There is nothing more frustrating than having a flight (or two) canceled while traveling. Oh wait, there is, when the airline refuses to refund your fare. We had a mild amount of fun getting home from Asia at the end of February, but at least we made it. A month later the whole travel landscape had degraded into chaos. When my sister got stuck in France it took three return bookings to get home, and now she’s stuck with a big credit with Air Canada. I hope she reads my blog just this once.
My Flight Cancellation
Swoop Airlines canceled my flight to Victoria to visit my new grand baby, months before I was supposed to fly. No more flights to Victoria, but no refund either. What am I supposed to do with a credit for an airline that no longer flies where I want to go?
In my case Swoop was even a little sneaky. The email they sent me indicated that my flight had been canceled but I had to “click here” to cancel the flight. I’m pretty sure if I’d followed their advice and hit the Cancel Flight button I would have been out of luck on any refund.
Get Your Refund
My good friend and owner of a Marlin Travel Franchise Lesli directed me to a Facebook Page dedicated to Air Passenger Rights, and getting my refund was easier than you might think. The first thing to do is know your rights. Under most circumstances, an airline cannot cancel your flight and refuse to provide a refund.
Next you’ll want to confirm that your airline has in fact refused to refund your flight. Calling airlines these days is almost impossible. Swoop doesn’t even post a telephone number. Air Canada has hours of hold time. I simply emailed the airline requesting the refund and waited a week. When nothing was forthcoming, I moved over to the credit card company.
I’d booked with a Visa Aventura card. I followed the advice in the script found in this pdf file : Chargeback Guide for
Cancelled Flights During the COVID-19 Outbreak (2020). I was transferred to the insurance department, who quickly determined this was not covered. They transferred me back to Visa. I continued to follow the script, but it turned out to be mostly unnecessary. Useless airline credits are another pandemic it seems, and Visa advised me my refund would show up on my account within five business days or less. They also advised me that Swoop Airlines did have the right to dispute the refund, but probably wouldn’t. I waited until today, when I saw the credit on my account to post this. All it took was one phone call – less than 20 minutes.
Airlines are suffering right now because of Covid-19, but I’m sorry that’s not my problem. The last thing they want to do is return your money, but it’s the law, they have to. Good luck! Leave comments about your experience.