With the mounds of snow that blasted our region this week, you may be dreaming of a tropical getaway.
But what happens if your trip is canceled for COVID-19 related reasons?
That’s exactly what happened to Timothy Missel in March 2020.
He booked a package deal for his hotel in the Bahamas and airfare though the Sandals Resorts website.
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But the month before he was supposed to take off, Sandals sent him an email stating the resort had to temporarily close due to the pandemic and his trip was canceled.
Timothy said he got his refund for the stay at Sandals, but getting his money back for the flight wasn’t so easy.
Caught Between Two Companies
In a letter to NBC10 Responds, Missel said “…Delta advised that the leg of the trip from Atlanta to Nassau had been cancelled by Delta and therefore I was entitled to a full refund.”
But that didn’t happen. According to Missel, Sandals told him the flight was not canceled and he would not be getting a refund.
NBC10 Responds took a look at his case, and contacted both companies.
Sandals told us it reached out to Delta twice in September. It stated in part, “In both instances these Airlines Agents informed us that the airline tickets were not eligible for a refund...”
However Delta recalled things differently. The airline said his flight was canceled and it gave sandals approval to refund Timothy in September.
After NBC10 Responds got involved, Timothy received the remainder of his refund from Sandals.
How to Get Money Back or a Credit in Approximately 60 Days
If you get caught between two companies as Missel did, there is a way to escalate the complaint.
The advocacy group Travelers United recommends putting everything in writing and submitting it to the Department of Transportation. You can do this on the DOT’s website. According to Travelers United, the companies are obligated to respond within 60 days.
Once they give you that response, you should get your money back almost immediately.
Three Scenarios for Refunds
Travelers United told NBC10 Responds there are three scenarios for a refund, according to DOT rules.
- If the airline cancels the flight, you’re entitled to a cash refund.
- If you decide to cancel your trip, you get a credit.
- If the tour operator cancels the trip but the flight isn’t canceled, you get a credit.