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Hi, not sure whether this belongs here or in Insurance.

 

My mother and I planned a trip 18th - 25th March last year to Toronto, Niagara Falls and New York. I booked individual elements end of January last year. The Saturday prior to travel, the USA added the UK to its travel restrictions, In the hours after that Amtrak cancelled the train between Niagara Falls and New York and American Airlines cancelled the main leg of the return flight, JFK - LHR. I booked the flights through a company called BudgetAir that immediately shut its phones down. A message said to email them.  Which I did, 5 times. I also tried calling the individual airlines. No joy.

 

At this point Canada was also saying 14 day quarantine would be imposed. Our journey was to have started at 4am in Inverness. My mother was 72 and over 70s were advised to stay at home.    I certainly couldn't drag her to Inverness, never mind London or Toronto with no guarantee we'd get home or even into Canada in the middle of a pandemic. So I cancelled the hotels. The Toronto and Niagara Falls hotels gave full refunds, the New York hotel booked through Voyages Privé issued a partial refund. A fraction.

 

So I claimed on my travel insurance. Mum and I had separate policies, both administered through the same claims handling companies so I sent the claims together. They told me to try through my credit card. I did, they asked me to supply loads of paperwork and asked me to try again via Voyages Privé and BudgetAir. So I tried. Silence from Budget Air and a refusal from Voyages Privé. The credit card also refused as, they said, no fraud was involved.So, as instructed, I went back to the insurance claims handlers who told e today (after I chased them) that my claim was declined as they didn't cover refusal to allow entry. Why they could not have told me that months ago, I don't know.

 

End result, my mother and I are down over £1000.  Surely there must be something I can do?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Fuzz, take a deep breath, the first thing to look into is how to get your flight refunded.

 

If I understand correctly this was not a package holiday; you bought everything separately, and the flights were purchased as is on BudgetAir.

 

Because your flight was cancelled by American Airlines you should have received a full refund This is NOT a case of denied entry, it is a case of cancelled flight. Have you kept the written evidence? What were you offered when the flight was cancelled? Please tell me you didn't accept a rebooked ticket on another flight and then just did not show up.

 

I don't understand what you mean by no luck calling the airline - what did you ask them to do, and when was it? You say you wrote 5 times to Budget Air, what did you ask them for? A refund?

 

You say you lost 1k total. What is the breakdown here. How much was in flights, hotels etc... I guess they're all separate cases, so you need to look at each one separately. 

 

Whilst I can understand your insurer doesn't want to refund your air ticket, anything else that you were not able to get refunded in full, due to your flight being cancelled, your travel insurance should cover for, (for example the partial refund from the hotel). You will need to read the small print very carefully, but again this is NOT a case of denied boarding from your explanation, it is a case of cancelled flight which any decent insurer should cover.

 

Finally, and this is going to come across as preachy, but why in heaven are you here a year after the fact? You should have got your refund before the flight took off, and certainly not now.

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Hi Fuzz and sorry this went unanswered so long.

 

1. When did you get the reply from your CCard, that they refused to help because no fraud was involved.

 

2. What elements of the trip were paid for by CCard.

 

Sounds to me like the Travel Insurer and/or Claims Handling Co may have been less helpful than they should have been.

 

But it depends on the dates so can you give us bullet-point dates and brief info for the events you referred to in your post above. Keep the narrative short for now, thanks.

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  • 2 months later...

1st December 2020.

 

Thanks for the reply. I got overwhelmingly negative replies on another site so gave up. Also was very ill in Feb - March this year so been able to do little.

 

Questions answered in text above.

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On 18/02/2021 at 22:17, Kyosanto said:

Hi Fuzz, take a deep breath, the first thing to look into is how to get your flight refunded.

 

If I understand correctly this was not a package holiday; you bought everything separately, and the flights were purchased as is on BudgetAir.

 

Because your flight was cancelled by American Airlines you should have received a full refund This is NOT a case of denied entry, it is a case of cancelled flight. Have you kept the written evidence? What were you offered when the flight was cancelled? Please tell me you didn't accept a rebooked ticket on another flight and then just did not show up.

 

So the flight that was cancelled was the return leg. The flights included domestic legs and international legs and my calls to budget air (unanswered) and attempts to call other airlines involved (told me to contact the agent) were for advice on how to proceed. The domestic portions were from/to Inverness a very small local airport (actually 3 hours by bus away, it's the Highlands) and the thought of dragging my mother to an overnight in Inverness and then at 4 in the morning out to the airport for no good reason, and probably being advised to fly to London to avoid being a no show. I explained this in the emails (unanswered) to Budgetair.

 

On 18/02/2021 at 22:17, Kyosanto said:

 

I don't understand what you mean by no luck calling the airline - what did you ask them to do, and when was it? You say you wrote 5 times to Budget Air, what did you ask them for? A refund? I didn't ask them anything. They had a message that they were not accepting calls and customers must email them which I did. Repeatedly. I received no reply before the 1st outbound flight. At that time I was asking what to do, as I had a cancellation on the return leg, and AA told me to contact them.

 

You say you lost 1k total. What is the breakdown here. How much was in flights, hotels etc... I guess they're all separate cases, so you need to look at each one separately. The flights were £612 and the hotel appr. £400. Sorry, I have all the files but not to hand right now.

 

Whilst I can understand your insurer doesn't want to refund your air ticket, anything else that you were not able to get refunded in full, due to your flight being cancelled, your travel insurance should cover for, (for example the partial refund from the hotel). You will need to read the small print very carefully, but again this is NOT a case of denied boarding from your explanation, it is a case of cancelled flight which any decent insurer should cover.

 

Finally, and this is going to come across as preachy, but why in heaven are you here a year after the fact? You should have got your refund before the flight took off, and certainly not now.

 

I wonder this myself. I suffer chronic pain and a sleep disorder and have worked (at the office, not home) full time through the pandemic so for the last year I have worked, eaten and slept only. Also had an eye condition in February 2021 that floored me until very recently. It has seemed a challenge whenever I've contacted any company and at each stage it's been a no, Answers in text above.

 

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can you please learn to use quote properly ...

 

or simply not use it at all and just type without hitting quote at all.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Hi Fuzz,

 

Above I asked for, " ......... bullet-point dates and brief info for the events you referred to in your post above".

 

A bit more detail may help us to help you, thanks.

We could do with some help from you

                                                                PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

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It's okay I understood some of the replies :) Not using quote at all sounds better indeed. Like Slick says a bullet point summary would be good.

 

I'm going to number some questions below so you can reply without using quotes.

 

As much as it must be painful for you with all you've had to deal with in the pandemic - please leave all the emotional aspects at the door (eg your physical condition or driving your mother for 3 hours) and concentrate on the cold hard facts only.

 

I understand that your return flight was cancelled, but that is irrelevant for us. If you were no-show on your outbound flight then the inbound is void. So we need to focus on what actually happened here with your outbound flight.

 

You say you had a connecting flight. Please give us the exact details of your journey but for now let's assume your original flight was Aberdeen-Inverness-London-New York-Toronto. (hell of a journey).

 

 Q1 The first question we are going to try and determine is whether the full journey you had was on the same ticket, or if Budgetair sold you a bundle of tickets. You should have received a PNR (reservation number) for your journey from Budgetair. Please don't give us your PNR but check what Budgetair sent you. For a smooth claim, there should be only one PNR (for all passengers), if you have more than one, this will be more difficult. 

 

Q2 Which flights were cancelled or postponed. Please give us the segment of the journey (for example Aberdeen-Inverness), the flight numbers, original date/schedule and amended date/schedule. If none of the outbound flights were cancelled/rescheduled than let us know but this won't be good.

 

Q3 Who notified you of the cancellation / rescheduling of your flights (airline? Budgetair?), how many days before your outbound/indbound flight was that, and what options were you offered in writing (Were you offered full refund, voucher, reroute, absolutely nothing?) Feel free to attach the emails you received (after redacting your personal info).

 

Q4 Upon being notified of the cancellation/rescheduling. What option did you choose, and how did you try and communicate that to the company, and which company did you contact. (I do appreciate you were not able to reach budgetair, but did you save the emails you sent them?)

 

 

 

 

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