Dear Travel Troubleshooter: My husband and I had tickets from Philadelphia to New Delhi on Virgin Atlantic this fall. We bought the tickets through CheapOair and paid $1,911. About 12 hours before the flight, my husband was admitted to the emergency room with severe stomach pains. Doctors diagnosed him with a small bowel obstruction and said he might need surgery the next morning. He had to stay in the hospital for two more days.
While my husband was in the emergency room, I called Virgin Atlantic to inform the airline that we wouldn’t make the flight. A representative cut me off and directed me to call CheapOair. I called CheapOair, which gave me the choice of canceling and losing all the money or changing the reservation to a future date. I picked a date 2½ months later, not knowing if my husband needed surgery or how long the recovery period would take.
CheapOair told me I had to pay $850 at that very moment and then take up the matter with Virgin Atlantic for a refund due to the medical emergency.
I have contacted both Virgin Atlantic and CheapOair verbally and by email. I’ve provided the hospital and physician reports to both of them. Both of them tell me that the other company has the money. I feel I am getting the runaround. Can you help me?
— Sunita Gupta, Voorhees, New Jersey
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Answer: I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s medical condition. In a situation like this, your airline and travel agent should work together to either rebook you on a future flight with little, if any, additional expense, or give you a full refund. No, they don’t have to, but it’s the right thing …read more
Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle