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Suggestions? (Priceline mistakenly cancels return ticket)

Suggestions? (Priceline mistakenly cancels return ticket)

Old Nov 27, 18, 6:04 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: AVP, formerly down the Shore
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Suggestions? (Priceline mistakenly cancels return ticket)

I am writing to just ask for suggestions and advice, please. Thanks in advance.

Itinerary booked on Priceline - not the opaque site, but the normal travel agency. Booked with Priceline because multiple carriers involved.
The fare is Colombo-Newark return, with an allowed stopover in Tokyo on the outbound. Routing goes:
CMBxBKK(UL)xHND(NH) stopover of several months
NRT-EWR(UA) at destination for one month
EWRxHKG(UA)xCMB(UL)

The fare is a United fare, ticket is issued on United 016 stock. Earlier this year, I flew from Colombo to Tokyo and I am currently on the stopover. So I have remaining segments NRT-EWR (December) and EWR-HKG-CMB (January).

I get a call from Priceline in July. Sri Lankan Airlines (UL) has stopped service on the HKG-CMB route, and they have no alternatives to offer me. The agent suggests the following: If I am OK ending my trip in Hong Kong, he can just remove the last segment and try to get a refund for the final segment. I agree (on the phone). A couple of days later, I look at the itinerary on united.com and it only shows the segments from NRT-EWR and EWR-HKG, so I am pleased. (As a side note, I picked these particular flights, dates, and fare class because I could apply a United upgrade instrument that is expiring at the end of January, so my flights are actually in business. This is why I preferred to just end in HKG rather than try to mess with the previously upgraded flights.)

Now the problem... I get an email in early November from Priceline telling me that the entire rest of the ticket has been cancelled and refunded. I call United and Priceline and everyone confirms that the ticket has been refunded and is gone forever. I have a Twitter chat with a Priceline agent who writes, "We also acknowledge our agent's advice to refund the last segment of your flight... although it was offered, there was no way for us to refund just the last segment." So I think they have confirmed that they made the mistake. Further, the amount of the refund was about $800 on a $1500 ticket - they claim that they could not figure out how to calculate the refund on the partially used CMB-EWR route.

Naturally, I have all kinds of other itineraries woven in with this one, so I need to get home from Japan in December and I need to get to Asia in January. The Priceline agent suggests that I buy a new ticket. The lowest price on the exact United nonstops that I had previously booked is about $5000 in economy. Naturally, lower prices are available on other itineraries (multiple stops, non-preferred carriers), but even these are significantly higher than the $800 refund.

As you would expect, I am a bit grouchy. I believe that Priceline has confirmed that their agent offered me misleading advice so I believe they have some responsibility here. Normal phone discussions (escalated to supervisors) have only resulted in, "Sorry." Any suggestions on what my next step should be and what might be a reasonable expectation? Thanks!
gary_nj is offline  
Old Dec 4, 18, 10:55 am
  #2  
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Sorry to hear of your trouble. Elliott Advocacy handles many Priceline problems. I recommend www.elliott.org.
jabez is offline  
Old Dec 9, 18, 7:00 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: AVP, formerly down the Shore
Programs: UA 1K/3MM, AA EXP/2MM, AS 75k, DL MM, former fan of TWA
Posts: 1,740
Thanks, Jim. I wrote a certified letter, as specified in the Ts&Cs of Priceline's dispute policy, and asked for specific remedy. Somewhat to my surprise, I received an almost immediate response that they accepted my proposal and sent me some money. My request did not over-reach at all, but I think it was fair. So I have no further complaints with Priceline on this one. Thanks!
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Old Dec 17, 18, 10:21 am
  #4  
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Great!
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