Why is Vayama taking six months to process my refund?

By | April 9th, 2017

Joyce Jordan and her husband booked a trip online. Sadly, Jordan’s husband died before the trip and outside the cancellation and refund time period. She’s hoping for a refund. Can we help Jordan recover any of her money?

Question: My husband booked a Best of the Vikings tour for us, through 52 Best/Commonwealth Companies. He booked the airline travel on his own through Vayama.

My husband passed away before the trip, but outside the cancellation and refund period. I couldn’t get a refund for the canceled tour.

I contacted Vayama to see if I could, at least, get a refund of the airfare. The Vayama agent instructed me to send my husband’s death certificate and our marriage certificate. I sent the documents by email, but haven’t received a refund. Can you help me recover the $1,658 from Vayama? — Joyce Jordan, Dallas

Answer: We’re very sorry for your loss. And we’re very sorry that you have had a difficult time trying to obtain a refund. Because your husband passed away within 90 days of the tour’s departure, you were not able to obtain a refund. The airline tickets that your husband purchased also were nonrefundable.

When booking the tour, you might have considered buying travel insurance, which would have covered the $6,658 cost of the nonrefundable tour and airfare. It’s always a good idea to buy travel insurance to cover an expensive trip.

The Vayama fare rules and policies only allow cancellations on the same day as the booking is made. And, it provides that tickets are nonrefundable.

You contacted Vayama, and its representative asked you to mail documents relating to your husband’s passing. It’s notable that Vayama was willing to consider a request for a refund of nonrefundable tickets. You emailed the documents to Vayama, but four months later, you still didn’t have a refund. You tried to follow up with Vayama by phone and by email, and you were always told that the company was waiting for approval for the refund. You were also told that the process should take four to six weeks, but four months later, you still didn’t have a refund.

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You could have posted about your situation to our help forums to see if anyone had any suggestions for you. Our help forums are read by some company representatives who may be able to intervene on your behalf, and volunteer subject matter experts who may have helpful suggestions.

You sought help from our advocates, who contacted Vayama on your behalf. It took awhile, but given your circumstances and loss, Vayama refunded the money. We’re happy that we could help you.

  • cscasi

    Albeit slow, it is a credit to Vayama for considering and then refunding the price of nonrefundable airline tickets due to Mr. Jordan’s passing before the trip began. Thank you Vayama!

  • Annie M

    It is nice that they made an exception for her even though it took 4 months.

  • PsyGuy

    I wonder if Chris could also “nudge” the tour company for a refund as well? My condolences on your husbands untimely passing.

  • michael anthony

    Although it would never happen, it would be great if there was some sort of law that entitled a full, or nearly full, refund, of a vacation bought and paid for, if one of the participants suddenly died. Yes, the tour/carrier may be out some money, but death is the ultimate reason for not being able to take a trip. Yes, insurance may help in these cases, but some will look for any reason to call it pre-existing and not pay. It’s just sad that when death comes calling, one can lose thousands, due to no fault of their own.

  • sirwired

    I wonder who the tour company was? While I think it’s fair to tell travelers they should have purchased insurance to cover illness, or the death of a family member, not issuing a refund when one of the party members themselves dies seems pretty cold. I mean, even those paragons of customer service over at Spirit will issue a refund under that circumstance.

  • Lindabator

    that is why insurance is there

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