Triple-booked on Travelocity with no refund in sight

Erich Bley bought two tickets from Miami to Aruba on Travelocity. Instead, he got six.

Double-bookings — at least the inadvertent kind — are rare. But triple-bookings? This is the first on I’ve come across.

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Turns out it’s three times as difficult to resolve, too.

First, let’s hear from Bley, who describes how it all happened.

After filling out the requested information on the computer screen, I got a reference number that said a written confirmation will follow. A few days later, having not received the promised confirmation, I went back to Travelocity to check the status of my tickets.

There, in bold red letters, it said: “This flight is not available.”

Then Bley received his credit card bill.

We were charged for six tickets!

I called Travelocity immediately and somebody from India told me that we should get a refund from American Airlines for four of the tickets.

I called American Airlines, but they told me it is Travelocity’s fault and I should contact them.

This has been going on for a number of times back and forth between American and Travelocity, and I agreed to pay a $75 per ticket cancellation charge.

Guess what? Now American is not crediting their balance.

I talked to my travel agent about the situation and she suggested to write to you — that you are the only one who could help.

Well, I don’t know about that, but I can certainly try to help.

I contacted Travelocity. Here’s what it had to say:

Chris, the duplicate booking was a technical error we take responsibility for. Normally, we have systems in place that automatically detect this, but it did not work in this case.

We have contacted AA and they have agreed to refund $346 per ticket for a total of $1086. We will refund the $75 cancellation fee for each ticket.

The customer should see this reflected on his credit card statements (he used two different cards) in the next two billing cycles.

Let us know if you need anything else and thanks, as always, for bringing this to our attention.

Case closed? Not exactly.

The money didn’t show up on Bley’s next statement. Or his next one. Five months went by, and still no refund.

I nudged Travelocity, but it seemed to feel this case was closed, too.

Yesterday — almost a year after the triple-booking and many months after getting a promise of a quick refund — the credit showed up.

Bley explains:

When you called me about six months ago and told me the refund from Travelocity would be happening, we were delighted. Thanks for opening the door.

When nothing happened until December my wife started calling. We heard all the excuses possible:

“We do not pay after six months”

“It is American Airlines’ responsibility, call them.”

“We can’t find your records.”

My wife recently called Travelocity. When a representative promised my refund would be processed, we were skeptical. But today we received our refund. Mr Elliott, thank you so much for guiding us into the right direction.

I’m glad Travelocity and American finally resolved this. But why did it have to take so long?

(Photo: atomicshark/Flickr Creative Commons)