Will FlightNet­work ever give my money back?

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - TRAVEL - By Christo­pher El­liott Christo­pher El­liott is the om­buds­man for Na­tional Geo­graphic Trav­eler magazine and the au­thor of “How to Be the World’s Smartest Trav­eler.” You can read more travel tips on his blog, el­liott.org, or email him at [email protected]­liott.org.

QI booked a flight from Chicago to Za­greb, Croa­tia, on FlightNet­work.com, 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 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, Illi­nois

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

First, if an air­line can­cels your flight, you’re en­ti­tled to a re­fund ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion — 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 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.

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 even though they shouldn’t. Af­ter all, they took your money in sec­onds.

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. I pub­lish the names, num­bers and email ad­dresses of the FlightNet­work ex­ec­u­tives on my con­sumer ad­vo­cacy site.

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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