NEED ADVICE: Refund Nightmare!

Old Jan 22, 16, 1:57 pm
  #1  
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Unhappy NEED ADVICE: Refund Nightmare!

I'm almost at my wit's end and could really use some advice from some travel experts on this...

I booked 2 tickets from LAX to JNB on Emirates via Priceline. We decided to extend our dates on the trip, so I cancelled the ticket (just a few hours after booking) and THOUGHT I was cancelling both tickets since I booked them at the same time. That same day, we rebooked 2 tickets for a longer trip (with dates overlapping the original itinerary).

5 days later, we get an email from Priceline saying that a ticket has been cancelled by the airlines (Emirates). Turns out only 1 ticket was cancelled the day I booked (when I thought I was cancelling the entire itinerary) and that the airline cancelled the remaining ticket because it was a duplicate ticket.

We currently have confirmed tickets for the itinerary we want, but I still have 1 ticket for the old itinerary that has already been cancelled by the airline, but NOT refunded. I've spent days and countless hours calling both Priceline and Emirates - Emirates says tickets booked via a travel agency like Priceline need to have refunds issued by the agency themselves (aka call Priceline). Priceline says Emirates needs to issue an exception to process a refund for this non-refundable flight.

I'm waiting for Priceline to hear back from an email they sent the Emirates "reimbursement department", but wanted to see if anyone had any advice on what else I could do to get my $851.96 back!

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated (as I drown my sorrows in beer).
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Old Jan 22, 16, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by elbees View Post
I'm almost at my wit's end and could really use some advice from some travel experts on this...

I booked 2 tickets from LAX to JNB on Emirates via Priceline. We decided to extend our dates on the trip, so I cancelled the ticket (just a few hours after booking) and THOUGHT I was cancelling both tickets since I booked them at the same time. That same day, we rebooked 2 tickets for a longer trip (with dates overlapping the original itinerary).

5 days later, we get an email from Priceline saying that a ticket has been cancelled by the airlines (Emirates). Turns out only 1 ticket was cancelled the day I booked (when I thought I was cancelling the entire itinerary) and that the airline cancelled the remaining ticket because it was a duplicate ticket.

We currently have confirmed tickets for the itinerary we want, but I still have 1 ticket for the old itinerary that has already been cancelled by the airline, but NOT refunded. I've spent days and countless hours calling both Priceline and Emirates - Emirates says tickets booked via a travel agency like Priceline need to have refunds issued by the agency themselves (aka call Priceline). Priceline says Emirates needs to issue an exception to process a refund for this non-refundable flight.

I'm waiting for Priceline to hear back from an email they sent the Emirates "reimbursement department", but wanted to see if anyone had any advice on what else I could do to get my $851.96 back!

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated (as I drown my sorrows in beer).
hi.

both answers are correct, the refund has to be done from priceline however they need an exception from EK that they can full refund/with a fee the ticket (as the ticket is normally non refundable).
is the outbound date exactly the same on both tickets (the first ticket and the second with the extended travel)? how have you cancelled the tickets (called, mailed?), is the fault also with priceline as they only cancelled/voided 1 ticket instead of two?
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Old Jan 22, 16, 3:02 pm
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Why did you buy via priceline?
With an OTA you often have trouble with changes. They are cheap (and nasty) for a reason. You get what you pay for.

Originally Posted by elbees View Post
.. We decided to extend our dates on the trip, so I cancelled the ticket (just a few hours after booking) and THOUGHT I was cancelling both tickets since I booked them at the same time
How did you cancel? On line, phone or ???
Did you get an immediate confirmation of the cancellations?
Were the 2 people on 1 PNR/tickets or 2 PNR/ticket's.
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Old Jan 22, 16, 9:50 pm
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I still don't understand why people book Emirates flights via a travel agent rather than directly booking online and saving tons of headaches...... Even my own brother booked his Emirates flight via an agent rather than directly online
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Old Jan 22, 16, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by aceboy44 View Post
I still don't understand why people book Emirates flights via a travel agent rather than directly booking online and saving tons of headaches...... Even my own brother booked his Emirates flight via an agent rather than directly online
If it's cheaper I understand but if not I agree!
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Old Jan 23, 16, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by m3red View Post
If it's cheaper I understand but if not I agree!
It almost never is, and even if you can't get the same price on the EK website I believe their Best Price guarantee means if you call them they will match it. (if the fare on the EK website has the Best Price guarantee symbol which I think almost all do: http://www.emirates.com/in/english/p...guarantee.aspx)
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Old Jan 23, 16, 3:31 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
It almost never is, and even if you can't get the same price on the EK website I believe their Best Price guarantee means if you call them they will match it. (if the fare on the EK website has the Best Price guarantee symbol which I think almost all do: http://www.emirates.com/in/english/p...guarantee.aspx)
I think that depends where you're based as I regularly see prices cheaper than those on EK.com.

The Best Price Guarantee (you fill in an online form to use it) has a $20 US or similar minimum claim. Many will book elsewhere for only $5 or $10 without thinking of any downsides.
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Old Jan 23, 16, 3:38 am
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There's no point contacting EK, they won't help you at all as it was booked via Priceline.

You just need to keep on at Priceline.

Did you booked using a credit card? If so, then maybe get them involved (assuming Priceline have confirmed you a due a refund).
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Old Jan 24, 16, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by aceboy44 View Post
I still don't understand why people book Emirates flights via a travel agent rather than directly booking online and saving tons of headaches...... Even my own brother booked his Emirates flight via an agent rather than directly online
While it doesn't apply to the OP's case, many people traveling on business are required to use a corporate travel agent for all travel. And others might need a multi-airline itinerary that can't be bought on an airline website.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by blagger View Post
While it doesn't apply to the OP's case, many people traveling on business are required to use a corporate travel agent for all travel. And others might need a multi-airline itinerary that can't be bought on an airline website.
There is a vast difference between a corporate TA contracted to your employer to provide a service and an opaque third-party vendor such as PL. This entire thread has nothing to do with the former type and I don't think that we should confuse the two.

OP paid his money to PL and he will need to get his money back from PL. I agree that getting his CC issuer involved may be the best and fastest way to go about this. As he is based in the US and is flying from the US, I will presume that he has a US CC. He ought to be able to initiate a chargeback dispute. If he is correct on the facts, he ought to see his money in short order.

One messy issue. PL may see this differently and cancel his other tickets.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by kuroko View Post
hi.

both answers are correct, the refund has to be done from priceline however they need an exception from EK that they can full refund/with a fee the ticket (as the ticket is normally non refundable).
is the outbound date exactly the same on both tickets (the first ticket and the second with the extended travel)? how have you cancelled the tickets (called, mailed?), is the fault also with priceline as they only cancelled/voided 1 ticket instead of two?
The outbound date is NOT the same but the return date is the same on both tickets. I cancelled the 1st ticket (1/2 of the itinerary) online via PL within 24 hours, so it was a seamless process. I thought I had booked the 2 tickets on the initial itinerary together, which was why I thought I had cancelled both. They issued two separate ticket numbers/itineraries for that first booking.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 8:00 pm
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So lesson learned....I'm an idiot.

I know now that I should never have booked through the OTA and should've booked directly with EK but I haven't had problems before, so it was my mistake. NEVER AGAIN, trust me on that.

But I'm still stuck miserably hoping that this was not a $851.96 lesson. This is really causing me some major anxiety and stress (and I'm sure many of you think that I deserve it due to my poor decisions) but I really can't afford to let this money go.

AND...I'm sure this will kill most of you to hear....but I booked it with a debit card. I know. (I know this was a risky choice but there are many reasons I had, most of which left me with no other choice at the moment.)

All these hapless decisions aside, any advice on how I can move forward?? Currently, I'm waiting for EK to respond to PL's email requesting the waiver/exemption for refund....but I don't have a great feeling about it and think I will need to escalate it some other way. Is it at all possible that because EK cancelled the ticket (and I apparently did not), that it would be at all considered an involuntary cancellation = involuntary refund?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated for this poor sap.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by elbees View Post
...AND...I'm sure this will kill most of you to hear....but I booked it with a debit card. I know. (I know this was a risky choice but there are many reasons I had, most of which left me with no other choice at the moment.)...(
Debit card???

Oh, so sorry to hear this. Debit cards and travel are not friends.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by elbees View Post
The outbound date is NOT the same but the return date is the same on both tickets. I cancelled the 1st ticket (1/2 of the itinerary) online via PL within 24 hours, so it was a seamless process. I thought I had booked the 2 tickets on the initial itinerary together, which was why I thought I had cancelled both. They issued two separate ticket numbers/itineraries for that first booking.
Have you booked the first booking in one go? I mean have you choosen 2 persons, inserted both names etc etc or only 1 person, flights, paid and then the second person?
Are you 100% sure re the cancellation fee/that the ticket is non-refundable? Maybe you can post the fare base here.
Do you live near an EK town office?

Last edited by kuroko; Jan 24, 16 at 10:29 pm
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Old Jan 25, 16, 11:48 am
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OP - While FCRA does not extend to debit cards, some banks extend some of the same sorts of protections to some of their debit cards. It is worth checking with your bank to see if it can help on the dispute resolution front.

You are then left with a small claims action against PL. Don't threaten it if you aren't going to pursue it.

For others, Rule 1 is don't deal with the OTA's. Rule 2 is don't ever pay for a service to be rendered in the future, such as an air ticket or hotel room with anything other than a CC.
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