Help! FlightNetwork will not give me the refund it owes me

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By Christopher Elliott

Where is Ann Melody’s refund from FlightNetwork? Her airline canceled her flight and she asked for her money back, but it’s been four months. How long is too long?

Question

I booked a flight from Chicago to Zagreb, Croatia, on FlightNetwork, recently. The charge was posted on my credit card in February 2018. Eight months later I received an email from FlightNetwork saying my flight was canceled, but that but I could change my flight to the day before or the day after my planned departure. That did not work for my schedule.

A FlightNetwork representative told me I could get a complete refund and it would take 30 to 60 days. It’s been four months and I still have not received the refund. I have emailed FlightNetwork repeatedly, and they have apologized for the delay. But I still haven’t received a refund.

I would like a refund to my credit card for $712.39, as promised by FlightNetwork. Can you help me? — Ann Melody, Ottawa, Ill.

Answer

If your flight was canceled, you’re owed a prompt refund from FlightNetwork. Four months is way too long.

First, if an airline cancels your flight, you’re entitled to a refund according to the Department of Transporation — regardless of the reason for the cancellation. If an airline offers you an alternative flight and you accept it, then it gets to keep your money.

If a refund is due, the airline must forward a credit to your card company within seven business days after receiving a complete refund application. But the credit may take a month or two to appear on your statement.

You were way past that point. (Related: British Airways refund disaster: I’m still waiting for my pandemic ticket refund!)

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Further complicating your case: FlightNetwork had cobbled together an itinerary with several airlines, including Lufthansa, KLM and Croatia Airlines. Sometimes, refund requests across several carriers can take longer, although they shouldn’t. After all, they took your money in seconds. (Here’s how to fix your own consumer problems.)

Finally! A refund from FlightNetwork

I think a brief, friendly email to FlightNetwork might have moved your refund along. Or, at least you might have received an update on your refund. The Elliott Advocacy research team publishes the names, numbers and email addresses of the FlightNetwork executives in our database.

I contacted FlightNetwork on your behalf. The company claims that it sent the refund to your credit card a month ago. You checked your credit card. Eventually, the full refund appeared. Better late than never.

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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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