Sabine Weber-Ford’s wish for the holidays last year was to spend time with her mom and step-dad who live in Germany.
Weber-Ford bought two tickets on German airline Lufthansa for just under $4,000 in September 2017.
On Dec. 3, 2017, two weeks before the flight, Weber-Ford got some bad news.
“My mom called me and said she has an immune deficiency disorder,” she said. “The medication she was prescribed attacked her bones and she had broken bones in her back. She needed surgery. I was sad for a number of reasons. We were all so excited for them to come.”
That day Weber-Ford called Lufthansa to cancel the flight.
She said a Lufthansa employee told her that she had two options, reschedule the flight for a later date or have her mom’s doctor write a note in order to be issued a refund.
“At that point, I didn’t know if my mom would ever be able to fly again so I decided for the refund," Weber-Ford said. "It was a lot of money.”
Weber-Ford’s mom sent her the note from the doctor. A day later Weber-Ford received a call from Lufthansa.
“The agent told me that the tickets were non-refundable,” she said. “We were floored. We were absolutely floored.”
Weber-Ford’s mom sent a complaint to Germany’s consumer protection office. Here in the U.S., Weber-Ford called Lufthansa repeatedly in hopes of speaking to a supervisor.
"There was never a chance to talk to someone higher up,” she said. “It was always just the agents at the call center, no other options.”
Weber-Ford didn't know where else to turn.
“We were at our wit’s end, watching NBC News one night and there (NBC 7 Responds) was,” she said.
Weber-Ford went on to NBC 7 Responds website and left a message as well as uploaded documentation.
On a Saturday morning, three weeks later, Weber-Ford got the news she had been hoping for.
“I was sitting on my couch one weekend,” she said.”I was looking at my credit card account and there was the refund. We had totally lost hope until that day.”