Reader Update: Finally Receiving A Refund From Alitalia (Expedia) After ‘Error Fare’ Tickets Sold In December 2016

Back in December 2016 Alitalia has filed a fare with an incorrect pricing for routes between Germany/Italy and Asia/South Pacific on Alitalia ticket stock including flights on their partner Etihad.

The airline subsequently decided to cancel all the tickets and we still hear about many cases from readers who still haven’t gotten their money back to this day – one reader updated us this week that he was finally successful getting a refund.

Some readers were successful in claiming a credit card charge back but others were not or haven’t pursued it properly.

A most recent case was reported to us from our reader Jason who lives in the U.S. close to the Expedia HQ in Bellevue, WA and who contacted us via Facebook the a few weeks ago seeking advise as neither Expedia.

He sent us the first mail about six weeks ago:

As to many readers previously I suggested to consider legal action if all complaints to the DOT and Alitalia themselves were unsuccessful. Remember, John had also purchased two of these tickets and got them refunded after half a year of neglect on Alitalia’s side and finally involving the DOT (he wrote about it here).

Today Jason updated us that even though Alitalia continued to ignore him Expedia finally reacted and refunded him the money to his credit card after threatening to take them to Small Claims Court.

to be honest I’m very happy this worked out for Jason as we’re nearing a two year mark and the tickets weren’t cheap (I believe it was close to $700 per ticket sold). Taking legal action or doing a very last push and seriously threatening to do so is the only way to recover funds at this point.

One of the reasons why we at LoyaltyLobby have made the decision not to cover these ‘error fares’ is that nowadays they often come with a lot of baggage and problems for those who purchased them. This involves loss of time, loss of money, issues such as the ones here and many other things that don’t outweigh the benefit of publishing such fares. In the old days airlines were more generous and the amount of tickets sold was much lower.

Now as soon as the news about such a fare hits the internet thousands of tickets are being sold within hours and the airline often has no other choice than to cancel them especially if First Class inventory is concerned and their entire availability is gone for months. However if an airline cancels such a fare there is no excuse for not refunding the money immediately.

Conclusion

I’m glad that least one person finally got a refund that he is absolutely entitled to, even though I’m surprised Expedia did anything here. Alitalia and to a degree also the OTA’s that sold these tickets and took the payment are engaging in clearly fraudulent action here as they withhold the money of customers without providing a service or product.

Alitalia continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. Looming bankruptcy, strikes, spending money on new uniforms (priorities?), bad customer service and of course this ongoing error fare refund debacle. Does Alitalia still owe you money as well?

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