Canceled air tickets, hilarious 'refund' policy

My wife and I had to cancel yesterday two tickets to Korea, a week in advance of the flight. We were casually told today that the company’s cancellation policy is to keep 30% of what we paid, and refund us the remainder in three months time. Is this typical of local travel agencies? We have only used this agency for the last three years, and we’ve never canceled before so we haven’t had this experience. If there is another agency with a more sane cancellation policy, I would be interested in knowing about it.

I’d casually explain to them that my policy is to defecate on or in front of the doors of merchants who withhold my money. It is also my policy to visit their offices during their busiest hours to complain in a loud and exasperated voice for all of their prospective customers to hear. Not to mention I charge an exorbitant interest rate on funds withheld.

Then I’d explain to them its regrettable our policies should clash so needlessly, because I haven’t had time to refill my meds, and the added frustration could really exacerbate my condition.

It is funny some of the BS consumers put up with …

Well that’s certainly a suggestion to consider. :thumbsup:

Yeah. Sounds pretty normal. The airlines themselves take forever to issue refunds and the agent is passing the screwing on to you. Not sure about keeping 30% of the price but it will be in the fine print somewhere.

Thanks redwagon. I wish I had known about this earlier. That is a truly vicious policy.

There is a real cost in letting them do this to you, namely that travel agents regularly go bankrupt, i.e. your funds have been appropriated for wages, bonuses, expenses & such. … stranded-w

One of the side effects of the much cheaper airfare we enjoy these days is shitty cancellation policies.

If you give me half, I’ll go get your refund this afternoon. :laughing:

I had a travel agent try this 3 month shit on me in Thailand. I just made a huge stink, and didn’t leave their office, 30 minutes later (after a bunch of BS stories) we agreed on an 80% refund on the spot.

travel agents are useless nowadays. I only fuck with - - most agents by their shit off that website anyways, so you might as well cut out the middle man.

[quote=“HooknSinker”]There is a real cost in letting them do this to you, namely that travel agents regularly go bankrupt, i.e. your funds have been appropriated for wages, bonuses, expenses & such. … stranded-w[/quote]

Mmm, bit strange that the money we gave them last week wouldn’t still be in the drawer, but it’s possible I suppose. Still, not exactly what I call professional service.

I haven’t noticed the airfares being cheaper as a result of these cancellation policies. We were told that if we canceled within 48 hours we would pay an administration fee. Having canceled a week in advance, this is not exactly what we were expecting.

I am seriously considering it. We would still be better off at the end of the day.

For reference (and to warn others), where did you buy these tickets from?

I think, from what I can remember of several things like this, there usually tends to be an admin fee that agencies keep if you need to cancel and the percentage of the ‘keepings’ increases the nearer you are to departure. There’s a lot of this kind of thing in UK travel brochures, for instance. That’s why cancellation insurance sells so well.

The waiting 3 months business is probably just so they can keep the interest on your NT$ a bit longer. At least, that’s what gets said about UK companies whose policy it is to settle accounts 60+ days after receipt. There can be no real reason for that beyond that they want to keep hold of your cash for some gain to themselves.

Or perhaps I’m being cynical…

Excel Travel.

not to hijack your thread, but the airplane biz really pisses me off sometimes. Now I find they sell the emergency exit seats (because of the legroom)… And I don’t get the changeflight policies. Some charge you an arm and a leg, some won’t do it at all (unless you paid full price, and who does that), but oddly, China Airlines did it for me for free and very politely too - I was floored.

Is it really the travel agent’s policy? I always thought it was up to the airlines.

30% cancellation fee is not that high, really. In the US, most of the cheapest tickets are 100% non-refundable, although they can usually be changed for a fee for travel within 1 year of the original travel date.

Travel agents operate on a very small margin and may not have the cash on hand to float refunds until they get the money back from the airline. I’m not sure about Taiwan, but the settlement process for tickets in the US takes the money for ticket sales out of agent accounts each week. In Taiwan, from what I understand, agents buy tickets in bulk, and requesting a refund from the airline might very well take 3 months. Even in the US, with a refundable ticket bought with a credit card, it generally takes 2 billing cycles for an airline to process a refund.

Same here in Japan: cheap tickets are absolutely non-refundable. End of argument.

That’s what travel insurance is for.

I understand that cut price tickets come with cut price service and conveniences, but this was not one of the cheapest tickets.

In Australia you can receive a refund minus an ‘administration fee’ within the specified timeframe, depending on the kind of ticket you buy. That’s why you buy refundable tickets. If you can’t buy refundable tickets, there’s a reason for travel insurance. Of course budget airlines such as Virgin Blue and Tiger typically have a zero refund policy, but that’s when you’re buying AU$50 flights between Melbourne and Sydney.

I’ve only had to cancel a ticket in Australia once. I canceled within 24 hours, and the fee was returned to my credit card within another 24 hours. I didn’t realise this is such a miracle. It certainly hasn’t ever occurred to me that in Taiwan I need to buy travel insurance on top of my ticket, simply in the event that I might have to cancel the ticket.

Yes, your experience refunding a ticket in Australia and getting the credit on your card in 24 hours is a miracle.

And I should rephrase: In the US, generally only the full coach and first class fares are fully refundable. Discounted tickets are generally non-refundable or have hefty penalties.

Continental airlines allows a 24 hour grace period to change flights or cancel with full refund. … funds.aspx

Travel agents can void tickets within 24 hours, too, but that basically means the sale was never processed.