I canceled my Royal Jordanian Airlines tickets months ago. Where’s my money?

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By Christopher Elliott

After John Bernath cancels his flight from Amman, Jordan, to Tel Aviv, on Royal Jordanian Airlines, a Booking.com representative promises him a full refund. So why has he received nothing?

Question

Last year, I bought two round-trip flights from Amman, Jordan, to Tel Aviv through Booking.com. The tickets on Royal Jordanian Airlines were refundable.

In November, I called to cancel my tickets and spoke with a Booking.com representative, who said I would get my money back, minus a cancelation fee of about $16, in about two weeks.

Two weeks later, there was no sign of the money. I called Royal Jordanian Airlines, which referred me back to Booking.com. I called back and reached someone on the “advanced” support team. A representative promised to call me back within 72 hours. I never heard from anyone.

I called a month later and spoke with another representative who gave me a different reference number to contact customer service by phone. But it failed to get me access to Booking.com. Without the correct number you can’t even gain access to an agent or operator.

The Booking.com website showed my tickets as “canceled” with a refund due of $16. But I paid $589 for them. After 11 weeks of trying, contacting both Royal Jordanian Airlines and Booking.com, I’m still no closer to receiving a refund. Can you help me get my money back? — John Bernath, Lake Worth, Fla.

Answer

You should have had your refund months ago. So what’s going on?

My first clue was the refund status from Booking.com. It suggested that you were only due a $16 refund — what appears to be a cancelation fee — on your ticket. I thought you had misread the terms of your ticket and that it was nonrefundable. (Related: Billed twice for my hotel room. Where’s my Booking.com refund?)

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But then you showed me the ticket, and indeed, it was refundable. 

I’ve seen this before. I call it the crisis refund problem. When there’s a big incident that triggers a wave of cancelations — 9/11, a pandemic, or an armed conflict — an airline will get overwhelmed with cancelation and refund requests. These delays can extend for months or even years. Your delays appear to have been caused by the conflict in the Middle East. (Related: After a Booking.com price error, am I stuck with this room?)

Is there a way to expedite a refund? Yes. You can reach out to the executive contacts at Royal Jordanian Airlines or Booking.com. The Jordan Civil Aviation Authority has consumer protection provisions that are similar to Europe’s, but I could find no requirement that the airline issue a refund within a certain amount of time. In other words, it’s up to you to keep the pressure on the airline and its travel agent, Booking.com.

How do you cancel a flight on Royal Jordanian Airlines?

To cancel your Royal Jordanian Airlines ticket and get a quick refund, you can do this:

Find out what kind of ticket you have

Most economy-class airline tickets have restrictions on refunds or changes. But even if you have a highly restrictive ticket, you should get any taxes refunded to you promptly. Find out what kind of ticket you have and which refund rules apply before you ask for your money back. (Related: Booking.com suspended my account. Can you help me get it back?)

Choose your cancelation method

Royal Jordanian offers a few ways to cancel your flight:

  • Online: If your ticket allows online cancelation, you can typically do so through the Manage My Booking section of the Royal Jordanian website. 
  • Phone: Call Royal Jordanian’s call center at +962.6.5100000 to speak with a representative about your cancelation.
  • Email: For certain ticket types, you can cancel by emailing Royal Jordanian’s sales or customer service department. You can get more information on refunds by email on the Royal Jordanian site.

Keep a paper trail

Hold on to copies of all cancelation requests, emails, and phone conversations with Royal Jordanian for your reference. (Here’s our guide to resolving your consumer problem.)

Don’t delay

The sooner you cancel, the more likely you are to receive a partial or full refund, depending on your ticket type.

Canceling a Royal Jordanian flight is fairly straightforward and follows the same rules as other airlines. By acting quickly and knowing your rights, you can get most of your money returned when you have to cancel a ticket.

How long should a refund from Royal Jordanian Airlines take?

Most airline refunds must be processed within a week, and it should not take longer than that.

Even with a deluge of cancelations, Royal Jordanian should have been able to process your refund within 11 weeks. And even if it didn’t, you were doing business with Booking.com, so it should have stepped up and returned your money.

But your case raises an interesting question. Should we give airlines extra time for refunds during a crisis like a war in the Middle East or a pandemic? Or should we insist that it refunds us in a timely manner and in accordance with federal regulations? (Check out the poll below.)

My advocacy team contacted Booking.com on your behalf. A representative got back to me and said it had processed a refund. “The funds should appear in the customer’s account within 3 to 5 business days,” she added.

And sure enough, they did.

Should we give airlines extra time for refunds during a crisis like a war in the Middle East or a pandemic?

  • No (64%, 247 Votes)
  • Yes (36%, 137 Votes)

Total Voters: 384

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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.

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