Air France can't tell me refund amount?

Old Jul 26, 2023, 12:31 pm
  #1  
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Air France can't tell me refund amount?

I booked a roundtrip STR-JFK-STR round trip on Air France. The total cost for the roundtrip was $550.95 USD.

I took the first leg to JFK. However now the airline canceled a flight on my JFK-STR return trip. They offered to rebook me, but their proposals don't work for me, and they said they will refund me. I have used half my ticket, so obviously I am only entitled to the refund for the JFK-STR portion. Before requesting a refund however, I want to know the value of the return trip and how much money I will get back if I request the refund.

Air France, however, says they are unable to tell me that. They say back office tried to calculate the refund amount, but failed. I can request the refund, however the total amount of the refund will be decided by the "refund department" using a methodology to calculate the refund that they refuse to reveal to me.

Is this normal? Shouldn't I be able to know how much I'll be refunded before actually irrevocably requesting the refund? I don't feel comfortable with what Air France is telling me because, in theory, Air France could say I'm only entitled to $1 back and then what recourse would I have - especially if they can't even tell me how the refund amount gets calculated? This seems very odd to me and I would appreciate any advice.
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Old Jul 26, 2023, 1:35 pm
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You have to look at the booking details, they are available somewhere in MMB (don't have a pending booking to check closer). Unfortunately, the email confirmation does not say which direction takes up how much.

You can request an alternative routing/timing that will work for you though, even at a later date. Propose to them a connection that would work for you and cite Article 8 Paragraph 1 (c)
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Old Jul 27, 2023, 4:05 am
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Originally Posted by AZ26
They offered to rebook me, but their proposals don't work for me

in theory, Air France could say I'm only entitled to $1 back and then what recourse would I have - especially if they can't even tell me how the refund amount gets calculated?
It's not at all unusual that a front-end agent is unable to tell you what the refund will be. This applies to all airlines, not just to Air France.

I think you're going to have to decide which is the lesser of the two evils - accepting a rebooking, or accepting a refund. If it's considered an involuntary cancellation, you should have any change fee/cancellation penalties/restrictions waived, and you should receive the underlying fare for the unflown sectors, together with the taxes applicable to the unflown sectors, refunded in full. The front-end agent you spoke to won't be able to determine these amounts, nor quote you the refund amount. It's not going to be a simple, easy calculation (like: refund 50% of all moneys paid); it will involve inspection of your ticket. The chances of emerging with just a $1 refund are slim to none.

Assuming you are actually intending to return to Europe, I would advise you to pursue the rebooking/rerouting option; it's certainly preferable to paying for a new one-way fare to replace your foregone AF return leg.

Last edited by irishguy28; Jul 27, 2023 at 4:11 am
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Old Jul 27, 2023, 4:33 am
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How big is the chance of them re-calculating the ticket based on a one-way fare, resulting in - likely - a zero dollar refund? I'd be very hesitant asking for a refund without prior written confirmation about the amount.
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Old Jul 27, 2023, 5:32 am
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It happened to a friend, after recalculating the ticket based on a one-way fare, he only got some taxes back (because it is mandatory in France). So basically he got nothing in terms of flight value back except the taxes. It's better accepting the rebooking option and ask for a compensation.
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Old Jul 27, 2023, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by Xandrios
How big is the chance of them re-calculating the ticket based on a one-way fare, resulting in - likely - a zero dollar refund? I'd be very hesitant asking for a refund without prior written confirmation about the amount.
They should not do it because it's an involuntary change.

OP would be getting "reimbursement for the parts of the journey not made" per Article 8 Paragraph 1 (a) of the Regulation.

I would suggest finding the right solution per Paragraph 1 (c) for rerouting would be better. Finding a one-way to get back to Europe will not be cheap.
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Old Jul 27, 2023, 9:08 am
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good point
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Old Jul 27, 2023, 3:09 pm
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I agree with the logic of the above, but I now am planning to stay in USA and want the refund. So I'm trying to figure out the best way to find out how much I will be refunded to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
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Old Jul 29, 2023, 1:25 pm
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Id be surprised if the refund was not between 40-60% of the amount paid. If the booking class (e,g, B, M, Q, L) was the same on both outbound and return then it should be pretty close to 50% with some potential variation for tax differentials but it shouldnt be so lopsided like if you were originating in LHR or CDG and paid APD on the flown legs.

You can always fight after the fact if you think theyre trying to rip you off. They should definitely NOT reprice the flown segment as a one-way fare.
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Old Jul 30, 2023, 3:06 am
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It appears that you have decided to ask for the refund anyway.
I understand your frustration, but AF won't know the exact amount until they go through the refund process. They cannot run a simulation.
IF you qualify for refund because of a flight compensation, you will get a reasonable refund. If both legs have been issued in the same fare bucket, you will get roughly 50%; as ijgordon suggests; that also depends on respective taxes on all legs.
In case you feel cheated, you can fight after the refund.
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Old Jul 30, 2023, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by AZ26
I agree with the logic of the above, but I now am planning to stay in USA and want the refund. So I'm trying to figure out the best way to find out how much I will be refunded to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Meaning you will completely forego any refund if you dislike the amount they would refund?
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Old Aug 12, 2023, 3:35 pm
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I filed a DOT complaint about this. Will see what Air France comes back with.
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