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Help: Air France won't give me a refund... [ticket purchased through Orbitz]

Help: Air France won't give me a refund... [ticket purchased through Orbitz]

Old Feb 17, 2017, 8:09 am
  #1  
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Help: Air France won't give me a refund... [ticket purchased through Orbitz]

Reaching out to the FT community for advice

I bought an Air France ticket via Orbitz. Shortly thereafter, there was a schedule change of just over 4 hours.

Called Orbitz, they said that Air France schedule change rules stipulate that there needs to be a minimum 5 hour change for them to consider refunds.

Called Air France directly, a sympathetic agent understood my concern, agreed to a waiver (said she would put in a note on the reservation), but I had to go back to Orbitz to get the ticket cancelled and refunded, then write back to Air France via their website, to complete the refund request process.

Did it all.

Got emails from Air France saying they were not responsible for the refund. Expedia (parent company of Orbitz) was responsible.

Called Orbitz again.
They say that the 5 hour schedule change rule applies. No refunds are possible. A kind lady spent an hour or more on the phone with me speaking to various Air France departments. All of them (apparently) refused to help.

Do I have another alternative in trying to get my money refunded?

Air France has offered a credit. But this is worthless to me... as I have no other travel plans in the months ahead where I can use this credit.

gottaluvNW is offline  
Old Feb 17, 2017, 8:39 am
  #2  
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Your agent is Orbitz/Expedia. Calling Air France won't help.

The agent is not obliged to follow the rules that any other agents may follow [such as the rules that AF apply, or agreed to waive, had you been their direct customer]

I really doubt that Air France has any such rule about 5 hours - this sounds more like internal Orbitz/Expedia policy. Appealing to Air France over the head of your agent isn't going to help now. Orbitz are the ones you went to, dealt with and paid money to. They are the only ones that can now consent to giving you a refund.

Refunds in such cases are usually offered on a discretionary basis, all the more so when through no fault of the traveller the flight is no longer suitable.

If Orbitz are still maintaining that there is a 5 hour rule, ask them to demonstrate where this is publicly stated on their website.

I would ring back and hope for a more customer-oriented agent.

However, a 4-hour change in the context of an intercontinental flight (I assume, at least, this is an intercontinental flight you are talking about) advised well in advance may not always be judged sufficient grounds for cancellation. Are you connecting to another flight? How has the overall journey time been impacted? Have you investigated having Orbitz rebook you on different flights/different routings closer to the original flight times?
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Feb 17, 2017, 8:43 am
  #3  
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Look at the EC261 rules for flight cancellation, presumably more than two weeks in advance of travel.
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Old Feb 17, 2017, 9:07 am
  #4  
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As mentioned by Irishguy28, we could help you more if you gave some details, such as the itinerary, approximately when is your flight, is the flight number remaining the same...

Orbitz is responsible for the refund, not AF. It could well be that AF is more lenient if you book the ticket directly with them rather than booking with Orbitz. If there are many flights that day, AF would probably be open to accomodate you on another flight. But that's for Orbitz to ask.

If this not a flight cancellation (same flight number), but a schedule change months before departure, then EC261 would not apply.
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Old Feb 18, 2017, 11:38 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by gottaluvNW
Reaching out to the FT community for advice

I bought an Air France ticket via Orbitz. Shortly thereafter, there was a schedule change of just over 4 hours.

Called Orbitz, they said that Air France schedule change rules stipulate that there needs to be a minimum 5 hour change for them to consider refunds.

Called Air France directly, a sympathetic agent understood my concern, agreed to a waiver (said she would put in a note on the reservation), but I had to go back to Orbitz to get the ticket cancelled and refunded, then write back to Air France via their website, to complete the refund request process.

Did it all.

Got emails from Air France saying they were not responsible for the refund. Expedia (parent company of Orbitz) was responsible.

Called Orbitz again.
They say that the 5 hour schedule change rule applies. No refunds are possible. A kind lady spent an hour or more on the phone with me speaking to various Air France departments. All of them (apparently) refused to help.

Do I have another alternative in trying to get my money refunded?

Air France has offered a credit. But this is worthless to me... as I have no other travel plans in the months ahead where I can use this credit.

I hate to say this but its best to book directly with the airline which is usually the same cost or a minute difference than the online travel agent. They have to release the ticket to Air France or as in you case cancel/void the ticket.

Orbitz/Expedia can be sticklers with their policies. Your agreement for the tickets is with Orbitz as they purchased the tickets on your behalf.

If Orbitz does not want to budge you will have to call Air France back and have them try and reach out to Orbitz on a three way call. Not sure if your credit card company will intervene for Trip Delay/Interruption due to the schedule change or your Travelers Insurance. You could say that this schedule change hampers your trip.

I hope you can get this resolved and please keep us posted.
danielonn is offline  
Old Feb 18, 2017, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by brunos
As mentioned by Irishguy28, we could help you more if you gave some details, such as the itinerary, approximately when is your flight, is the flight number remaining the same...

Orbitz is responsible for the refund, not AF. It could well be that AF is more lenient if you book the ticket directly with them rather than booking with Orbitz. If there are many flights that day, AF would probably be open to accomodate you on another flight. But that's for Orbitz to ask.

If this not a flight cancellation (same flight number), but a schedule change months before departure, then EC261 would not apply.
This is the reason to book directly with Air France. A known fact is that Online Travel Agents will not usually discount the ticket to a point that its worth going through them unless its a consolidator and then you run into more restrictions.

When you book directly with a vendor you cut out the middle man and the OP would have had a refund issued on the spot. Who knows what another agent may do even if the reservation is noted. If I got an agent who said they would cancel/void the ticket or change the flight I would do it right then and there hence why booking through a third party causes more hassles for the airline and the customer.
danielonn is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2020, 8:59 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
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https://uk.reuters.com/.../european-airlines-resist... may be of help to some ppl as air france is braking the law by pot giving back refunds ....“As a voucher holder, you end up effectively becoming an unsecured creditor of an airline.”

do charge back on your card if thats how you paid , t
angra likes this.
Keith Mountcastle is offline  

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