After months of fighting for a flight refund, a woman called NBC 6 is responding for help.
Andrea Barton says traveling is now part of her regular routine. She travels back and forth to New York to help care for her daughter who is undergoing cancer treatment.
“I’ve spent as much time on a plane as you can imagine,” Barton says. “Trying to take care of her, going through treatments, surgery,” Barton said.
In December, she says she booked three tickets on the JetBlue website for a vacation trip with her daughter. She says she canceled it within the company’s 24-hour cancellation period.
But the next day, when she was 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 a few days after the phone call she noticed that her credit card had been charged again for the canceled flights.
“I had to call my credit union, I don’t know how many times…write and call everyone I could to let them know it wasn’t a fair charge,” Barton said.
Barton says his calls to the airline also didn’t resolve the issue.
She is one of thousands of air passengers complaining about reimbursement issues.
Data from the US Department of Transportation shows complaints rose 329% when comparing the first quarter of this year to the first quarter of 2019 before the pandemic.
Of the 4,423 complaints filed in March this year, 37% relate to refunds.
In Barton’s case, after months of waiting for a refund, she called NBC 6 Responds.
“Luckily you helped me out,” Barton said.
A JetBlue representative told NBC 6 Responds in a statement: “While we could not find any records of this customer canceling their itinerary in the time required to be eligible for a full refund, as a sign 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 thank you very much,” Barton said.
It is important to read an airline’s refund policy before booking and, if you cancel, to keep a record of the cancellation.
The Department of Transportation is looking at issues such as mishandling of baggage, flight delays, cancellations and refunds.
You can file a complaint by visiting the DOT website.