Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > South African Airways | Voyager
Reload this Page >

Has anyone received a refund from Airlink?

Has anyone received a refund from Airlink?

Old Jan 11, 23, 6:30 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: AA MM, AA EXP; OW Emerald, EK silver
Posts: 792
Has anyone received a refund from Airlink?

Because of my husband's emergency evacuation I had to cancel our flights on Airlink from Vic FAlls to J'berg, We had the highest tier tickets which allowed the fare to be refunded. I submitted a request for a refund six weeks ago, got an acknowledgement that there was a backlog and since then nothing.

Has anyone had this experience or been successful getting the refund? We have already claimed other expenses from our insurance but this one was meant to be a refundable ticket. Does anyone have a specific contact to escalate this request?
dwugson is online now  
Old Jan 13, 23, 8:18 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: AA, UA, GE
Posts: 4,818
Originally Posted by dwugson View Post
Because of my husband's emergency evacuation I had to cancel our flights on Airlink from Vic FAlls to J'berg, We had the highest tier tickets which allowed the fare to be refunded. I submitted a request for a refund six weeks ago, got an acknowledgement that there was a backlog and since then nothing.

Has anyone had this experience or been successful getting the refund? We have already claimed other expenses from our insurance but this one was meant to be a refundable ticket. Does anyone have a specific contact to escalate this request?
I had a similar experience in the spring of 2021. We had booked round trips JNB-SZK on the morning flight JNB-SZK (tickets purchased in October 2020). Pre-Covid there were two Airlink flights a day between JNB and SZK. The tickets were listed as fully refundable. Luckily I kept all the documentation (booking related emails, screen shots of the fare rules, etc).

As South Africa started to open back up from Covid, Airlink changed all their published fares to their current refundable model (refundable after an "administrative fee"). Airlink also drastically reduced their flights for most of 2021. I decided to use the FedAir lodge shuttle service instead and canceled the Airlink fights. When trying to get them to honor my refundable ticket I ran into the same games you are seeing. After about 3 or 4 weeks of their stalling tactics, I opened a complaint with my credit card holder (Chase). IMO this is the only way to get your money back.

I would not buy tickets on any southern Africa regional carrier without solid trip insurance. It will cost you to do so but you can get your money back and let them hassle with the airline. If you look at Airlink's current fare rules for supposedly refundable tickets, you are refunded the original cost, less an "administrative fee". I have never gone through that process but I have heard from friends that this means you are refunded half (or less) of the original purchase price.
cheltzel is offline  
Old Jan 14, 23, 6:58 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: AA MM, AA EXP; OW Emerald, EK silver
Posts: 792
Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
I had a similar experience in the spring of 2021. We had booked round trips JNB-SZK on the morning flight JNB-SZK (tickets purchased in October 2020). Pre-Covid there were two Airlink flights a day between JNB and SZK. The tickets were listed as fully refundable. Luckily I kept all the documentation (booking related emails, screen shots of the fare rules, etc).

As South Africa started to open back up from Covid, Airlink changed all their published fares to their current refundable model (refundable after an "administrative fee"). Airlink also drastically reduced their flights for most of 2021. I decided to use the FedAir lodge shuttle service instead and canceled the Airlink fights. When trying to get them to honor my refundable ticket I ran into the same games you are seeing. After about 3 or 4 weeks of their stalling tactics, I opened a complaint with my credit card holder (Chase). IMO this is the only way to get your money back.

I would not buy tickets on any southern Africa regional carrier without solid trip insurance. It will cost you to do so but you can get your money back and let them hassle with the airline. If you look at Airlink's current fare rules for supposedly refundable tickets, you are refunded the original cost, less an "administrative fee". I have never gone through that process but I have heard from friends that this means you are refunded half (or less) of the original purchase price.
Thanks, you've confirmed my impressions and will contact American Express Platinum service through which the tickets were purchased. It's a shame about this as they are currently the most reliable regional carrier - we were flying to and from Vic Falls. Like you I use Federal Air whenever possible including charters when I've had to.

Your point about insurance is very important especially for others who might be reading this. We've done multiple trips including during covid when restrictions eased and then post covid and always have insurance although in my husband's case it's expensive given his age. However, this time we needed an emergency air ambulance from Botswana to Johannesburg, a week in a hospital in J'berg including 4 days in ICU l , my hotel expenses nearby and a return home with medical escort, all of which have been covered. Can't overemphasise the need to have adequate coverage even if you're young and fit.

Last edited by dwugson; Jan 14, 23 at 7:00 pm Reason: typo
dwugson is online now  
Old Jan 15, 23, 4:13 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: AA, UA, GE
Posts: 4,818
Originally Posted by dwugson View Post
Thanks, you've confirmed my impressions and will contact American Express Platinum service through which the tickets were purchased. It's a shame about this as they are currently the most reliable regional carrier - we were flying to and from Vic Falls. Like you I use Federal Air whenever possible including charters when I've had to.

Your point about insurance is very important especially for others who might be reading this. We've done multiple trips including during covid when restrictions eased and then post covid and always have insurance although in my husband's case it's expensive given his age. However, this time we needed an emergency air ambulance from Botswana to Johannesburg, a week in a hospital in J'berg including 4 days in ICU l , my hotel expenses nearby and a return home with medical escort, all of which have been covered. Can't overemphasise the need to have adequate coverage even if you're young and fit.
I am in my mid 70s and have a fairly extensive medical history. Luckily I am pretty healthy. I use an online insurance agency at aardy.com and have been able to get decently priced insurance that covers both medical evacuation as well as normal travel coverage from them. If you want, send me a PM and I'll get into more detail.
cheltzel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread