TAP Air Portugal canceled our flights, but where is our refund?

DEAR TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTING: In the summer of 2019, I booked seven return tickets from Miami to Budapest on TAP Air Portugal through Expedia. I had planned to fly to Europe the following spring with my husband, my two daughters, my mother and my two cousins.

In March 2020, about a week before our scheduled departure, TAP Air Portugal canceled our flight due to COVID-19. I waited a few months before doing anything because I received an automated email about the flight credit. And who knew when the world would open up again?

Eventually time passed, life’s circumstances changed and I knew we wouldn’t be able to make this trip to Budapest in the near future. So I started the process of trying to get a refund.

It’s been a year since I requested a refund, and there is still no refund from Expedia or TAP Air Portugal. When I try to check my refund process, there is nothing in the system or it still shows a credit.

I’m exhausted having to go back and forth between the two. Anything you can do to help me would be greatly appreciated.

– Sandra Einhorn, Hollywood, Florida.

REPLY: TAP Air Portugal should have reimbursed your flights promptly, since they canceled them. But like several airlines during the pandemic, this is not the case. Instead, he offered ticket credit, which EU regulators ultimately said was not allowed. Under current EU rules, an airline must offer a full refund or credit for a canceled flight, regardless of the reason for the cancellation.

The correspondence between you, TAP Air Portugal and Expedia is quite confusing. It appears that Expedia thought TAP resolved your case because you requested a refund directly from TAP Air Portugal, so Expedia closed your case. And, as is so often the case, no one was willing to take responsibility for your missing refund.

You may have requested your money a little earlier. It looks like you’ve waited several months to start the process. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to get your money back. It’s just a general rule. Waiting only benefits the company that already has your money.

You could also have contacted the managers of the two companies. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of Expedia’s customer service managers on my consumer advocacy site at elliott.org/company-contacts/expedia-customer-service-contacts/. I also post the executive contacts of TAP Air Portugal on elliott.org/company-contacts/tap-air-portugal/.

I contacted Expedia on your behalf. He contacted TAP Air Portugal, who refunded your ticket. Expedia also sent you a $ 50 certificate as an apology.

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