United won’t refund $2600 in tickets cancelled within 24 hours

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Feb 19, 2018
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#1
Hello, I bought tickets for my 2 daughter and I to Hayden Colorado from Indy. The tickets cost $2600. I cancelled within 24 hours and have that documentation. United refuses to refund any money because I bought the tickets on Travelocity and cancelled on the United site. I have since learned that this follows the DOT law and is basically a legal loophole in the rule. I feel like this is extremely unfair and that United has basically stole my money. Even if they have followed the law. Any suggestions? Multiple calls to Travelocity and United have not got me anywhere. I bought another ticket for the trip at full price from another airport is why I cancelled the trip. Thanks for any help!


RESOLVED
UPDATE: United just called and refunded full fare! Thanks, I will be buying all my future tickets off United Website and not off Travelocity.
 
Last edited:
Likes: jsn55
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
I suggest you the Company Contacts link at the top of this page to escalate your case to Travelocity.
Before you do, be sure to read and follow the instructions at the top of the first page.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#3
When you book through a third party - they do not have to refund you within 24 hours. The 24 hour rule applies only when booking tickets directly with the airline.

You need to contact Travelocity. United didn't steal you money - you didn't know the rules and should have booked directly. All is not lost though - we have company contacts for Travelocity on our company contact tab. Use VoR's suggestion about writing.
 
Likes: VoR61
Feb 19, 2018
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#4
I will try that. I guess that United legally didn’t steal it. They just kept it because like you said I didn’t know the technical details of the law. It seems doubtful that I will get anything back. Just seems very unfair that they are keeping all that money for doing nothing except slotting my name into a spot for 18 hours. I guess this is the business model. They lost nothing since I booked that flight 3 months in advance. 2600 pure profit for nothing. Good gig if you can get it!
 
Feb 19, 2018
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#7
I wish I would have. I saw the charge on my Visa from United. Pulled up their site on my phone and hit cancel. Everything would have been fine if I cancelled with Travelocity.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#8
When you book through an OTA, you need to do everything through the OTA. Your only hope is to contact Travelocity and see if they can do anything. VoR gave you the company contacts - I would suggest you contact them immediately.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 25, 2016
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#9
And try to stop using the word "steal". It's not an accurate description of what happened, and not only won't get you anywhere, will likely turn off whomever you contact.

For the record (and hoping to help anyone in a similar situation in the future), here is the text of UA's 24-hour policy, note the caveat about 7-day or more advance purchase.

"Under our 24-hour flexible booking policy, if your ticket was purchased through United in the last 24 hours and you completed your purchase one week or more before the original scheduled departure flight, it may qualify for waiver of change or cancellation fees."
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#10
Hi Josh —. So sorry this happened to you. It does seem incredibly unfair.
Just for our edification, do you mind answering some questions?
1. Was this the first time you ever used travelocity?
[If so, you may want to mention that you are a first time user in your appeal to them.]
2. Have you used other OTAs before for airline tickets or hotel or other travel purchases?
3. Can you tell us specifically why you decided to use travelocity instead of booking directly with the airline?
We who frequently read/participate on this site are just interested why people use OTAs is the reason for the questions.
Thanks for your answers
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#12
Delighted to hear it. Going forward, it's wise I think to remove as many "moving parts" (i.e., layers) from your travel experience as possible. All is well until a problem arises, and then the complexity of it all hits with full force. This is especially true for non-refundable purchases.

Similarly, it's wise to have at least one backup plan for flights, hotels, tours, and other events. Better that than to book things so tight that even a small hiccup knocks down the other dominoes ...
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
Josh Watkins, next time book directly with the airlines; having a middleman just complicates the issue. I am glad that UA took care of this, I do not believe that they were trying to steal the money, it was just not straightforward.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#14
Yes, PLEASE book directly with the airline going forward. You don’t need that extra layer in between not only in instances like this but also if anything happens with your flight- delays, cancellations etc. You’ll have to go through the OTA to get rebooked- it’s a layer you don’t need.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
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#15
And with respect to the 24 hour rule, it is prudent, I think, to pause before closing each screen to observe the wording, which would include the cancellation policy. If memory serves, when booking international fares, some airlines by default will place your reservation "on hold" unless you book otherwise. Thus you can't "cancel" - you have to let it expire.

And you have to then watch it (I assume) and confirm.

http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.c...-hour-american-airlines-hold-still-available/

Also see this:

http://forum.elliott.org/threads/tu...-24-hours-flight-change-or-cancellation.5842/
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#16
Just for the record, Josh, the online booking services are making billions by taking orders from people who want to travel. They add absolutely nothing to the equation. But the traveller doesn't know this because ... they spend MILLIONS on advertising, luring you into thinking that they are helping you. It makes my blood boil. Use them for research, then book direct. I'm delighted that United made this right for you, they certainly should have! I'm sure you got big points with them for putting this trip on your UA visa.