Plane tickets are non-refundable, a lesson many of us have learned the hard way. But even though Ian expected he’d have to take a hit on a pair of honeymoon tickets he sadly wasn’t going to use, he didn’t think he’d end up with nothing.
Ian wrote in with his tale of unfortunate circumstances, accepting full responsibility for the outcome. It all started when he purchased two tickets for a total of around $2,500 after fees and taxes from Expedia for a trip to Paris next July.
As sometimes happened with these kinds of things my fiancee and I decided to not to get married. Though the tickets were marked non-refundable I was hoping against hope that the fact that the flight was still 7 months away and could easily be resold might earn some leniency.
My first call to Expedia took 45 minutes of being on hold before I was disconnected. Never spoke to a human. Called again, and got a gentleman who wasn’t hopeful but said he had to call the airline to see what was possible. 30 minutes into that call I was disconnected again. Called back and got a Lorraine asked her to please call me back if the call dropped. She called Finnair for me and informed me that Finnair and therefore Expedia were unable to provide a refund or flight credit because those are the rules of the ticket, but that I could call Finnair directly and negotiate with them. During this process I was asked each time why I wanted to cancel the flight and explained to them each time that this was to be our honeymoon and that we weren’t getting married anymore.
Got the number for Finnair directly and, after explaining the reason for the ticket cancellation request again, was told that they wouldn’t be able to refund me the money (at this point I was asking for half back or a flight credit) because it was purchased through a travel agent and the travel agent would have to call for me. However given the “rules of the ticket” there wouldn’t be anything they could do, though I was welcome to cancel the flight for zero refund (allowing them to resell the ticket and make twice the money I suppose.) They said the only exceptions they ever make are due to a death in the family and usually not even then.
I realized that what this middle man process does has eliminated my bargaining power. I can call Expedia back and request a supervisor, but given they can’t refund the money without Finnairs approval and THEY have to make the call on my behalf the value of appealing up the line is rendered useless.
In fairness, the ticket says nonrefundable and I take responsibility for that. However 7 months out and for 2500 dollars I had hoped to find some value or customer service in the process. I guess it’s a lesson to me about going through middlemen.
So many bummers here, not to mention the annoyance of having to explain to multiple strangers that no, you are no longer going to have a honeymoon. Getting a flight credit after paying a cancellation fee wouldn’t be out of line, but every airline does things their own way.