After months of fighting for a flight refund, a woman called NBC 6 Responds for help.
Andrea Barton says traveling has become a part of her regular routine. She travels back and forth to New York to help take care of her daughter who is undergoing cancer treatment.
“I spent as much time on a plane as someone can possibly imagine,” Barton says. “Trying to take care of her, go through treatments, surgery,” Barton said.
In December, she says she booked three tickets on the JetBlue website for a holiday trip with her daughter. She says she canceled it within the company’s 24-hour cancellation window.
But the next day, while trying to book another flight with JetBlue, she says an agent told her the trip was still on her account. She says the agency issued a refund at that time, but days after the phone call, she noticed her credit card was charged again for the canceled flights.
“It took me calling my credit union, I don’t know how many times…writing and calling everyone I could to let them know this is not a fair charge,” Barton said
Barton says her calls to the airline didn’t resolve the issue either.
Responding to every consumer complaint
She is one of the thousands of airline passengers complaining about refund issues.
Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows complaints are up 329 percent when comparing the first quarter of this year to the first quarter of pre-pandemic 2019.
Of the 4,423 complaints filed in March of this year, 37 percent are about refunds.
In Barton’s case, after months of waiting for a refund, she called NBC 6 Responds.
“Thankfully you guys did help me,” Barton said.
A JetBlue representative told NBC 6 Responds in a statement, “While we are unable to find any record of this customer canceling their itinerary in the time required to be eligible for a full refund, as a gesture of goodwill, we have processed a refund as requested. We hope to welcome this customer back on a JetBlue flight in the future.”
The refund came as a welcome relief for Barton.
“At least someone answered me, and you were the only one who answered me, and I thank you very much,” Barton said.
It’s important to read an airline’s refund policy before booking, and if you cancel, keep a record of the cancelation.
The Department of Transportation looks into issues like luggage mishandling, flight delays, cancelations, and refunds.
You can file a complaint by visiting the DOT website.