San Diego

El Cajon Man Hits Ticket Turbulence with United Airlines Refund

An El Cajon man contacted NBC 7 Responds after he said he hadn’t received a ticket price refund he had been promised from United Airlines.

“I was working on my sailboat in Puerto Nuevo, Mexico when I got a call from my wife that my mother had passed away,” Randy Wheeler said. 

Randy said his mother had been ill for the past year and when he got the call in April, he knew he had to be with family in Ohio. 

With less than a week before he needed to fly out, Randy said he knew he needed to book his airfare quickly. 

“Two flights going, two flights coming back,” Randy said, “Four flights, two people, that’s eight seats.” 

The trip was going to cost $800 each, Randy said, for him and his wife. Luckily, Randy said he had air miles he could put towards the trip but there was one problem. 

“The only seats that were available were upgraded seats,” Randy said, “I figured when I get back to San Diego, I’ll call United and see if they can do something for me.” 

When Randy returned home to El Cajon, he called United Airlines and said a representative told him they could downgrade his seats and refund him the difference in price, around $300. 

“I waited about three weeks before I called and asked them why I hadn’t gotten my refund and I was told they didn’t know anything about it,” Randy said. 

Randy said he and his wife were frustrated but patient. After being transferred between United Airlines’ representatives, he said United Airlines acknowledged the refund and said he should receive it in a reasonable amount of time. 

After seven-to-ten days, Randy said he still hadn’t received his refund. Randy called United Airlines again and said this time, he was told to submit a refund request form for each seat he was owed a refund for. A representative told Randy this process would take two business cycles or sixty days. 

“I call again, at the end of those sixty days, and say ‘Where’s my money?’ and they said well, you got your money, it’s been refunded,” Randy said. 

Randy said the airline couldn’t tell him when the refund was processed or where it had been sent. Months after his initial flight that started all of this, Randy turned to NBC 7 Responds for help.

NBC 7 Responds reached out to United Airlines and within two days, Randy and his wife received the refund they had been waiting for. 

In an email, Maddie King, a spokesperson for United Airlines, told NBC 7 Responds, “We attempted to issue the refund when we first received it, but there was a technical error during the process. While the refund is now completed, it took too long so we are providing this customer with a travel voucher as a goodwill gesture.“ 

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