I canceled my flight to Frankfurt, but now I can’t use my credit

Melissa Crespo receives a $2,060 ticket credit when she cancels her flights to Frankfurt, Germany. But now her online agency has told her she can only use 25% of the credit at a time. Can it do that?

  • By Wire Service
  • Sunday, May 22, 2022 1:30am
  • Life

By Christopher Elliott

Q: I booked three tickets from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Frankfurt on American Airlines from Military Fares. I even bought coverage that allowed me to cancel for any reason and receive a refund.

I received a $2,060 ticket credit that had to be used within a year. But when I tried to use the credit, a Military Fares representative told me I can only use 25% of the future travel credit at a time. So, in other words, I have to spend $10,000 to use my $2,000 credit.

This is insane. I really want my money back or to use 100% of my flight credit toward another trip via their website. Can you help or direct me to someone who might help me? I am so frustrated and can’t afford to lose $2,060. — Melissa Crespo, Wendell, North Carolina

A: I’ve never heard of a company restricting its ticket credit. So I had to know if this was some kind of new rule designed to extract more money from customers.

“It seems that there was a confusion in reference to the usage of the voucher,” a Military Fares spokesman told me. “All our customers at MilitaryFares.com can use any vouchers for its full value amounts and not 25%.”

The refund rules vary. If you cancel your flight, you usually can receive a ticket credit. But if the airline cancels, you’re entitled to a full refund. You canceled this flight, but you also purchased Military Fares’ “No Questions Asked Cancellation Protection.” This option allows you “to cancel all or any portion of your order, for any reason, up and until 24 hours before your first travel date and receive a refund with absolutely no questions asked.”

There’s a catch, though: You have to pay a $100 deductible.

When I reviewed the paper trail between you and Military Fares, I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. You decided to cancel your flight and asked for a refund, minus the $100. A representative told you in writing that the refund process would take approximately 90 business days “due to the high volume of refund requests.” You can thank the pandemic for that.

So what went wrong? It looks like the 90 days turned into a little longer because of a backlog of refund requests. That led you to conclude that you might never receive your money back, which is an absolutely fair assumption.

I think buying the protection plan was a smart move. Regular travel insurance wouldn’t have covered your decision to cancel. But this protection product offered through Military Fares offered an opportunity for a full refund, minus a deductible. You might have reached out to someone at a higher level at Military Fares (owned by Sky-tours International) to see what’s going on.

I reached out to Sky-tours International on your behalf, and it processed your refund.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers resolve their problems. Elliott’s latest book is “How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler” (National Geographic). Contact him at elliott.org/help or chris@elliott.org.

Talk to us

More in Life

Washington’s most beloved state park turns 100

Deception Pass State Park, which draws as many visitors as the best-known national parks in the U.S., celebrates a century of recreation and conservation

Hydrangea and rose
July checklist for Snohomish County gardeners

After a slow start to summer, things should take off this month. So keep planting and nurturing.

Caption: The 12 week Edmonds Community Police Academy was a free opportunity for private citizens to learn about law enforcement.
An inside look at how law enforcement works

A pregnant mother. A man who rescues abused horses and donkeys. A… Continue reading

Kid 'n Play members Christopher "Kid" Reid, left, and Christopher "Play" Martin perform on NBC's "Today" show during the "I Love The 90's" morning concert at Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, April 29, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Relive the music of the 1990s with Kid N Play and other stars of the era at the Tulalip Casino Amphitheater.

So-called relaxing summer vacations can wear you out

To truly enjoy a family getaway, tone down your expectations. Everything won’t be picture-perfect.

Gimmelwald, built in an avalanche zone, yet specializing in alpine tranquility.
Roaming the Alps brings cultural insights along with the views

The Swiss have great respect for Alpine traditions and culture — and contempt for tourists who disrespect both.

Will TripMate cover costs for trip canceled for medical reasons?

After Stanley Wales cancels his diving trip to Bonaire, he files a travel insurance claim with TripMate. What’s taking them so long to respond?

Contestant chef Brian Madayag (left) of Edmonds and West Coast team captain Brooke Williamson on “Beachside Brawl.” (Food Network) 20220616
Edmonds chef reps Pacific Northwest on new Food Network show

Barkada owner Brian Madayaga will compete on a new Food Network series that premiers Sunday.

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’ (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’

This Hinoki cypress is graceful and beautiful, and is very drought-tolerant once established.

Most Read