Travelers still fighting for refunds of flights canceled by the pandemic

Dec 7, 2021, 6:15 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 10:01 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Nearly 21 months after the pandemic started thwarting trips, travelers are still struggling to get their money back. While refunds certainly can take time, especially during a pandemic, a South Jordan man has been fighting for his refund from an airline ticket broker for nearly two years.

If you visit David Frandsen’s home, you are going to see a whole lot of Sweden inside – from flags and figurines, to maps and books. His wife, Lena, is a Swede and still has family there. That is where they were headed to in July 2020.

“We weren’t able to go because of COVID,” Frandsen said.

In March 2020, Sweden put the kibosh on non-essential travel from countries outside the European Union. Consequently, the Frandsen’s flight got cancelled, but he is still fighting for a $1,492 refund from ticket broker ASAP Tickets.

“We just always get the runaround,” Frandsen said.

Adding to that frustration, he said ASAP Tickets tells him they’re waiting on confirmation from United to refund his money. But, United is telling Frandsen they processed their refund to ASAP way back in 2020.

“They (ASAP) don’t come up with the money or give us a real reason as to why they aren’t refunding the money,” he said.

David Frandsen shows KSL’s Matt Gephardt his communications with ASAP Tickets and the airline as he tried to get his refund for a flight cancelled by COVID-19.

Frandsen tried to initiate a chargeback through his credit card company, but he was told too much time had passed since he bought the tickets in 2019.

Jetlagged from flying in circles about his refund, he decided it was time to contact the KSL Investigators.

Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation is quite clear on this: “Airlines and ticket agents have a legal obligation to provide refunds to consumers if the airline cancels or significantly changes a consumer’s flight.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation states airlines and ticket agents are legally required to offer refunds if the airline cancels or significantly changes a flight.

When we asked ASAP Tickets about what was going on with the Frandsens’ refund, a representative told us, “The delay was created since the airline reissued both tickets from their side, thus we did not have the access to these tickets.”

It took two weeks and more back-and-forth, but finally, David Frandsen has his $1,492 back – money he hopes to use for one more trip.

“At the age we’re getting into, this is probably the last trip we’ll take to Sweden, but we’d like to go.”

If you’re struggling to get a refund you believe you’re owed, file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Experts say if you’re not getting much help from the airline, fire up social media and post about your experience. Sometimes, that can get a response.

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Travelers still fighting for refunds of flights canceled by the pandemic