A 20 percent credit for my American Airlines tickets? That’s insane!

What if you cancel your American Airlines tickets and your travel agent hands you a voucher that only covers 20 percent of the cost of a new ticket?

That’s the strange situation in which Michelle Crespo found herself after her ticket credits booked through MilitaryFares.com during the pandemic suddenly got massively devalued. And she wants answers.

Crespo paid her travel agency $2,254 — but now, bizarrely, a representative has told her that her new voucher will only cover 20 percent of the cost of a new fare.

Is that fair?

What does United Airlines owe you during a flight delay? (Hint: not $10,000)

What does United Airlines owe you after an extended flight delay? Joseph Baloun took a wild guess during his recent experience. A really wild guess. He calculated that United Airlines owed him $10,000 in future travel credit for an unpleasant 16-hour delay.

But does United Airlines owe him anything at all?

If you’ve ever wondered what you can and can’t expect in compensation after an extended flight delay, then this article is for you. (Last updated April 2022)

Aegean Airlines refunds one ticket but not the other. What’s going on here?

Benn Karne and his wife, Marilyn, had tickets from Athens to Bologna, Italy, on May 14, 2020. Not that it did them much good. Like almost every other flight operating at the start of the pandemic, Aegean Airlines canceled it and eventually offered them a refund.

But then Aegean Airlines did something very odd: It refunded only one of the tickets.

Now the Karnes are trying to find out what went wrong with their second refund and how they can fix it. But their odyssey tells a much bigger story about the patently irresponsible behavior of airlines during the pandemic. You’re probably familiar with stories like this. The additional context will infuriate you.

Can Frontier Airlines keep my nonrefundable fees after my sister died?

When Christine Schaefer booked a nonrefundable roundtrip ticket from Philadelphia to West Palm Beach, Fla., on Frontier Airlines, she had every intention of being on that plane. After all, she was flying to South Florida to spend Christmas with her sister, Madeline.

Sadly, it didn’t happen. Just before the flight, Schaefer’s sister died.

Schaefer canceled her reservation and requested a refund from Hopper, her online travel agency. She also asked Frontier to return her fees for luggage and early boarding.

You’ll never guess who said yes and who refused. Then again, if you read this site frequently, maybe you can guess.

Lufthansa can’t charge me $1,360 for this change! Can it?

All Gabriele Stahl wanted was to modify her Lufthansa flight to Germany. And all the airline wanted from her was $1,360 — an unreasonable amount to fix the flight, she says.

But who’s right? Stahl’s case is a teachable moment about flight cancellations, airline logic, and the power of persistence.

Also, it’s a fun opportunity to extract a response from an airline that hates, hates, hates appearing in this column.

Will United Airlines ever let these little dogs fly home?

United Airlines had no problem allowing Patrick Corley to fly with his two little dogs to Honduras. But now, the missionary and his wife want to come back to the United States with their pups. Unfortunately, United has made this “mission” nearly impossible.

Corley hopes that we can convince United Airlines to allow both Max and Howard to fly home.

But wait a minute. Is there something more to this story that’s preventing United Airlines from transporting the two little dogs?

Let’s find out.

Will United Airlines refund your voucher if it stops flying from your hometown?

Here’s a flight cancellation dilemma for the ages. It comes to us by way of Debbra Brouillette, who postponed her recent flight on United Airlines from Evansville, Ind., to Fort Myers, Fla. But before she could reschedule her trip, the airline discontinued service to her hometown.

Should you get your money back when an airline stops serving your city? Brouillette thinks so. But United Airlines refused her refund request.

So who is right?

I’ll have the correct answer in just a moment.

What does American Airlines really owe you if it cancels your flight?

If American Airlines delays or cancels your flight home from vacation, what does it really owe you?

That’s what Mikayla Shade wants to know after finding herself in this unfortunate situation. She says an American Airlines agent told her that when the airline cancels a flight, the passenger will receive a full refund. Shade used that guidance to determine her budget for a new flight home. It wasn’t until American Airlines processed her “full refund” that she discovered she’d relied on incorrect guidance from the agent.

Now Shade wants the Elliott Advocacy team to ask American Airlines to provide what its representative promised her.

If Air Canada sent you an extra $4,282 refund, would you just keep it?

Scoring an Air Canada refund during the pandemic has been nearly impossible. The airline has consistently ignored the Department of Transportation’s refund rules for most of the past 20 months. Instead, the carrier has been automatically issuing flight credits — even when it owes passengers cash refunds.

Which makes this story particularly improbable…but true.

Renette Frank was one of the lucky ones who actually received her Air Canada refund last year. So imagine her surprise when the airline recently sent her another $4,282. Even more surprising: When she tried to return the extra money, the airline made that impossible, too.

Now she’s asking the Elliott Advocacy team to help facilitate the return of the duplicate Air Canada refund.

This case is from our “Weird and Silly” files for Thanksgiving. Readers often ask why company mistakes never lean in favor of the customer. But the truth is, we do receive these types of cases from time to time. And, unbelievably, these consumers have hit the same frustrating hurdles as we’ve seen in our standard cases. Here Air Canada made a mistake and sent Frank a refund that it had already given her. So why is the airline making it so difficult to return the cash? Should she just keep it??

United Airlines stranded us in Morocco! How will we get home now?

It’s ok for United Airlines to fly a family to Morocco, cancel their return flight, and leave them stranded there. Right?

Wrong. But the airline seems to think so.

Ahmed Benidamou purchased economical, round-trip tickets from Tulsa to Casablanca directly through the airline’s website. He, his wife, and two small children flew to Africa as scheduled. But then, United Airlines suddenly canceled their flight home and offered no alternatives, leaving the family stranded there.

Now, still stuck in Morocco with no affordable way home, the troubled father is asking for our help. He’s hoping that we’ll convince United Airlines to try a little harder to get his stranded family back to Oklahoma.

Benidamou’s experience is yet another example of just how far customer service has fallen during the pandemic. United Airlines has a vast network of partner airlines spanning the globe, in addition to its own giant fleet. But United repeatedly rejected the bewildered family’s plea for help and simply abandoned them.

Can we find out what is going on here and help get the Benidamous home by Thanksgiving?

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