How refundable is your nonrefundable ticket?

Everything is negotiable, even a nonrefundable airline ticket. Consider what happened when Ryan Duffy developed complications from brain surgery, which forced him to cancel his American Airlines flight from Charleston, S.C., to Las Vegas.
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Can Oceania keep our airfare refund?

When Brian Dean’s wife falls ill before their South Pacific cruise, they don’t expect to lose their airfare. But now their cruise line wants to pocket their refund. Can it do that?
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Southwest Airlines responds to needy passenger with compassion – why won’t US Airways?

Can you be right -- and wrong? / Photo by Tipek US Airways - Flickr
When you’re in my line of work, you hear your share of sob stories. Few are as tragic as Charley Price’s, and few have as frustrating an outcome.

His story starts with the death of his wife’s father last summer, only two months after Price’s mother-in-law had passed away.
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The Travel Troubleshooter: Sick in Puerto Vallarta — does my hotel owe me anything?

Question: My partner and I have recently returned from a six-day vacation at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. While we were there, many guests were afflicted by a serious illness. We began hearing about it soon after our arrival and within two days, we were both violently ill with vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

For the last four days of our trip, we were barely able to eat or drink and wouldn’t dare take the chance of leaving the resort for any excursions.

Judging by the large number of complaints posted online, many other guests were also affected. Several even required hospitalization.

Because our annual vacation was ruined by this outbreak, we’d like to be reimbursed or offered some level of incentive for a future trip at another Barcelo property. We’ve written to the hotel, but haven’t heard back. Can you help us? — Daniel Vosburgh, Chicago

Answer: Barcelo should have answered your complaint, explaining what went wrong at its Puerto Vallarta property while you were there and offering an apology, at a minimum.
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