Faucet Air Portugal promised a refund — why is not going to Orbitz help?

Expensive Travel TROUBLESHOOTER: I booked a ticket via Orbitz on Tap Air Portugal to fly from Washington, D.C., to Milan in May well. The flight was canceled in April because of COVID-19.

Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter 

I have been having an very challenging time getting Orbitz to assist me. They have insisted continuously that I am not because of a refund even even though I am aware of the Section of Transportation observe that all tickets need to be refunded if the ticket was canceled by the airline all through COVID-19, if the purchaser wants a refund. I have also confirmed with Faucet instantly that I am owing a refund. But they insist Orbitz need to ask for it for me.

Immediately after several several hours on the telephone with Orbitz over several months, I lastly acquired Orbitz to e-mail Faucet to ask for a refund in May possibly. As of currently, I have read practically nothing further from neither Tap nor Orbitz and really feel I have to have aid to properly get this refund I am owed.

— Alexandra Rose, Washington, D.C.

Reply: You’re correct. If Tap Air Portugal canceled your flight, you really should get a total refund inside a week. The DOT rule (www.transportation.gov/persons/aviation-purchaser-security/refunds) applies not only to airways but also to on the web journey agencies these types of as Orbitz.

So, what took place? Perfectly, right after the outbreak, the European airlines petitioned the EU to allow for them to preserve the funds for canceled flights and offer ticket credits. They claimed their survival was at stake, and they may well have been correct about that. At the exact same time, a range of European carriers began to gradual down the refund course of action. Again, that is absolutely comprehensible. They needed to retain the cash to fork out their charges. This included generating new limitations to refunds. Could Tap Air Portugal have presented you a refund for your flight when you asked? With out a question. Ended up they making use of Orbitz to slow down the course of action? Devoid of a question.

Orbitz was a keen accomplice. When it allows you get a refund, it loses any commissions and incentives the airline paid out it. So you could say it is equally unmotivated, and in all chance, overwhelmed by other refund requests.

Despite the fact that I recognize the positions of both your airline and on-line travel agency, it is also helpful to value your posture. Tap Air Portugal canceled your flight, and you ended up owed a refund. You weren’t having it. If the tables ended up turned — if you canceled your flight because of a circumstance further than your management — I’m not guaranteed if Tap Air Portugal or Orbitz would be as client as you’ve been, or as comprehending.

But whose fault was this? I contacted Orbitz, and it says it contacted Faucet Air Portugal numerous occasions with regards to your scenario, beginning in May well.

“During this time, Tap Portugal notified us that they are no longer enabling Orbitz agents access to course of action refunds by means of our procedure,” a consultant told me. “We are only able to course of action refunds if we have been granted that appropriate by the airline.”