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Warning: Jetblue stealth expiration of travel bank money results in $1,483.70 loss.

Warning: Jetblue stealth expiration of travel bank money results in $1,483.70 loss.

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Old Feb 20, 11, 4:09 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New England
Programs: AA, Alaska, BA, Delta, Hyatt Diamond, Jetblue Mosaic, Southwest Companion, SPG Plat, United
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Exclamation Warning: Jetblue stealth expiration almost results in $1,483.70 loss.

A word of warning to fellow Jetters on FT.

I'm writing on behalf of my 75-year-old father who lives on a modest fixed income. Without any warning or way to find out about expiring travel bank money, Jetblue has wiped out $1,483.70 in money he spent with Jetblue on flights that he had to cancel.

After paying the cancellation fees, he was left with $1,483.70 in his Jetblue travel bank account for use on future Jetblue flights.

The original flights were canceled in mid 2009 and he was informed at the time that the credit put into his account would expire in 1 year. At the time, the original TrueBlue website showed this credit and also clearly showed an expiration date in mid 2010 (1 year after the cancellation). With the launch of the new TrueBlue program in January 2010, the money was transferred into the new Travel Bank and it clearly showed the balance available.

However, the new site made no mention of any expiration date on the money in the travel bank. As a result of this and the the many travel bank redemption emails that made no note of any expiration, nor any other communication from Jetblue never notified us of any expiration date, policy or way to find out the expiration date of our credit.

I had the same thing happen to me on my account, I lost $154, which is how I found out that his money was gone. I called Jetblue earlier today, spoke with Tracy, a Trueblue rep who transferred me to her supervisor Mary for further assistance. Mary was friendly and agreed with me that this situation was unfair and credited me $100 of the $154 that had expired on my account two weeks ago without any notice. She said she was only able to give up to $100 in credit and didn't have the authority to refund more than that, but encouraged me to write to Jetblue through the Speak Up feature on the Jetblue website to ask for my remaining $54 in credit and to submit an inquiry on behalf of my father.

I submitted my message through the Jetblue website earlier today and received the following auto reply:

"Thank you for contacting JetBlue Airways. At this time we are experiencing an increased volume of email. If you're traveling within the next 24 - 48 hours we will respond to you as soon as possible, for all other requests we will respond within 14 - 21 days."

Since this seems like an unnecessarily long time to wait, I'm sharing this situation with the FT community to hopefully get Jetblue to begin displaying expiration dates and/or notifying customers of upcoming expirations. I would also really love to get my father his $1,483.70 back.

Jetblue customers should be able to see when money will expire before it is too late and not be misled through false account statements that make no mention of any expiration date.

Attached are screen captures showing how Jetblue displays the value of money in your travel bank without any notification or even asterisk to alert users to an expiration date on money in the account.

Furthermore, even when redeeming money from my travel bank, I was never notified of an expiration date on the remaining balance nor did the emails that alerted me to travel bank use make any mention of any expiration date.

I have 10 other travel bank redemption emails like the one I've included below that shows amount redeemed and balance remaining with no expiration notice.

2/25/11 UPDATE
Wanted to share some good news.

Jetblue wrote back and offered to temporarily return the credit for a 2 week period and allow my father to use it to book tickets for himself or friends and family.

So, this story has a happy ending although I really do wish that Jetblue would update their system so other folks would be able to more easily see the expiration date on their credit and avoid having this situation repeated for other people.

Thanks for everyone's feedback!



Original balance showing no expiration date or any notice about expiration:



New balance:



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: JetBlue Airways <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 8:41 PM
Subject: Your JetBlue Travel Bank Purchase
To: *******@gmail.com

Dear Mr. ***********

Thank you for choosing to jet with JetBlue Airways and using your Travel Bank account to purchase your ticket.

We are confirming the use of your Travel Bank funds to purchase a ticket with us. Please see the transaction details below.

Purchase Transaction Details.
Passenger Name: **********************
Transaction Id: 461****
Ticket Number: 279215*********
Amount Debited: $95,00
Account Balance*: $105,00

* Account balance after this transaction. If further transactions have taken place, the statement balance may differ when you go online. The online balance is the correct and current balance. Please note that the debited amount shown above may not reflect the full cost of the ticket purchased, but rather the value of the Travel Bank funds applied.

For more detailed information about this transaction or any other activity in your Travel Bank account, please log in to Travel Bank and review your statement.

We look forward to having you on board!

Sincerely,

JetBlue Airways

Last edited by ZapperO; Feb 25, 11 at 12:40 pm Reason: Spelling
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Old Feb 21, 11, 4:47 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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Even if the expiry was extended to a year from the conversion - which it sounds like they were - I'd say you get a pretty good deal rather than ripped off. The credit life was extended beyond what it was originally. Just because the expiry date isn't listed on that page doesn't mean that there isn't one. And it actually is not all that hard to find.

If you check out the "Help" section on jetblue.com there's this FAQ about the Travel Bank that is pretty clear about the one year expiry. Between that and the ability to search the transaction date for when the credits were added it shouldn't be too hard to figure out when they expire. Or you can call in and ask and they'll tell you.

Knowing that they used to expire after one year and not being told otherwise I'm not sure why you chose to believe that they existed in perpetuity.
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Old Feb 21, 11, 5:05 pm
  #3  
nsx
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This sounds more user-friendly than Southwest's policy. On Southwest you have to keep track of confirmation numbers and expiration dates completely on your own. I use a spreadsheet that has hundreds of lines.

Southwest might be able to find unused funds down for you if you have the credit card number and you didn't make many other reservations with it. If you ask Southwest why it's not automated, they will say that you should be grateful that there are no fees attached to re-using your funds. The implication is that we shouldn't ask for funds tracking or we're likely to get change fees too.

No airline's policy is perfectly user-friendly in every way. However I agree that if the airline charges a fee to park the funds, the airline should make it easy to track the expiration date for those funds. The fee can fund development of the necessary web pages.
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Old Feb 25, 11, 12:14 pm
  #4  
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I suggest buying fully refundable tickets if there is a high risk for a need for cancellations.
Yes, I know they are more expensive but at least you will not loose $1483.70.
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Old Feb 25, 11, 12:39 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New England
Programs: AA, Alaska, BA, Delta, Hyatt Diamond, Jetblue Mosaic, Southwest Companion, SPG Plat, United
Posts: 277
Wanted to share some good news.

Jetblue wrote back and offered to temporarily return the credit for a 2 week period and allow my father to use it to book tickets for himself or friends and family.

So, this story has a happy ending although I really do wish that Jetblue would update their system so other folks would be able to more easily see the expiration date on their credit and avoid having this situation repeated for other people.

Thanks for everyone's feedback!
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