The Basics

Two Airlines Still Owe Me Thousands – And It Does Affect My View of Them

Written by Charlie

Almost a year later, these two airlines still owe me thousands of dollars. They have been really bad in their customer service and this does affect my view of them.

Around this time last year, the scope of the affects of Covid-19 began to ripple strongly throughout the world. People began canceling flights on their own in light of the uncertainty surrounding the virus and airlines began adjusting their policies to allow people to make these changes until later dates.

Two Airlines Still Owe Me Thousands

Update from March 24, 2021 – In the end, Austrian is not to blame for any of thisit was Chase’s fault. Austrian did a great job. Turkish is still in the “bad” column with me – no refund yet!

After a couple of months, flight schedules began changing dramatically and airlines began to scramble with how to handle passengers that were owed millions of dollars due to the cancellations that the airlines made.

Some airlines have been much better than others in how they handled these refunds. Some airlines tried desperately to make offers that would be appealing to customers over having to give back precious money – money that was going out quickly but no longer coming in as people stopped booking flights.

Turkish Airlines was one such airline. They offered a variety of options that included things like giving miles in exchange for cash, giving vouchers with increased value, and more free changes. But, the one thing they did not want to do was giving money back. While they “offered”cash refunds, they actually made it very difficult to get that cash.

We had flights booked for our family last April and Turkish canceled this flights. We rebooked and those flights were canceled as well. Something that Turkish did that made it very difficult for us was that they would not allow rebooked flights on partners – they had to be rebooked with them and the airport we had to fly from has not had a Turkish flight land at it in about 9 months.

So, we had to go for the refund since we booked with another airline. Here is a post of mine from 6 months ago, detailing how Turkish Airline was flying games with customers. Next, they said there was only one way to get a refund – which I have talked about here.

Well, guess what? After we gave all the requested documents two months ago, they are now insisting that they did not get them. So, we sent them again and still are waiting for the promised refund.

Austrian Airlines has been even worse. We have tickets booked with them for my wife and our daughters who were flying internationally (or were scheduled to) last year for a special event. Austrian canceled the flights back in April which meant we were owed a refund.

Fast forward to now and they continue to be no closer to giving our money back than before. We booked through Chase and Chase has still not received a response from them after multiple requests. Austrian took full control of the ticket and will not respond to Chase. I have tried as well and Austrian won’t deal with me since they say it has to go through Chase.

How This Affects My View of These Airlines

We also had ticket booked last year with other airlines, including Delta Air Lines. With Delta, we had to cancel the flight and received a full refund back in less than an hour. American Airlines refunded us on a canceled flight as well. Aegean Airlines also refunded me on a canceled flight.

Yet Turkish Airlines and Austrian Airlines simply drag their feet in giving back our money. As I told Austrian, this is essentially a 13 loan at this point – one which I never agreed to and which I will not be receiving interest from, when they finally do get back to me.

The problem is this – I absolutely love flying with Turkish Airlines (I have flown to every US destination with them and flown them more than any other airline – in both classes of flights). I also have loved flying with Austrian in the past. The food was excellent and their seats were comfortable. But the way that these airlines have handled things make me very hesitant to ever give them money again. This bad behavior on their part should not be rewarded with future business. Edit: I will definitely book and fly with Austrian again since I found that they had been very quick and it was not their fault.

But, I realize that there will come a time that the ticket will be cheaper than a competitor or the award ticket will be more convenient. At that point, I would likely book with one of them. But I definitely will not book with either one until things are very much back to normal.

Bottom Line

Austrian Airlines and Turkish Airlines still holds thousands of dollars of my money for months now – more than a year since the original bookings. They owe me a refund and they both know that but they have refused to do that so far. This greatly affects my view of these airlines, which overshadows their onboard performance for me.

Are there any airlines that you are still waiting for a refund from? How long have you waited and what is happening?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


      • Yes, for an Expedia booking on AF. Got them to give a cash refund instead of the voucher that they insisted on. Also, a LifeMiles refund that didn’t process after 10 weeks.

  • This is one of the reasons I do not like flying foreign airlines or an airline where I don’t have status. Aegean Air is the only non-Sky Team airline I will fly. I can’t remember ever having an issue with Delta over the years. Being a 2 million miler and Diamond Medallion brings with it advantages in situations like this