TAMPA, Florida – The pandemic has canceled thousands of flights and grounded travelers across the country. Some travelers are still struggling to get refunds despite federal regulators requiring airlines to automatically refund flights they have canceled.
Before the pandemic, Eli Franco and his wife bought tickets for a JetBlue flight to New York. The flight was scheduled to take off on March 23, a week after Governor DeSantis closed Florida.
“We started contacting the hotels and airlines,” said Franco.
He had planned the trip for his daughter’s wedding in New York.
The Francos say their daughter canceled the wedding and Jet Blue canceled her flight, so they asked for a refund.
The US Department of Transportation’s website states: “A passenger is entitled to a refund if the airline cancels a flight for any reason and the passenger chooses not to travel.”
In this case, according to Franco, JetBlue did not want to issue a refund, so the airline offered a future credit.
“They originally set a one-year parameter for that loan use, and we’re just not comfortable right now.”
The Franco family is not alone. The I-Team checked the federal data and found that more than 4,600 people filed complaints about refunds against US airlines in June 2020.
The Francos said they called and emailed the airline, which refused to budge. So they filed a complaint with the federal authorities and called for action.
After ABC Action News heard their story, they sent an email to JetBlue corporate headquarters.
The company never responded to ABC Action News, but the Franco said just two days later that JetBlue called, apologized, and offered the couple a full $ 246 refund.
“Then 48 hours later, we saw credit for the American Express,” said Franco.
JetBlue did not respond to our emails for comment on this story.
If you or someone you know is struggling to get a refund after the airline has canceled a flight, you can file a complaint here with the US Department of Transportation.