Office Of The Attorney General Helps With COVID-19 Travel Concerns
HARTFORD— The Office of the Attorney General has received over 100 complaints from consumers seeking assistance obtaining refunds for travel canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Complaints include consumers unable to get refunds from airlines, challenges cancelling and postponing cruises, and difficulties cancelling or changing hotel reservations.
“We continue to hear from consumers across Connecticut who are having a hard time getting their money back and navigating complex refund policies related to COVID-19 travel cancellations. Traveling right now is not advised, and in many cases is not possible. Consumers should not be bearing the financial burden for these canceled trips. I want to thank the attorneys and support staff in my office who have fielded over 100 complaints on this so far, and are working incredibly hard to get relief for Connecticut families,” said Attorney General Tong.
Examples of resolved cases include:
*A family paid $2,187 for a deposit, food, and room reservations to a hotel for a Sweet 16. The family had been unable to get out of their contract despite the public health emergency and reached out to the Office of the Attorney General for assistance. The Office of the Attorney General was able to get the family a full refund.
*A couple paid $1,638 for plane tickets from Hartford to Las Vegas to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. The airline had not canceled the flight and thus was refusing to refund the fare. The Office of the Attorney General was able to get the couple a full refund.
*A consumer had purchased tickets to a three-day show in Seattle that was canceled due to COVID-19. The show producers had offered to honor the tickets for a new two-day show date, but the consumer had missed a deadline to respond. The Office of the Attorney General was able to transfer his tickets to the new date and obtained a $60 refund for the eliminated day.
*A consumer was scheduled to fly from JFK to Paris in April. Despite the airline offering refunds on their website, she could not navigate conflicting information on the website. She reached out for help, and the Office of the Attorney General helped get her a full $563.36 refund.
*A couple used an online website to book a hotel room in Florida in March. While the hotel website offered refunds, the couple could not get through phone busy signals to reach anyone. They reached out for help, and the Office of the Attorney General helped obtain a full $455.38 refund.
Attorney General William Tong, Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, and Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais previously issued guidance to consumers regarding booking and canceling travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. That guidance is available at https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/AG/Press_Releases/2019/COVID20travel20guide2028129.pdf?la=en.
Legal Investigator Christine Buck, Peter Brown, Deputy Director of Constituent Services, and Sandra G. Arenas, Special Associate Attorney General for Constituent and Consumer Affairs, are assisting the Attorney General in this matter.