United Airlines Refund Issue

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Mar 11, 2019
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#1
Hello,

I booked a flight for my father and I for Indianapolis on January 17, 2019. However, I needed to cancel the flight because my father is having a procedure done the day we leave which is May 15, 2019. I was unaware of this at the time when I purchased the tickets. I called my father on Saturday March 9, 2019 to talk to him about our plans and to check up on him and my mother. That is when he told me that he is having a procedure done that he forgot about and we need to cancel the trip. After hanging up with him, I called United Airlines to get a refund. I gave the personal (Jim) all the information and he told me I will be refunded within 7 to 10 business days. I got a email confirmation and tracking number. On Monday March 11, 2019, I called the airline to check on the status of the refund to make sure everything was on schedule. The woman said I need to provide medication documentation because my tickets are non-refundable. I told the woman who I spoke on Saturday March 9, 2019 and that I got confirmation number stating my refund was being reviewed and processed. I am so confused on what to do. I can get the medical documentation but I have a cofirmation number stating that the refund will be processed. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Nikki Fordyce
 
Mar 11, 2019
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#3
You needed to have bought travel insurance to get a refund on non refundable tickets for a family members Illness that requires you to cancel. Did you buy insurance?
Neil,

No, I did not purchase the insurance. I was told and given a confirmation number for the cancellation. The money was going to be in my account within 7 to 10 business days. I asked the guy on Saturday if I needed any documentation or any paperwork. He said no, I did not. I got a confirmation number and tracking number for my refund.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,317
1,279
113
Maui Hawaii
#4
Hello,

I booked a flight for my father and I for Indianapolis on January 17, 2019. However, I needed to cancel the flight because my father is having a procedure done the day we leave which is May 15, 2019. I was unaware of this at the time when I purchased the tickets. I called my father on Saturday March 9, 2019 to talk to him about our plans and to check up on him and my mother. That is when he told me that he is having a procedure done that he forgot about and we need to cancel the trip. After hanging up with him, I called United Airlines to get a refund. I gave the personal (Jim) all the information and he told me I will be refunded within 7 to 10 business days. I got a email confirmation and tracking number. On Monday March 11, 2019, I called the airline to check on the status of the refund to make sure everything was on schedule. The woman said I need to provide medication documentation because my tickets are non-refundable. I told the woman who I spoke on Saturday March 9, 2019 and that I got confirmation number stating my refund was being reviewed and processed. I am so confused on what to do. I can get the medical documentation but I have a cofirmation number stating that the refund will be processed. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Nikki Fordyce
The UA review likely identified the fact that your tickets are non-refundable. You will hopefully get a credit on United, but the credit will be for your self and your father separately. These credits will need to be used by Jan 17, 2020.
You can use the UA contacts we have to try to resolve this, but without travel insurance, it is unlikely that you will get an actual cash refund despite what you were told.
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/united-airlines/
You may get the fastest response on FB or Twitter.
 
Likes: krisseye
Mar 11, 2019
3
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#5
The UA review likely identified the fact that your tickets are non-refundable. You will hopefully get a credit on United, but the credit will be for your self and your father separately. These credits will need to be used by Jan 17, 2020.
You can use the UA contacts we have to try to resolve this, but without travel insurance, it is unlikely that you will get an actual cash refund despite what you were told.
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/united-airlines/
You may get the fastest response on FB or Twitter.
Hello All,

We got the issue resolved. My father called his doctor and they were able to re-schedule his procedure. In addition, I was able to get my flight re-booked.
Thank you all for your help.

Nikki Fordyce
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,768
15,376
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Neil,

No, I did not purchase the insurance. I was told and given a confirmation number for the cancellation. The money was going to be in my account within 7 to 10 business days. I asked the guy on Saturday if I needed any documentation or any paperwork. He said no, I did not. I got a confirmation number and tracking number for my refund.
Who told you that- an agent in the phone? They often will tell you anything to get you out of their hair.

Without insurance the airline doesn’t have to go anything when you buy a non refundable ticket. What they might do is issue you a credit, less a cancellation fee for another flight that needs to be used with a year from the date you bought your original tickets.

Sometimes the airline will make an exception, so that’s what you need to politely ask for.

Use our company contacts and write using the information in this:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/

Here is another thread about nonrefundable tickets that tell you what to expect:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/refunds-for-non-refundable-tickets.3304/


Let us know how you make out.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,841
7,686
113
San Francisco
#7
Hello All,

We got the issue resolved. My father called his doctor and they were able to re-schedule his procedure. In addition, I was able to get my flight re-booked.
Thank you all for your help.

Nikki Fordyce
Great news, Nikki. That was the first thing that popped into my mind ... reschedule the procedure. Let me explain to you and our readers how it works now with the airlines. Most important thing to know is that an airline agent will tell you anything to get you off the phone. It's sad but true. Nobody can just call to say they have a medical issue and get a refund of a non-ref tix. Forms must be submitted and procedures followed.

Technically, a non-refundable tix is just that. You buy it, you use it. You don't use it, you lose it. There is a new trend with lower economy fares which are neither refundable nor reusable on a future flight. But with a regular tix, many US-based airlines will cancel and give you a credit towards a future flight, which must happen within a year of the original date of purchase. At the time of rebooking, they will deduct their change/cancel fee and you pay the difference towards your new tix. If it's less, you do not get a refund. Those fees can be substantial and they vary from airline to airline. So this is why we always ask our OPs if trip insurance was purchased, as the airlines are unwilling to help much and people are losing their money. It's been kind of a quiet revolution, but travellers today need to insure any amounts they can't afford to lose. I'm very glad you got this straightened out without undue pain.
 
Likes: Neil Maley