Each Friday, we feature a reader-inspired tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s reader tip comes from Michael G., who says:
“Suggestion. If any of your readers have been turned down by an international airline they should re-try. COPA twice refused to grant refunds on four tickets on a trip that had been scheduled for the weekend of March 21 from MIA to PTY even though doctor’s notes had been forwarded, etc. Tried again this week direct to the customer care department and received the below email from them last night.
Dear Mr. ___________,
Kind greetings from Copa Airlines.
Thank you for contacting Copa Airlines. We verified your ticket information and confirm that you purchased a non refundable fare; however, the refund has been authorized under the DOT regulations. We have forwarded your request to our refund team. Please be aware that due to the high demand on requests, the processing time may take up to 45 days to be completed.
We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Miguel Angel Cárdenas Olmedo
Customer Service Representative
ConnectMiles Service Center|Copa Airlines“
If you’re looking for a refund from an airline and having no luck, don’t give up. Keep calling and try to speak to a different agent or to a supervisor. Always be kind, of course, even if the first agent doesn’t do what you want or what they should be doing, and remember that it won’t always work. But if your flight was canceled for reasons related to COVID-19, you’re entitled to a refund per DOT rules. Trying again has worked before.
My own situation with Air Canada
I’m currently dealing with Air Canada, which canceled my flight from Toronto to New York City (LGA) in a few weeks and is refusing to refund my money. I’m even thinking of taking legal action because according to DOT rules:
“U.S. and foreign airlines remain obligated to provide a prompt refund to passengers for flights to, within, or from the United States when the carrier cancels the passenger’s scheduled flight or makes a significant schedule change and the passenger chooses not to accept the alternative offered by the carrier. The obligation of airlines to provide refunds, including the ticket price and any optional fee charged for services a passenger is unable to use, does not cease when the flight disruptions are outside of the carrier’s control (e.g., a result of government restrictions).”
Yet the email I got from Air Canada included the following language:
“We regret to inform you that AC8292 from Toronto, Lester B. Pearson Intl (YYZ) to New York, Laguardia (LGA) on May 20, 2020 has been cancelled due to the impacts of COVID-19, government travel advisories and/or health and safety concerns…If you do not need to rebook immediately, you can keep the remaining value of your ticket for future travel. This is valid for travel to be completed within 24 months of your flight cancellation date. If you purchased a non-refundable fare, please note that you are not eligible for a refund.”
I’m not giving up because I know the DOT rules apply to my flight, despite what I’ve been told so far. I’ll be sharing updates as I have them.
More help getting a refund for a canceled flight
- Use This Trick If You Want to Get a Refund for a Flight That Hasn’t Been Canceled
- My Experience Calling 5 Different Airlines for Refunds
- Can You Get Refunded for a Canceled European Flight?
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.