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Posted: 6/23/2003 11:28:44 AM EDT
My father recently had a stroke so I hastily purchased a ticket to visit my parents using expedia.com. While checking different cities in an attempt to find reasonable airfare I must had clicked the back button too many times because the date of travel reverted back to the default three or four weeks. I didn't realize my error until I was at the airport. The ticket included 4 flight legs on Delta and 2 on American. The Delta Agent suggested the I purchase a new ticket, $630.00 and request a refund from Delta customer service. I called expedia prior to contacting Delta. Expedia told me that they couldn't refund the money and suggested that I call (get this) American Airlines to request a refund. I contacted American and after talking to several people they basically told me that I was fucked, no refund or $100 to change the ticket plus change in Airfare. I sent Delta a letter requesting a refund and sent expedia a nasty gram but basically I have little hope that I will get a refund. I know its my fault but I thought I could reason with them. I booked 30 to 40 flight segments last year on expedia and planned on about the same number this year but I will NEVER book another flight using expedia.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 12:06:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 12:11:22 PM EDT by Airwolf]
Sorry to hear of your problem. I used to be a Travel Agent in another life so here goes... Expedia is only operating as an agent for the carriers. Whatever their rules say apply. Expedia has no ability to alter any tariff, period. I would get verbally raped by customers who screwed up, told us the wrong dates/cities or didn't think that cancel/change penalties applied to them. The agent, be it a real person or an on-line service is only making tickets available for sale, they don't set the rules. The times that WE made a mistake, we'd eat it and then try like hell to get our rep to let us off the hook. Once in awhile, it worked. As for the airlines, it can be a real hit-or-miss thing to get them to waive fees. It all depends on who you get a hold of and how you present your case. Given the fact that customer service with most of them is a joke and they are swimming in red ink they are more likely to stick to the tariff without execption. That's one nice thing about using a real, live Travel Agent, you have someone else to verify everything before actually purchasing the ticket. PS, how's your dad doing?
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 12:15:11 PM EDT
Thankd for the information. Based on what you stated it appears that the reps from American Airlines are full of shit. They stated that they could do anything that I would have to speak to expedia. After they told me they had no course of action I actually asked them if they get any of the money expedia charges for the ticket. When he responded yes I asked what prevented him from refunding that amount. I should not have taken the advice of the Delta rep how repetedly told me just to buy a new ticket and request a refund later. I know it's my fault but customer service for expedia, American, and Delta sucks.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 12:24:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2003 12:31:14 PM EDT by Airwolf]
The way the system works is the agent sells the ticket and then reports sales on a weekly basis. The report shows the price of the ticket as issued minus the agents commision, refunds and corrections from previous reports and then that total (along with copies of all tickets issued) is forwarded to the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). ARC acts as a clearing house and deducts the amount you reported from your bank account and sends the correct amount to each issuing airline) so that when it's all said and done the agency is left with the commision only in their account. I'm sure the system for big on-line services is a bit different but that's it in a nutshell. In short, the airlines have your money. If they refund it to you directly then they issue a commision recall to the issuing agency and that amount is added to the agencies next report so it all balances in the wash. Edited to add. Just saw the AA vs. DL thing. When you get a ticket with mutiple airlines one of them is the issuing carrier. The payment goes to that airline, they remove their portion and the rest goes to the other airline. Whoever was the tickeing carrier would have to be the one to issue the refund. Normally the first segement carrier is the issuing one but sometimes it can be the one with the most segments. You'd have to look at the ticket to see which it was.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 12:38:39 PM EDT
American apparently is the issuing carrier althought the ticket didn't start with them and they only had 1/3 of the flight legs. I assumed Delta was the issuing agent and followed the advice of the Delta Agent. Again it's my fault but I hare being lied to by customer service folks. I may try another round of calls to customer service.
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