Hey Bravofly, what happened to my United booking?

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By Christopher Elliott

Kathleen Anderson books airline tickets through a site called Bravofly. Or so she thinks. When the flights are never confirmed, she goes looking for a refund — and we try to help.

Question

I’m being charged for services that I did not receive from Bravofly, an online travel agency that was supposed to book airline flights. I did not receive anything from them, no confirmation number and no ticketing information.

When I tried to contact them by phone, the only number available on their website was a number in a foreign country. I tried to send them an email, and they wanted the confirmation number, which I did not have because they did not provide me with one.

I contacted United Airlines, the airline on which Bravofly allegedly booked my flight. United had no record of Bravofly booking a flight for me.

I have made several attempts to contact my bank and they keep referring me to different people in their dispute unit. I can’t review the documents that Bravofly has provided because I am locked out of my account. Can you help me get my money back? — Kathleen Anderson, Sacramento, Calif.


Answer

This one’s a real mystery. Bravofly is a Swiss company, but scroll down for this important disclaimer: “This website is not, neither does it intend to be, for persons subject to the laws or regulations of the United States and/or Canada. The information contained in this website are published in English and in dollars because that meets international standards.”

That’s a new one. If I stumbled across an obscure European site that warned it was not for me, I’d probably look somewhere else to make a reservation.

Our advocacy team checked with Bravofly about your tickets. The company said its records show it sent you an email after you made the booking. It also received and processed your request for wheelchair assistance.

Flying Angels provide medical transport anywhere in the world on commercial airlines with a Flight Nurse or Doctor. A Flight Coordinator handles the logistics. The client receives care during the entire transport—bedside to bedside. Visit FlyingAngels.com or call 877-265-1085 to speak with a flight coordinator.

“Both these communications were also sent via SMS to the telephone number provided by Ms. Anderson,” a representative noted. “Furthermore, having checked directly with United Airlines, we can confirm the ticket had been booked correctly.” (Related: How to fix your own consumer problem.)

Also, Bravofly has no record of any further contact from you. “There are a number of notes against her booking stating she has disputed the transaction with her card,” a representative says. (Here’s our guide to contacting the CEO directly.)

So you had valid tickets and the company had no record of your contact. What’s more, your flight has already departed with an empty seat, so United won’t refund your fare.

This is not an easy case. Our advocacy team managed to get a straight answer from Bravofly, but we can’t push it to refund your ticket. Next time you need a ticket, I’d look a little closer to home. Book through a qualified travel agent, a brand-name online agency, or directly through an airline.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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