Hey TAR Airlines, where’s my ticket refund?

TAR Airlines offers Michael Fried a refund or a generous credit after it cancels his friend’s flight. Why won’t it do what it promised?

Question: This spring, I traveled with a friend from La Paz, Mexico, to Copper Canyon, Mexico. We split the costs, but I paid for her to return on TAR Airlines to La Paz from Chihuahua, while I returned to the U.S. on American Airlines.

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My friend received an email that TAR was canceling that route and offered the choice of a credit for double the amount for a different ticket on their airline or a refund and 25 percent of the purchase price, plus a voucher for 1,500 Mexican pesos towards one of their future flights.

I chose the refund and asked that it be credited to the debit card that I used to purchase it. They answered that it had to be refunded to a Mexican bank account. I did not have that information with me.

When I returned, I sent them all my bank information and a note that it cost me 2,999 Mexican pesos for a new reservation, plus an additional night at the hotel for her. I requested 2,999 pesos be deposited within the two weeks they stated. This never happened. I emailed them again with all the information and again nothing, not even a response to any of my emails. Can you help? — Michael Fried, Marlton, N.J.

Answer: TAR should have offered a clearer explanation of your options and responded to your request, even if to say “no.” But it looks as if something got lost in translation.

Normally, when an airline cancels a route, it will offer a full refund. You’re on your own after that. TAR was generous to offer to double your flight credit or a refund plus a discount, plus a credit. That wouldn’t fly in the States.

Instead, you appear to be asking TAR to pay for a new flight and a hotel reservation. Airlines rarely compensate customers in that way, unless you have a prior written agreement — and even then, I’ve seen them try to weasel out of it.

I think you simply misunderstood the offer. Even if you did, TAR should have taken the time to clearly reiterate its offer instead of ignoring you. You could have reached out to TAR through its website or tried emailing it at [email protected] You could also have appealed to someone higher up.

Although I don’t publish the names of TAR’s executives on my consumer advocacy site (it’s a regional Mexican airline and I receive few complaints about it), you could have filed a research request through my site, and I would have happily found some names for you.

I contacted TAR on your behalf. Within a few hours, you had a promise of a ticket refund as well as the 25 percent discount. But after a week, no refund had materialized in your account, so I reached out to the airline again. This time, it sent the money, as promised.

7 thoughts on “Hey TAR Airlines, where’s my ticket refund?

  1. Chris, good job in explaining the situation and getting Mr. Fried his refund.

    For Mr. Fried, if he has a credit card, he should use that instead of a debit card to purchase air travel. Credit card issuers will refund your money if the goods or services purchased are not provided. The same benefit doesn’t exist when using a debit card.

  2. That is probably true in many cases; however, the debit card I have through my credit union has been amazing! Whenever I’ve had a service issue or a dispute, money has been back in my account in a matter of a couple of days at the most.

  3. It is not always possible for everyone to use a credit card. My sister ran into credit trouble quite a few years ago and still is not able to get a credit card, but is allowed to have a debit card, which she has to use for all her purchases like this.

  4. I believe that my credit union would also go above and beyond for me. However, that attitude is not usually found at commercial banks. Unfortunately, the majority of people in the US do not have accounts at credit unions.

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