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Forced to purchase return ticket, want to file dispute

Forced to purchase return ticket, want to file dispute

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Old Apr 16, 19, 9:51 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by Matt Slate View Post

What makes you think I will not win? Let me open up a claim and find out for myself
You asked:

“so my question is how could i file this as a dispute with american express and do you think i would be eligible to get a full refund?”

The concensus is that you would not be eligible for a permanent credit on the merits — being having inadequate documents and buying a non refundable ticket. Non refundable is just that.

Theoretically you could win by default if the airline does not answer Amex.

You asked for opinions and you received opinions but are free to do what you want with this issue.


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Old Apr 16, 19, 9:56 am
  #17  
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I'm confused. OP should not have been forced to buy a ticket on Thai airlines or have anything in the system of Thai airlines, just to have documents showing that he/she will leave Laos within the time permitted by a visa on arrival. This means a ticket on any carrier to any destination where the customer will be admitted is sufficient: OP need not have a ticket on Thai airlines for this and need not fly back to Thailand. It sounds like he/she did have a ticket on another airline leaving from a different country to which he/she would travel by train. In this case, having the train ticket would be a slam dunk, but I suspect that one doesn't purchase train tickets far in advance and from another country in this part of the world. Surely other passengers do this sort of trip and personally I would find the ticket (if presented at check in in BKK with both PNR and receipt showing the ticket number) out of the third country to be convincing, but I don't know what the official rule on this would be.

How was the Thai ticket purchased? At the counter, sold by the check in agent in person? On the Thai airlines web site? From some third party OLTA? By phoning Thai airlines? If the ticket was sold by the check in agent, that person should have known to sell the cheapest available fully refundable ticket. For a phone agent, OP would have needed to either specify "fully refundable" or explain the circumstances and why a one way ticket was needed. If the website (or a Thai airlines app) had been used, there should be some way to book a fully refundable or "flexible" ticket but I've never tried to do this so I don't know what options are presented to the customer.

It might help to know what the ticket cost, what was the route and date (as well as the purchase date), and the fare class and exact fare code. It's possible of course that the OP's ticket actually is fully refundable and some uninformed agent is incorrectly denying the refund.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:06 am
  #18  
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I doubt you'll get very far trying to convince Amex that TG doesn't sell refundable tickets

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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:25 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'm confused. OP should not have been forced to buy a ticket on Thai airlines or have anything in the system of Thai airlines, just to have documents showing that he/she will leave Laos within the time permitted by a visa on arrival.
That is indeed the key point.

This means a ticket on any carrier to any destination where the customer will be admitted is sufficient: OP need not have a ticket on Thai airlines for this and need not fly back to Thailand.
That's the way I read it. But, given that he didn't have such documents, the only solution that TG could offer at their check-in desk was to sell him one of their own tickets.

It sounds like he/she did have a ticket on another airline leaving from a different country to which he/she would travel by train. In this case, having the train ticket would be a slam dunk
I don't see any mention of a train by the OP - only that he planned to exit Laos via a land border and then take a domestic flight on another airline. I'm inferring from other things he said that the land border in question would be back to Thailand and that the domestic flight would be within Thailand and back to Bangkok on some other carrier. So, he has no proof of plans or means to exit Laos, which was his problem. Having a domestic flight in another country would not seem to cut it - if it were that easy, why not book a future refundable flight on WN in the US, and present that as proof, under the logic that you wouldn't have bought that ticket but for your intent to leave Laos? Would that cut it? I don't think it would.

There's more than one reason for requiring proof of return or onward travel in these situations: one is to establish intent to leave within the permitted time, and another is to establish means. If you already have the ticket purchased, then there's less chance of you becoming stranded and overstaying because you don't have money to leave, and thus become a burden to the country.

If there was a train journey involved, and the train itself crossed the border, then that might be acceptable proof. But just having domestic train tickets starting in another country doesn't really show anything.

What the OP planned to do may be a perfectly reasonable thing. It may also not be compatible with the Lao Visa On Arrival rules. There's no requirement that a particular country's visa rules accommodate what is convenient to a particular traveler. If they want to have a rule that VOA via an air arrival requires onward or return air ticket, then that's up to them. The fact that you otherwise are able to arrive by air and leave by land is irrelevant. It may be permissible to do that if you had a change of plans after arrival. Or, if you want to plan that in advance, you may have to skip the VOA and get a standard visa. In any event, this is all the OP's responsibility to know and get sorted. It's not TG's or Amex's fault that the OP tried to board a flight without the required travel documents.

And, how much money are we talking about anyway? Looking in ExpertFlyer, the cheapest walk-up fare on TG for VTE-BKK purchased at BKK is US$41.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 3:07 pm
  #20  
 
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I would like OP to share the conversation with AMEX or TG, it is:
- Very surprising that there was no way to prove he was leaving the country by land. Was that a car rental? Could OP show that the car will be returned to another city beyond the boarder or something?
- Why didn't TG have any refundable flight? That's quite rare, there is almost always a fully refundable ticket, they are the most expensive tickets in Y
- And how much is it really? If it's not a huge amount, it's probably best to take the hit and move on, some countries are really strict with those requirements and airlines are being fined for not checking those requirements
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Last edited by Gasolin; Apr 16, 19 at 3:20 pm
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Old Apr 16, 19, 5:11 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by arttravel View Post


In the future one should look for a refundable ticket on any airline that leaves the country that requires proof of onward travel.

As airlines can be fined for transporting someone with inadequate documents they tend to be strict.
this!

Ive done this in the past , firsty book a return oneway, refundable ticket out of the country, usually these in/out requirements are not out/ in as well

then you give the pnr of your outbound to the award agent and they have satisfied the in/out requirement to sell a ticket

cancel the refundable ticket, after you get in the country

we did this several times when each of my 3 boys did their backpacking life , flying on dads points is a career

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Old Apr 16, 19, 6:15 pm
  #22  
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The requirements for VOA as a US national could not be more crystal clear. OP did not meet them. His only option as he stood at the counter was to be denied boarding or to buy a return ticket. The rest of this is all a series of red herrings and is irrelevant.

Not sure what OP wanted. To be allowed to board, only to be denied entry, held in custody and marched back onto the return aircraft to BKK?
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Old Apr 16, 19, 6:59 pm
  #23  
 
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I fly to SE Asia regularly, especially Thailand. For reference sake, when it comes to visa regulations written rules do not necessarily apply in some countries. The IO in countries like Laos and Thailand are leery of the type of travel shown by the OP and have sent people back if they do not have an onward or return flight. That's why the airlines are cautious.

Originally Posted by Matt Slate View Post
I don't need a return ticket because I am exiting the country via Land Border. Not flying to an airport. They forced me to book a ticket back to the same Airport when that's not where I was going. So I believe I should be refunded for the ticket that I never intend to use since I used a Land Border to leave the country.

How long were you intending to stay in Thailand? Are you aware of the issues in respect to land crossings and the scrutiny given to people who do this? Probably not. The local expat media is full of sad luck stories of people caught up in the immigration crackdown.

Originally Posted by Matt Slate View Post
Thai Airways don't offer a choice to choose refundable tickets as all their tickets are non refundable
Sure it does. There may be a small fee to refund or to change, but they are readily available.

Originally Posted by Matt Slate View Post
What makes you think I will not win? Let me open up a claim and find out for myself

Well, why post on here then? You obviously don't need anyone's assistance since you know it all.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The requirements for VOA as a US national could not be more crystal clear. OP did not meet them. His only option as he stood at the counter was to be denied boarding or to buy a return ticket. The rest of this is all a series of red herrings and is irrelevant.
Not sure what OP wanted. To be allowed to board, only to be denied entry, held in custody and marched back onto the return aircraft to BKK?
Thank you!!! So many people oblivious to the requirements and practices show up at the airport and then have tantrums when they encounter difficulties. The OP should check out some of the Thai forums (there are 3 English language ones and a Thai language one.)
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Old Apr 16, 19, 8:40 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Matt Slate View Post


Thai Airways don't offer a choice to choose refundable tickets as all their tickets are non refundable
That can't be right.
You could have bought any ticket anywhere out of Laos on the cheapest airline you could find if you were going to throw it away or a refundable one. You don't have to go back to BKK but they want proof you are leaving Laos.
TG has refundable fares in Y and U. $50 penalty but they also have OW fares for $42 so buy it and toss it. Lao Aviation has $25 fee refundable tickets. So somewhere between $25 and $50 to eliminate the problem.
I think if one were to check all fares there would be full fare Y or J with no penalty.
I guess Laos has a problem with overstayers and Thailand departure desks are making sure.
Thailand has the same rules that could be applied from a lot farther away on a lot more expensive tickets.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 9:59 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'm confused. OP should not have been forced to buy a ticket on Thai airlines or have anything in the system of Thai airlines, just to have documents showing that he/she will leave Laos within the time permitted by a visa on arrival. This means a ticket on any carrier to any destination where the customer will be admitted is sufficient:
I think he went for the low hanging fruit. Bought the cheapest ticket at check in stand. It's not surprising that airline would sell him their own ticket and being the cheapest; of course its non-refundable.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:15 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post

Not sure what OP wanted. To be allowed to board, only to be denied entry, held in custody and marched back onto the return aircraft to BKK?
Since when is it not possible to book a flight if such situation like that happens? If I was denied entry, held in custody, don't you think you're allowed to book the next flight out

File a dispute with AMEX, they will cancel the charge on your bill and take it up with the Airlines. AMEX will side with you for the fact that you didn't receive anything for your charge. That's the beauty of using credit cards. You don't actually have to PAY for something you never received!
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:19 pm
  #27  
 
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The airline would likely be fined in that instance if immigration clearance was declined- hence why they tend to err on the side of caution

OP has presumably hit the 5 post limit for new posters so will perhaps be absent for the next 20 hours or so
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:19 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by acenase View Post
...........That's the beauty of using credit cards. You don't actually have to PAY for something you never received!
Best of luck.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:24 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
Best of luck.
Have you heard of Buyer Protection before? You should read up on it. Also did you know AMEX fully refunds you if you bought something and someone stole it? Or if a store tries to say "No refunds", AMEX will still be willing to refund you. Ah yes. Think about why Merchants hate accepting AMEX, because they always favor the buyer.[/left]

Last edited by mia; Apr 17, 19 at 6:48 am Reason: Remove misleading characterization.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:33 pm
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You don't even have to buy a refundable ticket if you cancel within 24 hours, assuming you are booking with a US based airline.

Under the DOT's regulations, as long as a customer books a non-refundable ticket at least seven days ahead of the scheduled departure, an airline is required to offer one of two options: allow that customer to change or cancel the trip within 24 hours without penalty.
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