Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stupid Loss of $300

I won't go into too much detail on this, but suffice it to say that when you are planning a big expensive trip that veers outside what we think of as the developed world, if you have a choice between airlines for some of your local flights, go with the big international airline, not the smaller one based in the country you're visiting.
The only wrinkle so far in planning my big summer trip is that one of these small local airlines went bankrupt and ceased operations! We had to rebook on a different airline (this time the big international one!) and I doubt we'll ever see a refund from the airline that went under.
I'm annoyed about it because my initial instinct was to go with the bigger airline and I wish I had followed it! I am pissed that I've lost $300! But there's not much I can do about it. And this vacation is expensive no matter what, so $300 almost seems like a drop in the bucket. I've already spent more than that just on various vaccinations and medicines!

Where on earth am I going? Don't worry, I'll stop being a tease about it one of these days!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you pay by credit card for the tickets for the airline that went bankrupt? I would put in a dispute with the credit card company. I had the same issue a couple of years ago when I had 5 flights booked with Ansett Airlines and they collapsed as well. The credit card credited back my account. I had to show a lot of proof such as newspaper articles, original tickets etc but they issued me a credit in the end.

Anonymous said...

I'm the poster above...by the way, be very glad that the airline collapsed before you went on vacation! Ansett collapsed when I was on my vacation and left me stranded!

Esme said...

My comment is similar to the first poster. I think there is such a thing purchase insurance with your credit card.

A major airline went under a couple of years ago here in Canada. Lots of people ended up losing their money but those who booked on credit card got their money back.

$300 is worth checking out this option.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

This just happened to me with ATA and Aloha Airlines here in the good old (and overly developed) U.S.A. I disputed the charges w/ my credit card and right away they credited my account. I bet you can get your $300 back. Best of luck.

sip said...

Agreed - you shouldn't have a problem getting a credit on your credit card - I'd be willing to bet the US card issuers are quite used to this by now having 5 airlines go out of business in a one month period a few months back!

Chocoholic said...

Just agreeing with the other commenters. If you paid with a credit card you should be able to do a chargeback. Consumerist had a post on this a little while back when all those airlines went out of business the same week. I believe they had some tips on how to do so if you head over there and try looking, you might find it.

One of the women I work with had flights out of the country to visit family on ATA and I believe she got her money back on her credit card after calling the card company.

Anonymous said...

India! You're going to India, aren't you?

Father Sez said...

The same happened to me, though it was a company trip. The airline did not go under, they just said the sector was cancelled. Just like that.

Then they asked us to write in for the blinking refund. (And no prizes for guessing...no credit cards were accepted.)

Anonymous said...

Tip-On major flights, make the very first flight the one that gets you close to your goal, then if things fail you're either still at home or you're somewhere that maybe you can take a train from. If you're flying to NYC to then go to exotic place, give yourself an extra day since if flight from home goes bad you lose your connection with no guarantees. And what about those TSA folks, anyway?

Bri said...

This happened to me too, but I was at Charles de Gaulle when I discovered the airline collapsed the day before. Bad timing. As far as the credit card refund, if you bought through a U.S. based travel agency, you are golden. But if you bought the plane ticket directly through the foreign company or a foreign travel agent, you are stuck with eating the costs. The fine print for credit card refunds only covers transactions within the United States.

Shana said...

I've travelled extensively, and I can state pretty confidently that booking an international carrier will always be *significantly* more expensive than a local airline -- even in Europe -- and you don't even have to book far in advance. I've booked last minute flights on other continents, and paid far less than what the same distance would cost in the US.

It does suck about the airline going under, though. Definitely see if there is an ombudsmen service or insurance through your credit card.