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Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

Ljubljana, Slovenia
5 posts
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Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

Hi,

We booked a flight with Expedia.co.uk for a flight with United Airlines (from Europe to USA). After the booking (and the payment) was made our daughter was diagnosed with a medical condition that prevents her from flying (we have a doctors recommendation not to fly). We contacted Expedia for a refund but they said to contact United directly. United declined our request with explanation that since we have booked through a Travel agent (Expedia) we should contact them.

We contacted Expedia again, sent the same doctors recommendation to them but they said there is no option for a refund since the ticket is non-refundable and they are only a Third party in this topic.

Does anyone have any experience with refunds due to medical issues? Who should be the one to approve the refund? Who should we contact (again) to get our money back?

I am afraid an exchange for another flight is not possible due to uncertain medical prognosis for our daughter so the refund is the only possible solution for us.

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6,055 posts
21 reviews
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1. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

Do you have travel insurance?

Ljubljana, Slovenia
5 posts
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2. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

Unfortunatelly not (I forgot to mention that)

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds, Bradford
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23,540 posts
377 reviews
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3. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

As Psyvolt has asked, if you had Travel Insurance it would have covered you for this. Best wishes on the health of your daughter.

Madeira, Portugal
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10,914 posts
80 reviews
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4. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

If the ticket is non refundable, you will not get any money back, even because of illness. This is where travel insurance comes into play,you need to contact your insurance provider

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6,055 posts
21 reviews
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5. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

Damn, your problem wpuld have been much easier resolved if you had taken out travel insurance.

The only thing you can do now is beg and pray you can either get a refund, move the flight dates or take a credit shell.

Berry, Australia
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3,430 posts
196 reviews
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6. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

As you chose to self-insure, you are solely responsible for the loss in this case. It is unfortunate, but that is the risk you took.

In saying that, there are cases where airlines would assist in credit shells, rebooking for a fee etc. However, as you used a 3rd party agent instead of booking direct, the process is difficult and relies on the goodwill of expedia.

As such, I think you will likely suffer a total loss in this instance.

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7. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

If you would have had an insurance you would have been sorted.

I had used the below link to apply for a waiver due to illness :-

https:/…refund.aspx

Please check with Expedia again airlines normally have a waiver condition in the rules though not all rules permit a waiver.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
5 posts
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8. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

United refunds for non-refundable tickets in some cases. The description on their page matches our case (https:/…refund.aspx).

There is a great problem with pointing fingers between Expedia and United. United saying that we bought a ticket throug Expedia and Expedia saying that United's policy is not to refund any money.

Nashville, TN
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6,817 posts
10 reviews
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9. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

Unfortunately, this is one reason to always book directly with the airlines and not a 3rd party (no matter how reputable or disreputable they may be). The ultimate decision is United's as they have the money. Expedia simply acts as a conduit for your funds and adds any service charges to allow them to make a profit.

You have a couple of options. Contact Expedia and have them contact UA to ask for your refund. You will need a good agent that is willing to take the time and do the work that is necessary. If you call and get an agent that immediately says no, hang up and call a different agent. You may even need to ask for a supervisor.

Your second option is to contact Expedia and have them release the booking to UA. This allows UA to take control of the booking and they will be able to work it from their end. Once UA has control of the booking, follow the same procedure as with an Expedia agent.

Always be polite, but firm. State your case and let them make the final decision. Good luck.

San Antonio, Texas
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1,539 posts
31 reviews
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10. Re: Refund due to health issues (Expedia/United)

Well, at this point your only hope is a sympathy story by Chris Elliot.

http://www.elliott.org

Unfortunately, you're not likely to make any headway on your own. The airline and expedia will just shift blame. But the airlines do not sell travel based on your health. They merely reserve your seat. If you don't show up for any reason including being dead, that's not the airline's problem. That's what insurance is for.

While I never buy it for domestic travel, I would never pass it up for international travel.