REFUND Us: Avianca Cancels Flight, Says We Can Rebook Til 3/21

Avianca
image: Aero Shots

The Michael W Travels family was supposed to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos over Spring Break in April.

Once the coronavirus started spreading, we knew it was highly unlikely that our trip would take place.

I tried filling out an online refund form with Avianca to cancel our flight from Guayaquil to the Galapagos but it would not work.

The following day, I checked online and saw that our flight was already canceled. At first, I didn’t have any e-mail from the airline regarding the cancellation but I did get one later that night.

While most would expect a refund for a canceled flight, Avianca stated “Your ticket will remain valid until you have a new travel date or decide to make the change.”

The problem is that visiting the Galapagos isn’t so simple. Who knows when the coronavirus pandemic will get under control. There’s no guarantee that we’ll find a deal on a flight back to Ecuador from the US. Due to seasickness, I wouldn’t want to visit the Galapagos during any other time of year as the water could be rougher.

I can’t find a clear date as to when Avianca said we’d have to reschedule our flight by, but I’m pretty sure that it was by March 30, 2021. That would be before next year’s spring break, not much help.

I’ve tried calling Avianca to request a refund but the line is always busy. Next we’ll call the credit card company and explain the situation. (The charge hasn’t posted to the newest statement.)

Hopefully, we’ll get a refund. The right to rebook isn’t so useful for a flight we probably won’t be able to take. I also don’t understand how Avianca can keep our money for a flight they canceled on us.

Due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, I feel that a refund should be given.

What do you think?

12 thoughts on “REFUND Us: Avianca Cancels Flight, Says We Can Rebook Til 3/21

  1. Yes, definitely I also agree the refund should be given. I’m in a similar situation except I used Avianca LifeMiles for a trip to Vienna next month. I used 126,000 Lifemiles for a business class ticket from LAX to Vienna for a business trip.

    Obviously after this COVID outbreak the trip was cancelled. The flight was cancelled but I waited hours and hours on the phone only to have them tell me that I’d have to pay $200 to redeposit my miles!

    They said I could use the ticket within 1 year of the flight but I don’t have any plans to go back to Europe as I was just there before the outbreak started and really don’t have any plans to go back in the next year.

    I sent in emails asking them to redeposit the miles and credit back the taxes they charged to my credit card but they have not. I can see if I canceled the flight but this was a cancellation on their end so this isn’t fair they would charge $200 to redeposit the miles.

    Is there any other recourse?

  2. United now keeps your money for flights they cancel on you. Why not Avianca? I was lucky that our spring break trip was booked with Delta and when they cancelled the flight they were happy to give a refund.

  3. The exact same thing happened to me, but worse. I had a 7 week trip to Egypt and Morocco planned. Tours, flights all canceling or I have to cancel because I can’t get to Africa. And I get a voucher-like I will use a voucher to fly on Royal Air Maroc within a year! I might be able to do these if the period was 2 years, but 1, I need to book award flights in a month. And I’m supposed to be sure my tour goes on a company that promises 100% departures, and yet they cancel and keep my money for a year? No thanks! Stephanie Woods

  4. The schedule isn’t open into April 2021 so I sort of makes sense coupled with Avianca’s overwhelmed customer service centers which are notably average in good times. People preach to us on blogs all the time about buying Lifemiles but when things go wrong you get this sort of issue with that program.

  5. File a complaint with DOT using the on line form. Airlines do respond to these. If they cancelled, you get a refund. Period.

  6. Jimmy- Lucky you!

    Stephanie Woods- That stinks! I’m guessing your trip was already paid for? If not, did you contact the credit card company?

    DaninMCI- Scedule being open or not, Avianca wants us to rebook something they canceled! Just give us our money back! I’ve never preached to buy LifeMiles. I never bought any myself!

    Rjb- Def. a good idea. Thanks!

  7. Just a follow up. They did finally redeposit my miles for NO fee. Which was the correct thing to do. They said they would refund my airport taxes I paid but it hasn’t been done yet but I expect with all of these cancellations it will take time.

    I had another flight on EVA Air from Seattle to Taipei for end of May and the flight was cancelled. I spent 3 hours on hold with ANA where I used miles and they said they would redeposit the miles for no charge and refund the taxes. This was this morning.

    But something ominous was they said that it could take more than 5-7 weeks to hit. I asked him what happens if I wanted to use the miles before then and he said it wasn’t likely there would be flights to Asia. Yikes!

  8. Mike Saint- Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you got your refunds back, fee-free like it should be! That is a long time for the refund. I don’t find it surprising that there might not be flights to Asia for a couple of months with what’s going on…

  9. I have the same situation with an AA flight booked through Avios. If they deny my refund, I’ll just do a chargeback as per BA’s CoC I’m entitled to such.

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