wording . . .
 
Likes: jsn55
Nov 29, 2017
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#9
I'm 17 and my mom bought me a plane ticket to see my aging parents who have health complications in the Netherlands. However, there is currently a level 2 travel advisory by the U.S. Department of State that says to use caution in the Netherlands due to terrorist activity. I'm a kid and I'm not exactly comfortable being in a foreign county for a long period of time with the risk of terrorist activity. Also, my grandparents advised me not to come because of the terrorist activity, as they are old and won't be able to accompany me outside. In addition to this, my mom could really use the money back due to economic hardship and other circumstances that makes me unable to ride my flight. The flight is through British Airways, and was purchased through CheapoAir. Can anyone please help me to get a refund, future flight credit, or at least a return of the $457.13 spent on the Imposed Carrier Fees and Taxes? The ticket cost a total of $769. We are frequent flyers that travel multiple times a year, and we have a rewards account, so we think that this treatment is unfair for people who have been buying tickets for so long. Please help. Thank you.

Travel Advisory: https://travel.state.gov/content/tr...eladvisories/netherlands-travel-advisory.html
Let me echo the others here: You can ask Cheapoair for a refund, but take into account that the chance is large that you will not get it (non-refundable kind of speaks for itself). You may be given a credit for the ticket as @Neil Maley says, to be used within a year of the booking date. This is likely not what you want to hear if there is financial hardship.

Let me reiterate, as a Dutch-woman, the terrorist threat in the Netherlands is no higher than in other places in the western world. I am surprised to read that your grandparents advised you not to come on this base - or that you would be afraid to go out alone in Amsterdam. The U.S. is considered more dangerous than the Netherlands and I doubt that cheapoair would consider the terrorist alert level a good reason to cancel. If the health situation of your grandparents is really bad and this may be the last time you see them I would urge you to go.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#14
I am surprised to read that your grandparents advised you not to come on this base
They are probably not native Dutch. Only foreigners tell everyone else how unsafe it is to live in countries other than where they came from!
 
Sep 6, 2015
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#15
I recently travelled to the Bahamas, that had the same travel advisory. I was travelling with a friend, but we ended up going our own way more than once. I made a point not to pull out my iPhone, i didn’t wear my wedding ring and I stuck to the main streets. I understand you are young, and the travel advisory can be disconcerting, but I’m far more concerned that your elderly relatives will pass on before world circumstances improve enough to lose all of these advisories. For years, my mother talked about her dream of buying a camper and touring the US. My father postponed retirement several times (he was eligible to retire at 55) in order to increase his retirement checks. My mother had a relapse of her breast cancer and died at 56. They did buy a camper, but the only trip she ever got to take in it was to my house, three hours away, to celebrate my daughter’s first birthday. She died three months later. My husband and I decided not to wait any longer to fulfill our dream of travel, and set aside money each month to pay for our travel. I have my own health issues that make travel difficult, but
Im not letting it stop me. Please take this chance to go see your family. We can’t let fear of what might happen stop us from living. That’s how
how terrorists win:they make us live in fear. You will find it harder to forgive yourself if your family members pass away before you get the chance feel to see them than you will for letting fear win. Perhaps a friend can join you so that you can go out exploring and not feel so alone. I’m not discounting your concerns. I’m simply saying, as a person who has let fear control too much of my life, feel the fear and do it anyway.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,234
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#16
I recently travelled to the Bahamas, that had the same travel advisory. I was travelling with a friend, but we ended up going our own way more than once. I made a point not to pull out my iPhone, i didn’t wear my wedding ring and I stuck to the main streets. I understand you are young, and the travel advisory can be disconcerting, but I’m far more concerned that your elderly relatives will pass on before world circumstances improve enough to lose all of these advisories. For years, my mother talked about her dream of buying a camper and touring the US. My father postponed retirement several times (he was eligible to retire at 55) in order to increase his retirement checks. My mother had a relapse of her breast cancer and died at 56. They did buy a camper, but the only trip she ever got to take in it was to my house, three hours away, to celebrate my daughter’s first birthday. She died three months later. My husband and I decided not to wait any longer to fulfill our dream of travel, and set aside money each month to pay for our travel. I have my own health issues that make travel difficult, but
Im not letting it stop me. Please take this chance to go see your family. We can’t let fear of what might happen stop us from living. That’s how
how terrorists win:they make us live in fear. You will find it harder to forgive yourself if your family members pass away before you get the chance feel to see them than you will for letting fear win. Perhaps a friend can join you so that you can go out exploring and not feel so alone. I’m not discounting your concerns. I’m simply saying, as a person who has let fear control too much of my life, feel the fear and do it anyway.
Well said!
 
Likes: jsn55