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There are three guaranteed things in life: Death, taxes, and people getting pissed off at United.
There’s been yet another customer service bungling with United Airlines that has left a lot of people extremely unhappy.
As I have already written about, United has slashed many of its flights over the past few weeks and going into the near future. In fact, they have reduced capacity by 95% on their international routes which is one of the highest reductions seen by any US airline.
But after canceling these flights, they have not been forthcoming with offering refunds.
Instead, they have tried to rebook customers on different flights and tried to offer them travel funds which have an expiration date instead of a refund.
And when a refund is offered, there seems to be stipulations such as needing to wait for the travel funds to expire in order to receive a refund or just long wait times.
There also seems to be general confusion by customer service representatives as far as how to process and handle the refund requests when customers call in.
The problem with what United is doing is that it is not aligned with DOT regulations.
If your flight is cancelled and you choose to cancel your trip as a result, you are entitled to a refund for the unused transportation – even for non-refundable tickets. You are also entitled to a refund for any bag fee that you paid, and any extras you may have purchased, such as a seat assignment.
That explanation is about as clear as you can get.
You are entitled to a refund if the airline cancels the flight even if you have booked a nonrefundable ticket.
When an airline cancels the flight, it is vastly different from the customer canceling the flight (at least in terms of established policy).
So how is United getting away with this and why are they refusing or making getting refunds so difficult?
Maybe it has something to do with their whopping revenue losses or just poor customer service or a combination of the two.
But if I had a United flight that was canceled by the airline and they were refusing to honor a refund, I would be raising hell with the airline, across social media, and would likely file a charge back with my credit card company.
It’s really frustrating and sad really to see airlines like United treat customers so poorly at a time when things like this are going on. But hopefully with enough negative publicity and response, these airlines will start to do the right thing when it comes to their paying customers.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.